Hardin Kyle Petty Has Seen Enough Of Daytona 2009: Daytona Beach

Hardin Kyle Petty has seen enough of Daytona

— Kyle Petty went home Saturday, and he won’t be watching the race today. Richard Petty will watch from the pit stalls, but he might as well be home. They’ll run the 51st Daytona 500 today with no Petty in the field, the first time that’s happened since the 1965 Plymouth boycott. It’s over. The long history of the Pettys and Daytona will end today with the King reduced to a cardboard cutout of himself and Kyle home in North Carolina seething. “It’s (ridiculous),” he snapped Saturday when asked what it would be like watching the sport go on without him and the family business he dedicated his entire life to. “That’s what it’s like. That’s just honesty.” Insulted by the way it ended and devastated by the insensitivity, Kyle made a couple of appearances at the track Saturday then put Daytona in his rear-view mirror. He’d come here to fulfill some promises to himself and others, publicize a charity golf tournament, compete in the 24-hour event. What he saw when he got here will stay with him a long time. In a final ignominy at the end of a long and devastating ordeal, he saw someone else in his car. Not just any car, but the No. 44 blue and white replica of the Dodge he drove here 30 years ago to win the ARCA event in his first race. And then he saw the car.
“I get mad all the time,” he said. “I was not mad about that at all. I was crushed. I was hurt. And I’m not going to get over it for a while.”

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