Richard Petty Driving Experience
Richard Petty Driving Experience
It began as the dream of one man; it was to become the fulfillment of a dream for thousands. After more than a decade of operation, Richard Petty Driving Experience has become the premiere motorsports entertainment company in the industry.
1987 - NASCAR Australian Champion Barry Graham started a company called NASTRAK in Melbourne, Australia to identify potential race car drivers and teach them the fundamentals of racing. The program was based on a "battle of the bands" type format, with up and coming drivers being graded on their ability to hit marks on the track while following an instructor. The top 25 drivers were invited to return in a qualifying shootout at the Thunderdome, the Australian worldclass superspeedway. The program was a remarkable success, and Graham knew he had come across something great.
1990 - Graham then decided to tap into the tremendous interest in stock car racing in the United States with his good friend, 7-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. Over the next few years the program was reshaped to reflect what customers really wanted; the experience of driving or riding in a stock car at some of the most famous racing facilities in the U.S.
1994 - The company completed its transformation and became Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE). With a handful of cars, a small shop and an office in Concord, North Carolina, RPDE opened its first permanent location at what was then the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
1995 - RPDE expanded and began offering its programs at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
1996 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway became the second permanent facility for RPDE and the first driving experience of its kind west of the Mississippi.
1997 - Richard Petty Driving Experience opened its third permanent location at Walt Disney World® Speedway in Orlando, Florida, the largest family tourism destination in the U.S. RPDE also brought its programs to Daytona International Speedway for the first time.
1998 - RPDE continued its expansion with trips to New Hampshire International Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time.
1999 - The overwhelming success of RPDE at this point led to the addition of Atlanta Motor Speedway as its fourth permanent location, and the addition of these new tracks on the schedule: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, The Milwaukee Mile, Gateway International Raceway, California Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
2000 - RPDE added more dates and speedways to the roster including Phoenix International Raceway, Nashville Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway.
2001 - The addition of tracks continues to grow with dates at Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway inserted into the calendar.
2002 - RPDE made its inaugural visit to the newly built Nashville Superspeedway.
2003 - A Commercial and Film Division begins at RPDE. Cars, drivers, pit equipment and a high-speed camera truck are part of the “One-Stop Shopping” available to the production industry. RPDE has managed and executed commercials for clients such as Visa, Tylenol, Duracell, General Motors, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, Federal Express and others.
2004 - Added a permanent location at Chicagoland Speedway.
2005 - With safety as our primary concern, RPDE implements the use of HANS device for both drivers and riders into the programs. RPDE now boasts over 100 racecars in the national fleet and makes its first stop at Watkins Glen. A new High Performance Karting program was also added.
2006 - RPDE debuts at the Martinsville Speedway and as the first event at the new Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA.
2007- RPDE rolls out national safe driving program which initially operates in 5 cities.
2008-Boston Ventures, teams with Richard Petty Driving Experience and Petty Enterprises to continue the growth of the most successful and recognized name in NASCAR racing history. Richard Petty Driving Experience looks forward to continuing its success as the premier motorsports entertainment experience in the industry.