Richard Petty Reflects on Beginnings of Race Tire Tire Tech & Tire Tests

Richard Petty: The Evolution of Race Tire Tech & Tire Testing

As one of the most accomplished racecar drivers in history, Richard Petty has seen his fair share of tire blunders and wonders. A winner of a record 200 races, Petty has used the power of tire technology to win the Daytona 500 seven times and amass a winning record on 27 racess in one season in 1967. Aside from his wins, Petty has raced in over 1,000 races, and while he’s burned a lot of rubber, he also has the stories and some laughs to go along with it.

In this episode of our special Continental Tire Interview Series with Richard Petty, we dive into his time in racing and how tires played a role in his racing career. Petty talks about:

  • The importance of tires in racing;
  • The evolution of race tire technology and his reflections on its humble beginnings;
  • Stories from his time testing tires and what it looked like during the mid 60s.

This interview is part two of a four-part series with Richard Petty in which we discuss a variety of topics, including his racing career, time as a team owner, the evolution of tire and vehicle technology and his love of engines and performance vehicles.

To watch part 1 where Petty describes some mind-blowing builds he’s working on with Continental, click here.

You May Also Like

Recommending summer tires based on customer demand

Let’s talk about why clear communication with customers is key with this segment.


If you’re a shop looking to sell summer tires, it’s important to know that customers looking for these tires have very specific needs. Let’s talk about why, before recommending summer tires, you need to fully understand customer performance requirements.

Unlike all-season or all-terrain tires built for diverse driving conditions, UHP summer tires are designed with one priority: dry and wet traction for performance driving. Lateral and longitudinal grip in dry and wet conditions are also important, which is achieved through optimized contact patches, high silica tread compounds and circumferential grooves to channel water. Generally, UHP summer tire tread design features large blocks and fewer grooves for more road contact on dry surfaces. The grooves are designed to channel water away from the tire, reducing the risk of hydroplaning on wet roads.

How vehicle alignment affects ADAS features

It’s not just about keeping the vehicle traveling straight anymore – proper alignment is critical for ADAS features to function correctly.

How to know whether to resurface or replace brake rotors

The rise of front-wheel-drive vehicles in the mid-1970s led to the emergence of hubless or “hat” style rotors.

How to maximize your scan tools’ full potential

Get the most out of your tools so they aren’t just expensive code readers.

TR-Continental-scan tool
Properly diagnosing wheel speed sensors

Wheel speed sensors don’t just read wheel speed – they detect subtle movements to enable all sorts of convenience and safety features.


Other Posts

Continental celebrates U.S. tire manufacturing plant anniversaries

Continental is celebrating five years in Clinton, MS, 10 years in Sumter, SC and 50 years in Mount Vernon, IL plants.

AMN Drivetime with ContiTech Group’s Cal Ganda

As head of aftermarket distribution at ContiTech Industrial Solutions Americas, Ganda embodies servant leadership, prioritizing team success and customer-centricity.

AMN Drivetime Cal Ganda
Continental acquires mold specialist EMT for commercial and specialty tires

With the acquisition of EMT, Continental said it can independently produce tire molds for all applications if required.

Continental appoints new ‘head of region’ for the US, Canada

In this role, Rob Schroeder will oversee all of material handling, port, earthmoving and agriculture tire business in the United States and Canada.