Work in Sports
Adam's warm presence will be missed
Posted: Saturday May 13, 2000 02:02 PM
By Ryan Smithson, CNNSI.com
It was a big deal for the local racing fans and media to have a Petty run there.
Earlier this year, when he came to Daytona to race in his second Busch Series race at that track, I had a chance to meet Adam Petty. Adam was the spitting image of his grandfather. I have a book on my coffee table with a lot of old photographs of Richard Petty -- and Adam looked just like his grandfather did when he was in his late teens.
Even at 19, Adam was already well known for his gentlemanly ways. Apparently his father, Kyle, taught him at an early age how a professional driver should act both on and off the track.
When I spoke to him for a 10 Questions feature for CNNSI.com, he was smiling and joking, clearly enjoying himself before a practice run.
You could tell Adam's life was devoted to racing. One example of that was that he hung out with his crew even when a lot of the drivers had already left the garage area.
Adam was part of a group of Busch Series drivers who were expected to provide the cornerstone of Winston Cup racing for the next few decades. Young drivers, including Casey Atwood, Hank Parker Jr. and Kevin Grubb, are NASCAR's future. To see one of them pass deprives racing fans of the chance to watch one of the key members of that generation develop.Ryan Smithson is CNNSI.com's motor sports producer.