The Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway was the culmination of all of the eras of NASCAR. Drivers from bygone days gathered at the historic venue for not only Throwback Weekend but also to honor NASCAR's 75 greatest drivers.
It has been a huge season for the sport and the celebration of its 75-year history. A number of legends partook in the festivities, as Kyle and Richard Petty sat in the Fox NASCAR broadcast booth for the opening stage of the race, while Carl Edwards and Bill Elliott also joined.
NASCAR nostalgia was in the air at Darlington, and it was clear that Kyle Petty felt that when he gave a brief recap of the festivities to NBC Sports' Nate Ryan, during which Petty revealed what he believes to be NASCAR's "golden era."
"For me, the golden era of the sport was the '60s and into the '70s," Petty said. "When you're growing up — and I think a lot of sports fans are that way — when you become a Yankees fan, if you're a Yankees fan when you're eight, that golden era for you is when you're a kid when you're playing Little League Baseball. That's your golden era, and you judge everything against that. So I judge everything against, you know, my dad and Pearson and Cale and Bobby and all those guys."
"So to see Bobby and Donnie [Allison], Hershel [McGriff] was there, as you said, Dave Marcis was there. There were so many guys walking around. And you looked around and thought, 'Man, this is the garage area of my youth, and these are the guys I spent my summers with, these are the guys I spent weekends with.'"
Petty also brought up how cool it was to see those older legends mixed in with more modern-era icons of the sports, such as Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace.
"And then, you see Jeff and Rusty and guys like that. Guys you raced against. And then, Joey Logano, you put him in, and guys like that," Petty said. "It's fascinating to look at that cross section of guys. For me, that's the kind of stuff I love, because I'd like to get all 75 of them in a room and start asking them questions, because there is a common thread in every one of them, and it's that desire to win, that drive to be the best."
Can you imagine a panel of all 75 NASCAR greats talking shop about some of their best moments on the track? We'd pay good money to see that!
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