Under the Dome

Governor, legislature honor Richard Petty

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty was honored in Raleigh on Tuesday, with joint resolutions in the General Assembly and a declaration of “Richard Petty Day” by Gov. Pat McCrory.

The King posed with school children in front of his old Plymouth, which he drove to victory in the 1966 Daytona 500. It was parked on a sidewalk near the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Petty on Tuesday met with McCrory and lawmakers, who recognized Petty for his racing achievements, including 200 victories, and for his charitable works with Victory Junction, a camp for children with special conditions.

Seeing Petty in the midst of the state government complex on Tuesday got Dome to thinking about the time Petty, a Republican, sought statewide elective office. Petty ran in 1996 for Secretary of State, losing to Democrat Elaine Marshall, who still holds the office.

Petty received 45 percent of the vote. On election night, he reportedly said, “If I had known I wasn’t going to win, I wouldn’t have run.”

On Tuesday, Dome asked Petty, 77, if he was thinking of running for office again.

He ignored the question a couple of times before allowing, “I’m just running.”