Skip to content

Richard Petty reflects on the impact of Andy Granatelli

Dec 30, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

1980 Daytona 500 Getty Images

Andy Granatelli, who passed away at 90 years old yesterday in a California hospital, will always be remembered in the open-wheel world for helping to revive the Novi engine in the early 1960s, rocking the Indianapolis 500 with his turbine-powered cars, and kissing Mario Andretti on the cheek after their famous Indy victory in 1969.

But in the NASCAR world, his biggest claim to fame will always be the $250,000 deal he struck as chairman of STP with seven-time Winston (now Sprint) Cup champion Richard Petty, which effectively transformed the sponsorship aspect of the sport.

From the beginning of the partnership in 1972 through the end of Petty’s driving career in 1992, STP was there to back NASCAR’s “King” on his car, which often sported both STP’s day-glo red and the famous shade of “Petty blue.”

The car became iconic to millions of race fans, and it is still one of the most important representations of NASCAR today; recently, the Smithsonian Magazine named a 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix version of Petty’s No. 43 as one of the “101 Objects That Made America.”

And even now, STP continues to back both Petty himself and the Richard Petty Motorsports team that currently races in the Sprint Cup Series – ensuring that a key part of Granatelli’s legacy endures.

“Andy was one of the best at public relations and marketing in all of motorsports,” Petty said Monday to NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello. “He was ahead of his time and set the standard for selling his products. We still enjoy our relationship with STP today and it was our meetings with Andy that started it all.

“He was really determined about how he wanted to market his product, and he never stopped wanting to get his way, but that’s what made him successful too.”

Latest Posts
  1. Alonso fastest in first practice for Singapore GP

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:33 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice Getty Images

    First blood goes to Ferrari in Singapore as Vettel and Vergne hit trouble.

  2. FIA backtracks on F1 radio limits; driver coaching still banned

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Austria Getty Images

    Teams put pressure on F1’s governing body to perform u-turn on the planned radio limits.

  3. WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the Singapore Grand Prix

    Sep 19, 2014, 5:45 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    FP1 offers the first chance for drivers to get to grips with the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the 2014 cars. Watch live on Live Extra from 6am ET.

  4. Ever wonder what Dale Jr., Danica, and others would look like as Boris Said?

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT

    (Image courtesy FoxSports.com's Shake and Bake) (Image courtesy FoxSports.com's Shake and Bake)

    While Boris Said was getting ready for this weekend’s IMSA Tudor Championship event at Circuit of the America’s in Austin, Texas, it’s noteworthy to mention that Thursday was his 52nd birthday.

  5. Michael Waltrip challenges Dale Jr. to go Dancing With The Stars

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    (Courtesy Dancing With The Stars) (Courtesy Dancing With The Stars)

    Michael Waltrip took a big step when he agreed to compete on Season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Now, Waltrip has gone and put his foot in his mouth by trying to kick Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the behind, so to speak.

  6. Phoenix track bringing in more muscle for Chase race: UFC legend Chuck Liddell

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Chuck Liddell (Photo courtesy UFC) Chuck Liddell (Photo courtesy UFC)

    Given how important – and potentially how wild – the ninth and next-to-last race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup will be, Phoenix International Raceway is calling in some extra muscle for drivers who may potentially get out of hand.

  7. Report: NASCAR’s top 9 richest teams worth a collective $1.25 billion

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Owning a NASCAR team is like being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, they both answer to “Big money, big money.”

  8. NASCAR America video: How New England is helping NASCAR grow

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    nhms logo 2014

    New Hampshire is one of four New England states to host a NASCAR event and is huge to the racing community in the area. Having four tracks that far North allowed the sport to grow from its southern roots.

  9. NASCAR America video: Roush Fenway Racing not competing up to team standards in Chase?

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    ((AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Jeff Siner) AP

    On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Parker Kligerman and Frank Stoddard are split when it comes to the Roush Fenway Racing team. Looking to the Chase, Frank predicts a top 10 finish for Greg Biffle or Carl Edwards, but Parker is less confident.

  10. NASCAR America video: What Chase driver outside the top 12 can still advance?

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Frank Stoddard and Parker Kligerman both agreed that Ryan Newman is the driver just below the cutoff line with the best chance of moving on in the Chase.

  11. Report: Why Mark Martin wasn’t able to serve as driving coach for Danica Patrick this season

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT

    (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images) Getty Images

    NASCAR legend Mark Martin was slated to be a driving coach for Danica Patrick in 2014. Now, in an interview with NASCAR Illustrated, we learn what happened.

  12. Flagman struck, killed by race truck at Florida short track

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT

    (Image courtesy Bronson Speedway) (Image courtesy Bronson Speedway)

    A flagman officiating a race at Bronson Speedway in Archer, Fla., was killed in a racing accident at the track this past Sunday.

  13. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR America at 5 pm ET — Harvick, Biffle, Edwards, New Hampshire racing history

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    140918-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Today’s NASCAR America includes two teams in different directions as we prepare for the second race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Things are looking up for Kevin Harvick’s team, while there’s concern that Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle may not get past the first round of eliminations.

  14. NASCAR legend Mark Martin to serve as grand marshal for unique St. Patrick’s Day parade

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

    (Photo: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Mark Martin has received numerous honors in his racing career, but this one could be one of the most unique that will ever be bestowed upon him. Martin will return to his native Arkansas next March to serve as grand marshal for the “2015 World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

  15. IndyCar: Brasilia, Brazil race confirmed for March 8, 2015

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Sao Paulo Indy 300 - Day 3 Getty Images

    IndyCar confirms return to Brazil as first 2015 international race.

  16. Jeff Gordon to set significant milestone Sunday at New Hampshire

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    jeff gordon 2014 atlanta1 Getty Images

    Jeff Gordon will set a significant milestone in this Sunday’s second race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  17. 8Star closing on Indy Lights confirmation with Sean Rayhall as one driver

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

    Photo: Getty Images Getty Images

    8Star Motorsports’ intentions of joining the Indy Lights grid for 2015 are close to becoming a reality.

  18. Ecclestone: Drivers wanted radio ban

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

    FIA could be forced to backtrack on plans for this weekend, though.

  19. F1’s Modern Wonder: Under the lights, Singapore shines brightly

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Previews Getty Images

    F1 is renowned for being exuberant and exotic. No event screams it more than the Singapore Grand Prix.

  20. Sochi Autodrom gears up for Russian GP in three weeks’ time (VIDEO)

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Sochi Olympics AP

    Everything is in place for the first Russian Grand Prix in 100 years to take place on October 12th.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Busch (1632)
  2. B. Keselowski (1519)
  3. K. Harvick (1427)
  4. D. Mayhew (1331)
  5. J. Gordon (1312)