Honoring ‘The King’: Richard Petty named Grand Marshal for next week’s Cup race at Martinsville

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It’s going to be a very busy weekend for Richard Petty next week at Martinsville Speedway.

First, his namesake company, Richard Petty Motorsports, is expected to make a major sponsorship announcement for the No. 9 car of Sam Hornish Jr. for the 2015 season.

Then, Petty will serve as Grand Marshal for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup race, where in a fitting honor for the man known as “The King,” he’ll parade around the track and then issue the command to drivers to start their engines.

It’s a fitting honor at a fitting venue for Petty: of his 200 career Cup wins, the King won 15 races at the half-mile bullring, tying his 15 wins at now-defunct North Wilkesboro for the most career wins at a NASCAR track.

Petty is a longtime endorser for Goody’s.

“Having Richard Petty serve as the Grand Marshal of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at a historic track like Martinsville is a testament to his legendary career in NASCAR and his long-time partnership with the Goody’s brand,” Joseph Juliano, Goody’s Brand Director, said in a media release.

“It is a true honor to be associated with the King of Speed, and we are extremely fortunate to have a living legend like Richard Petty on the Goody’s team,” Juliano added.

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NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.