Distinguished Neurosurgeon Receives Top Industry Award For Career Service NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2006) -- As a physician, North Carolina neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty ranks among the top of his field. He also ranks highly in the minds of many...
Distinguished Neurosurgeon Receives Top Industry Award For Career Service
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2006) -- As a physician, North Carolina neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty ranks among the top of his field.
He also ranks highly in the minds of many NASCAR drivers, officials and industry members -- both past and present -- whom he's cared for during his 46-year medical career.
For those contributions, and his enduring commitment to the sport, Dr. Petty is being honored during this week's 2006 Champions Week festivities in New York City. He'll receive the Bill France NASCAR Award of Excellence during Friday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel's historic Grand Ballroom.
The Bill France NASCAR Award of Excellence spotlights career or lifetime achievements, and Dr. Petty's longtime contributions have been crucial to the growth of NASCAR's safety program.
"Dr. Petty certainly knows our sport, but more importantly, he knows the competitors and people who make up our sport," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "Everyone in NASCAR appreciates Dr. Petty's commitment to our sport."
"He carries that same kind of passion for the sport and all of the drivers out there because he wants to see it safe," said four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. "He's a fan, so he uses his doctor skills and everything he knows and the knowledge he has because he wants to bring better care to the sport for all of the drivers."
Dr. Petty, 71, has treated innumerable NASCAR participants since 1968 -- the year he joined his Charlotte, N.C.-based practice. A Gastonia, N.C., native, he began his medical career in 1960 as an assistant neurological surgery resident at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. He ended his tenure there as a senior resident in 1967, and joined Charlotte Neurosurgery and Spine Center in Charlotte, N.C., in 1968.
As an at-track medical presence, Dr. Petty has treated many NASCAR greats, team members and employees. His home track is Lowe's Motor Speedway, where he's worked the infield care center since 1970, but he's equally renowned for his neurological skill and experience off-track, and at other NASCAR venues. Also, Dr. Petty has been a consultant for NASCAR's medical liaison program since 2002, and his reservoir of experience and familiarity provides valuable long-term data and continuity.
"Dr. Petty has brought a level of security to people," said NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Jeff Burton. "He is a face we all know. He has worked very hard to try and advance medical care around the race tracks and has been a resource for a lot of people -- not only the drivers, but NASCAR."
A University of North Carolina alumnus and 1960 graduate of the UNC Medical School, Dr. Petty served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force's medical corps from 1961-63. He and his wife, Audrey, have four children and 11 grandchildren. Son Scott is a radiologist in Franklin, N.C. Daughter Mary Key is a speech pathologist and daughters Kate Boyd and Laura Barrett are registered nurses.
Dr. Petty also serves as a team physician for the Carolina Panthers; he's done so since their inaugural 1995 season.