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MSR Premium: Richard Petty Down Under

Submitted by on September 17, 2014

Richard PettyKNOWN simply as ‘The King’ in the United States, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been paired up with Australian driver Marcos Ambrose for the last few seasons in the Sprint Cup Series.

But that’s not his only connection to the land ‘Down Under’ as many people have forgotten the time he made a trip to Australia.

IMG_0001In these rare photos secured by Motorsport Retro, we see Petty and fellow NASCAR driver Bobby Hillin on their trip to Melbourne, Australia in 1987 to undertake a Goodyear tyre test at the then-still-under-build Calder Park Thunderdome oval.

IMG_0004The circuit would host the first NASCAR race outside North America (as recently featured here on Motorsport Retro Premium) the next year.IMG_0003Petty joined Thunderdome owner Bob Jane and a range of drivers at a press conference to meet the local media – as well as taking some time to meet a local kangaroo!IMG_0002Given Australia was something of a new-comer to the art of NASCAR racing, a range of cars were constructed at Calder under the direction of long-time race car preparer John Sheppard and ‘The King’ took some time to inspect the new machines.

Enjoy these rare publicity shots of one of the biggest names in world motorsport – the sunglasses and hat haven’t changed a bit!IMG_0005

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