Richard Petty failed to qualify Saturday for the Pontiac 400 at Richmond, Va., apparently ending his streak of consecutive starts in Winston Cup events at 513.
Petty, 51, a seven-time Winston Cup champion and winner of 200 races--both records--could go no faster than 116.535 m.p.h. He was not eligible for one of the two provisional spots in the 36-car field, and told his crew to pack up his car and their equipment and head for the team’s shop--indicating that he would not opt to buy a ride in a car that did qualify.
Petty’s streak dates to Nov. 7, 1971 at Macon, Ga., a race he did not run due to a dispute over purse money.
A NASCAR spokesman said Petty has until 1:05 p.m., EST, today--10 minutes before the scheduled start of the race--to decide whether to buy a ride.