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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Richard Petty and Jim "Chopper" Phillips on NASCAR
Retired NASCAR champion Richard Petty was in Dandridge earlier this week to recognize the employees of the Dandridge Food City store for raising $9,300 for Paralyzed Veterans of America. In recent years NASCAR has struggled with attendance. But he went on to point out that all professional sports are having issues with attendance. He said things were fine till 2008 when there3 was a setback in the economy. "It's picking up. There still are alot of people who keep up with racing. You look at the stands and half the seats are empty but there still are 60,000 people at the race," he said. Petty added that he expects lots of scheduling changes in 2020. On hand at the event was WNPC's Jim "Chopper" Phillips who reminisced with Petty. Phillips previously covered the pits during races for the Motor Racing Network and currently is a special events reporter for MRN. He remembered one very important interview he had to have with Petty just before his last race. He got the important interview, but there were technical problems with his recorder, and he didn't have the interview. So he went back for another chat, but the racer refused another interview, likening the situation to his engine blowing up during a race, "There is no second chance," he said. The reporter remembers Petty telling him "you're done" as he refused the interview. "You waited till I had walked to the end of the truck till you said come on back here I'll do it for you." Petty said he remembers having a good relationship with Phillips. "He went his way and we went our way, and we met in the middle for a while. Good things came out of our relationship that's for sure. "The thing I remember about Richard Petty is that he gave me good answers, honest answers, and no bull," Phillips said. "Some of them you didn't want to hear," responded the retired racer. "But if it was the truth you said it. If someone wrecked you, you said 'he wrecked me," remembered Phillips. "I didn't mind telling them about it that's for sure," Petty said.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

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