This year’s Canadian Motorsports Expo held at the International Centre this past weekend had race cars of every size, model and year. And drivers of every age and racing series.
But there was only one ‘King’.
Richard Petty, 76, the undisputed ‘King’ of stock car racing, headlined the Expo on Sunday with a Q&A and autograph session for Canadian race fans.
“Having Richard Petty come to the CME was very important and an extreme honour,” said show producer/owner David Weber. “It could very well be the last time he comes to Canada for an event like this.”
Petty is without question the greatest stock car driver in the history of the series – seven-time Daytona 500 winner, seven-time NASCAR Champion, 200 career wins – but he is arguably the most venerated, as well. Gracious and patient, Petty answered questions he has probably heard 1,000 times and listened intently to fans retelling their ‘Do you remember I met you in 1978?’ stories.
“(Petty) was an amazing guest and so generous with his time,” said Weber. “He definitely has a love and respect for his fans.”
Other big names from racing attending the weekend Expo were Canadian Alex Tagliani, 2009 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and NASCAR driver and Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman.
Young Canadian drivers were well-represented Sunday at the Inside Track Motorsport News Young Guns panel, as well.
Trevor Collver, below, an 18-year-old Lucas, Ontario, native, finished third in the Delaware Speedway truck series last year and moves to the Super Stock division this year where he will try to take the top rookie spot at the London-area track.
OSCAAR Hanover Holiday Modified series driver and last year’s Lucas Oil Canadian Vintage Modified champion Shane Stickel, below, is a 23-year-old native of Kitchener, Ontario.
Also on the panel were 2013 Lucas Oil TQ Can-Am Midgets champion Mack Deman, and Grisdale Late Model driver Dale Shaw among others.