That Moffitt is continuing the Petty family legacy of winning races in Late Model competition.
Moffit, 15, is the son of Brian Moffitt and Rebecca Petty Moffit and the grandson of NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Moffit has made the move to Late Models, racing for Empire Racing and the Richard Petty Motorsports Development Team – a team he plans to continue racing with as he sets his sights on ARCA and NASCAR competition in the years ahead.
“It’s cool being from the Petty family,” Moffitt told Short Track Scene. “I mean, Grandpa is about the same as any other grandpa. He tells us all his little stories and we sat on his lap and eat ice cream with him and go on family vacations with him. He’s just like another grandpa to us.”
The difference between Moffit’s grandfather and any other grandfather is 200 NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) victories, seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships and seven Daytona 500 wins. Richard Petty is the most iconic name in stock car racing.
Petty, however, wants Moffitt to make his own name and thrive on his own. Although, he does give Moffitt advice from time to time.
“One thing he did tell me was I needed to hold the steering wheel different from the way I was holding it. That’s about the only thing he’s ever told me. He just wants me to learn it on my own. He’ll help me and give me some pointers but that’s about it.”
Moffitt picked up his first Late Model win on Saturday, August 13th in the Southeast Limited Late Model Series’ Challenger division, a 50 lap preliminary race in the series generally designated for rookies and racers with lesser experience.
“Going into the race, I felt like we had a chance to win,” Moffitt said of his victory at Anderson. “My first time at Anderson Motor Speedway, it was my second career race in a stock car and we got a top-five finish. That was also Empire Racing Group’s first race at the track. I’ve gotten better since then, so I knew we had a chance to get the win last weekend and we did.”
While Moffitt has already been victorious in his young Late Model career, he does not want to rush his way up through the ranks too quickly.
“I don’t want to rush myself into anything and not live up to the Petty reputation and fill the shoes being that I’m only 15 years old right now,” Moffitt explained. “Youngest Petty in a stock car. Adam [Petty] raced Legends but he didn’t get in a Late Model until a little while and moved up pretty quickly as he progressed. I’d like to progress the same rate Adam progressed.”
This season, Moffitt has raced in the Southeast Limited Late Model Series and has also made starts at Franklin County Speedway (Virginia) and will continue to branch out and run at various different venues. Moffitt hopes to make the field later this year for Late Model Stock Car racing’s biggest event, the Valley Star Credit Union which will be held at Martinsville Speedway (Virginia) on October 16th.
“We’re going to try to get down to Martinsville,” Moffitt remarked. “We are also going to race Southern National and maybe Motor Mile too.”
Despite being part of the Petty lineage, Moffitt does not feel some burden of mind blowing expectations, although he would love to fill the shoes of his grandfather.
“I for sure want to fill the shoes but I don’t feel any pressure from anyone in my family or my crew guys or anything like that.”
Moffitt races in a Petty blue car, but not in car number 43. Instead, he drives car number 46 – another way he is continuing the tradition.
“Great Grandpa [Lee Petty] was the 42,” Moffitt commented. “Richard Petty was the 43 which is my grandpa. Kyle [Petty]was the 44 and he’s my uncle. Adam, my cousin, ran the 45. So, I’m running the 46 to carry on the tradition.”
With one win to his credit, Moffitt now has his sights set on winning more races and progressively moving up.
“I should be with Empire for the next three years. We tested an ARCA car. I think I’m going to do some Late Models still but some ARCA races next year and hopefully progress into the Truck Series in a year or two.”
This weekend, Moffitt will look to pick up another victory when he heads to Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina.