Fast Facts: Dale Inman

When someone speaks of Richard Petty’s successes in the Cup Series – 200 wins, seven championships and many other records – one also speaks of Dale Inman’s successes: together the driver and crew chief won 193 of Petty’s 200 races, as well as all seven Cup Series championships. In January 2012, Inman joins Petty, as well as Petty family patriarch Lee, as a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
  • Inman was born August 19th, 1936 in Level Cross, North Carolina. He is a first cousin to Petty brothers Richard and Maurice, and grew up playing with them and working on Lee Petty’s cars after school. When Richard first got behind the wheel of a stock car in the late 1950s, Maurice and Dale were his mechanics.
  • When Richard won his first race in 1960, Maurice was acting as his crew chief; as the team found greater success, Maurice became focused on Petty Enterprises’ engine program, ushering Inman into the crew chief’s position. The duo of Richard Petty and Dale Inman won 193 races before Inman left the team in 1981, when Inman was hired to crew chief for 1980 Cup Series champ Dale Earnhardt by team owner Rod Osterlund. That union, however, was short-lived: Osterlund sold the team in June and Earnhardt left in August.
  • Inman stayed with the new J.D. Stacy-owned team until he was hired by Billy Hagan in 1984 to be Terry Labonte’s crew chief. With Inman in charge, Labonte won his first Cup Series championship in 1984 – Inman’s eighth as a crew chief.
  • Inman “came home” to Petty Enterprises in 1986, taking over the business end of the team, and also helping out drivers Rick Wilson, John Andretti and the late Bobby Hamilton after Richard’s retirement in 1992. In 1998 Inman himself retired, and went on to help start up the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
  • In 2008, Inman helped unveil the first artifact that would be included in the NASCAR Hall of Fame: the Plymouth Belvedere that his cousin Richard drove to 27 victories in 1967.
Fast Facts: Dale Inman Fast Facts: Dale Inman Reviewed by Paula on Tuesday, January 03, 2012 Rating: 5

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