MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Thad Moffitt, the 16-year-old grandson of “The King” Richard Petty, won his first stock car championship Nov. 11 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway.
Moffitt finished fifth during the Southeast Limited Late Model Daytona 1 Challenger Series race to secure the season-long championship. It’s the first major championship for Moffitt who previously raced go-karts and quarter midgets.
In partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports, Empire Racing Group entered Moffitt in the SELLM Series this year. Moffitt’s first win came in August and led to a string of top-five finishes.
Moffitt won the championship in the famous family color, Petty Blue. Moffitt races the No. 46 to continue the Petty family tradition, started by his great grandfather Lee racing the No. 42. Moffitt is the oldest son of Brian and Rebecca Moffitt.
“I have to thank Empire Racing Group and everyone involved to make this happen,” said Moffitt. “ Growing up around racing, it really gets in your blood. It’s all I think about and all I want to do. It’s awesome to win a championship in my first year in a stock car. I just want to get better and better.
“It feels good to carry on the family tradition,” continued Moffitt. “You try not to think about it. I’m just proud to race the family color and put the ’46’ on the side of the car. I have plans to take the next step, but I’ll work with my family and with Empire Racing Group on what that may be.”
“Hey, he did pretty good for his first year,” said his grandfather, who won 200 NASCAR Cup Series races and seven championships. “He has a real passion for this, so who knows how far it can take him. He’s pretty determined.”
Richard Petty Motorsports and Empire Racing Group will announce Moffitt’s 2017 plans soon.