After getting help from his sons (Richard, 11, and Maurice, 10), Petty had his Buick Roadmaster ready to start NASCAR's first season, in Charlotte in 1949. He finished 17th, but Petty Enterprises was on its way. Four months later Lee took a checkered flag, the first of 268 wins for an organization that would become one of the sport's most successful. He suffered a terrible crash in qualifying at Daytona in '61. "It was a left turn, and we went straight," he later recalled of the wreck that left him with a punctured lung and broken collarbone among other injuries. Over his career, he helped develop roll bars and window netting, important safety measures in place today.