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Richard Petty exposes NASCAR's “grandfather clock” ineptitude despite being unaware of his Martinsville treasure

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In 1964, Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the NASCAR Cup Series, began the cool tradition of giving the race winner a grandfather clock. Fred Lorenzen won the very first one. Meanwhile, NASCAR icon Richard Petty leads the standings with 15 wins at Martinsville. He chatted about his “grandfather” watches, which weren't exactly the “grandfather” watches, and revealed where these legendary trophies ended up.

Richard Petty and Dale Inman tell us the story behind these iconic grandfather clock trophies

Richard Petty recently posted a video on Twitter of himself chilling with Dale Inman. They delved into the history of the famous Martinsville Watch Trophy, which has been an award since the 1960s. But there's more to this tradition than just the Cup Series, as it turns out that the winners of the lower series also get to take home a watch. Originally these watches were only reserved for Cup Series champions, but that has changed. Now winners from the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Truck Series, Late Models and Modifieds will each receive one point.

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The fact is that the early trophies were not as large as the ones we see today. Richard Petty called the original trophies “grandmother watches” because they were slightly smaller. This tidbit came out while Petty and Inman were answering fan questions. A fan asked: “They won at Martinsville 15 times, where are those grandfather clocks now?”

Petty hit back with, “You know, I think I got the first one. First, grandmother clocks were distributed. They weren't as big as today's. I think Dale grabbed the second one and my brother took home the third one. As for the rest, I’m not entirely sure where they all ended up.” Dale Inman chimed in and added: “We achieved victories in both races. I mean, Richard did it in 1969. In the end I got one of those victories and it was like a grandmother’s watch.” He also threw in, “I don’t know where the others went either.”

The track is definitely something special for Richard Petty. And Martinsville Speedway has found a special way to honor the Petty family's 75th year of racing.

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Martinsville Speedway unveiled a statue to mark “The King’s” big 75th racing anniversary

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Richard Petty, known as “The King,” ended a distinguished 35-year career in NASCAR in 1992 with 200 victories. He finished in the top five in almost half of his races and has seven championships to his name. This year we're celebrating 75 years of the Petty family's racing legacy, and Martinsville Speedway kicked things off with a bang, unveiling a statue right in front of the track. This isn't just any statue – it's shaped like Petty's famous cowboy hat and painted the same blue as his iconic No. 43 car.

The statue is also a mini-gallery of the Petty family's Martinsville memories through the years. Richard Petty holds the record for most Cup Series wins at Martinsville with 15 wins. Funnily enough, three of those wins came before the track began handing out the now-famous grandfather clock trophies, and the Petty crew half-jokes that the track still owes him those three. Kyle Petty joked that it might be best if they forgo the extra trophies at home.

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But Martinsville Speedway isn't done celebrating Petty's 75th racing anniversary – they have even more to offer when NASCAR returns in October.

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