The kings grandson feeling no royal pressure

Thad Moffitt is just like your everyday 15-year-old kid from Trinity, North Carolina. He goes to school, he plays sports, and like many Tar Heel State teenagers, Moffitt is a race car driver. Like many race car drivers, Moffitt comes from a long line of racers. But Moffitt’s family isn’t a run-of-the-mill racing family. They’re the Petty’s.

“We call him Pee-paw Petty all the time,” Moffitt told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.

Pee-paw Petty has another moniker that anybody who calls themselves a race fan should know, “The King.”

Moffitt’s grandfather is Richard Petty. Lee Petty was his great-grandfather. The late Adam Petty was his cousin. Kyle Petty is his uncle. Two NASCAR Hall of Famers. Two NASCAR race winners. Now it’s Moffitt’s turn to make a name for himself.

The young driver’s racing career got started just five years ago when he was 10 years old. He ran quarter-midgets for a couple of month before taking a break for family reasons. When he came back to racing a year ago he hopped into go-karts on dirt. Now Moffitt is wheeling a Limited Late Model around pavement short tracks in the Carolinas.

“It’s really a big transition,” Moffitt said. “The go karts we raced were open-wheeled. So it’s really a big, big difference from a Stock Car to a little dirt go kart. It helps me with the feel. Limiteds race on old tires. We do the lottery tires and you never know how many laps your tires have on them. So it’s almost like racing on dirt at times. But from driving on dirt I know how to correct it when I do get loose.”

So far Moffitt’s foray into Limited Late Model’s has seen mixed results, but he has shown consistent improvement with each race. This past Friday night at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway was a perfect example of that as Moffitt qualified third and finished sixth in the Daytona1 Challenger 50 feature for the Southeast Limited Late Model Series.

“We went to Anderson Thursday and couldn’t get the car to turn at all,” he said. “Came back on Friday and we were fastest in practice and qualified third out of the eight cars that were there. We’ve had ups and downs already, but it’s been pretty good so far.”

Moffitt said that his family, and his Empire Racing Group team, have been nothing but patient with him as he tries to gain as much experience as possible every weekend.

“They have not ever put any pressure on me,” Moffitt said. “The only pressure that comes from anybody is what I put on myself, really. Even the guys here at Empire don’t put any pressure on me.”

Moffitt said the biggest challenge he’s encountered so far has been balancing schoolwork, school sports, and racing all at the same time. He explained that he and his family are thinking of pursuing alternative options, such as homeschooling.

“It’s been kind of tough lately,” he said. “We’ve been missing a couple days. We missed school on Thursday to go to Anderson. I think they’re trying to set up something where I can have some sort of home schooling like my cousin, Adam had when he was going up through the ranks. You still do school and you can play high school sports, but you can do online classes or have a home school teacher.”

But right now Moffitt remains enrolled as a student at Wheatmore High School in Trinity, North Carolina, where he plays middle linebacker on the school’s Junior Varsity football team.

However, with spring practices just over the horizon, Moffitt said he doesn’t know how much longer that can continue. Football may end up being sacrificed for racing, but Moffitt said he’ll be okay with that if it does happen.

“Spring practice starts in April, so that will be hard balancing racing and football, but I think we’ll be able to work out everything,” Moffitt said. “We’ll see. I might have to give up high school sports for racing, but I’m fine with that because there’s nothing I love more than racing.”

Dylan Martin to Pilot Empire Racing Group Entry in Nashville Speedway’s ARCA 200

Martin Secured Seventh-Place Finish in Late Model Debut for ERG at Caraway Speedway

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 04, 2016) – Empire Racing Group (ERG) is excited to announce short track racer Dylan Martin will pilot the team’s entry in the Nashville ARCA 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, April 9. Martin and ERG previously partnered together during the January ARCA tests at Daytona International Speedway and for Martin’s first Late Model race at Caraway Speedway in early March.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Nashville with Dylan,” said Mike “Grumpy” Cheek, team crew chief. “We had a great test there a couple of weeks ago. Dylan got right up to speed and has shown a lot of promise with our Late Model program. I think he’ll be a factor in this upcoming race and people will start to know his name.”

Martin, an 18-year-old driver from Lakeland, Fla., previously competed in Motocross, Quarter Midgets, Pro Trucks and Super Late Models. He made his first laps in an ARCA car during the series’ January test at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished eighth on the speed charts on the final day of testing. The upcoming race at the Fairgrounds Speedway will be his first start at the 0.596-mile track.

“The Daytona test will definitely be helpful in preparing for the Nashville race,” explained Martin. “The two tracks are different but it’s nice having that experience in the ARCA car. They are so different from anything I’ve driven before, so just having that track time is extremely valuable to me.”

“We had the opportunity to go up and test at Nashville a couple weeks prior to this race and it went really well,” he continued. “The track is a fast one and turns three and four are a little tricky with a big bump waiting for drivers at the end of four, so getting to experience that prior to race weekend has been great.”

Martin also made his Late Model debut with ERG recently, as he and the team competed in Caraway Speedway’s 150 Lap Season Opener on March 6. Martin and the team overcame multiple obstacles throughout the weekend, including an engine change on race day, limited practice time and Martin’s first experience with live pit stops. However, the team never gave up and earned a seventh place finish when all was said and done.

“The Caraway race was really good for us as a team,” said Martin. “We’ve only been together for a short amount of time and going through all those challenges really brought us together fast. It was a cool thing to see and be a part of.”

The Nashville ARCA 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway is set to to go green on Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m. CDT. To learn more about the group and keep up on all ERG news, visit  www.empireracinggroup.com.

 

Media Contact

Kayla Darrow

Zerolight Communications

(661) 373-2663

kayla@zerolightcomms.com

A Driver Development Group