The Goodwood Festival of Speed always assembles a mind-numbingly impressive array of significant sports and racing cars, along with an equally gaudy roster of drivers. And sometimes, Goodwood is the place where those important cars are reunited with their equally important drivers. (Like in 2005, with Bobby Unser, Sr. and the '86 Audi Sport Quattro hill climb car in which he won Pikes Peak.)
2006 is no exception, and spectators are going to have the chance to see The King, Richard Petty himself, run a fully-restored 1972 STP Dodge Charger up the hill. In addition to taking part in the Hill Climb competition, Petty will be delighting fans with exhibition runs on all three days of the festival.
1972 saw Petty win his fourth NASCAR championship and marked the first year of STP's involvement with Petty, which spawned one of the most famous racing liveries ever. Next month, the familiar red, white, and blue #43 car will do what it does best: go fast with The King behind the wheel.
What a thrill.
(Press release after the jump)
[Source: DaimlerChrysler] Auburn Hills, Mich., June 16, 2006
Richard Petty and Dodge Charger Reunite for Goodwood Festival of Speed
• The King set to drive '72 Dodge Charger with the Earl and the Sirs
• Former Formula One driver Jochen Mass to drive 2006 Dodge Charger NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car
Richard Petty, the winningest driver in the history of NASCAR's premier series, will be reunited with his 1972 Dodge Charger race car next month in England in one of the largest and most diverse celebrations in motorsports – the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Held on the grounds of historic Goodwood House in West Sussex and hosted by the Earl of March, the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebration (July 7-9) brings together the greatest competition cars and drivers from all eras of motorsports.
Petty will drive his restored 1972 Dodge Charger in the Hillclimb competition on the 1.16-mile course, which is the principal attraction of the Festival of Speed. It's one of the '72 Dodge Chargers from Petty Enterprises that carried Petty to his fourth of seven series championships. In 31 starts in the car, Petty had eight wins along with 25 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes.
Known as "The King" in racing circles, Petty scored a record 200 victories in his career along with seven series titles. The number of wins almost doubles the tally of his nearest rival, David Pearson, with 105.
"It's an honor to represent Dodge at the Goodwood Festival of Speed," said Petty. "It's such a prestigious event and one that is popular worldwide. The names that have been a part of this Festival throughout the years are true champions. It's always special when you're invited to be a part of something as big as this.
"Goodwood is a celebration of motorsports, cars and drivers, and I look forward to driving my 1972 Dodge Charger there. Dodge has been a huge partner throughout my career, and I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel during this prestigious event."
Spectators will not only get to see Petty and his 1972 Dodge Charger in action, but will also see former Formula One driver Jochen Mass pilot a NASCAR Nextel Cup 2006 Dodge Charger up the hill at Goodwood.
"As Dodge expands internationally, showcasing the Charger at Goodwood Festival of Speed is a natural," said Mike Accavitti, Director – Motorsports and SRT Product Planning and Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Goodwood attracts some of the most significant racing cars in international motorsport, and Dodge is proud to take part with Richard Petty and his famous racing Charger – along with a Charger race car that is making history this season."
"To have Richard Petty at the Festival is a dream come true," said Lord March. "It's always a great honor when a legendary driver agrees to visit Goodwood, and I know his fans in the UK will give him a special welcome."
Among other NASCAR legends who have participated in the event are former driver and team owner Junior Johnson and crew chief and innovative car creator Smokey Yunick.
Petty will be making exhibition runs in the '72 Dodge Charger all three days during the Festival.
Dodge is the Chrysler Group's best-selling brand. With 1.4 million vehicles sold globally in 2005, Dodge is the No. 5 nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. Overall, Dodge has a 7 percent market share in the United States. In the minivan market, Dodge has a 19 percent market share; in the truck market, 16 percent; and 4 percent of the car market.
This year, Dodge Caliber paved the way for international expansion of the brand. Hot on the heels of Caliber are the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro, Caliber SRT4 and a D-segment vehicle.
For more information on the Goodwood Festival of Speed, visit www.goodwood.co.uk. For updates and media information on Petty's experience at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, visit www.DodgeMotorsportsMedia.com.