Richard Petty Talks...

Daytona International Speedway July 3, 1999 RICHARD PETTY, owner (No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix): "Last Wednesday we were at home and getting ready to eat supper and I passed out. I hit the floor and blackened my eye. They took me to the ...

Daytona International Speedway July 3, 1999

RICHARD PETTY, owner (No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix): "Last Wednesday we were at home and getting ready to eat supper and I passed out. I hit the floor and blackened my eye. They took me to the doctor. Chris Gardner, a boy that works for us, happened to be at the house. He called 911 and they came and got me and took me to the hospital. They messed around with me for about a half hour and found out I was bleeding inside. When they did, they decided it was ulcers. They started pumping IVs in me and then they put three pints of blood in me. They went through my throat and there were two little ulcers and they fused those together. They fed me three pints of blood and gave me a bunch of IVs and turned me loose Sunday night. Once they stopped up the holes and put the blood back in me, I was dehydrated. It took them a couple of days to put enough IVs in me to get me going again. Everything is back to normal. I was running a little low on STP there, they filled me up and I was ready to go. I just stayed at home this week because I figured I'd been dehydrated and all this hot air down here wouldn't be too good on my health anyway, so we just came down this morning with the crew. "They put me in (ICU). They put me in there Wednesday night and Thursday morning they were coming through there getting autographs. I was OK by then. They fed me to IVs at a time just trying to get me going. "From what I could pick up, they just want me to watch what I eat for a couple of weeks. They gave me a couple of pills. I've lost half my stomach and my stomach still gets all that acid, so this sounds like a dad-gum doctors office here. Anyhow, they gave me a couple of pills to take for a long, long time just to probably cut down on acids. Other than that, I can eat anything that doesn't bother my stomach. "I probably walked more miles than they drove (last Sunday at Sears Point). That was a heck of a good road course. Most of the time road courses aren't too exciting. The big deal I had there was keeping Linda calmed down. I was OK, but she was the one that kept going from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed and jumping and hollering. The race was finally over and I felt real good about it. I talked to the boys Monday and we had a pretty good weekend. Even though I didn't get it started off good they finished it up good. "We're going over to (England) next week. We're going to take three of my oldest grand daughters. We're going to London for two or three days and then going to Paris for two or three days. Linda has been before, three or four times. I've never been. I've been to London one time. The girls were big on this Princess Diane deal or whatever. They talked their grandma into taking them. I got volunteered to go along.

"I stayed home (for his birthday). It was great. Most of the time on July 4th we pack up everybody and bring them down here, all the kids and that stuff. It's kind of confusing. You've got 10 grandkids and all that stuff. We were able to do a home alone deal, me and Linda. We sent everybody else off. It was a good vacation. It worked out good and was a good deal. We might do that some more. "It wasn't anybody's decision but the doctors (whether he come to Daytona or not). They said it would be OK. I wanted to come. Linda wanted to come, but she is concerned about my health. She had some heart trouble here a year or two ago and I was concerned about her health and now she's concerned about my health. It was strictly a health concern and the doctors said go down there and make sure you don't get dehydrated and you've got your water with you everywhere you go and everything will be OK. "We were talking about that the other day, when was the last time I was at home on my birthday and '65 is what we came up with because Chrysler had that big boycott deal. That was the only race I've missed down here. We came for February, we just didn't come back in July. As far as I know, it must have been 50 years since I've been home for my birthday. "I lost about 10 or 12 pounds just because I got dehydrated. It will take a week or two to get it all back. When you get dehydrated like that there's nothing in you so then you lost the blood on top of that, so there's nothing there. "I've had ulcers since '78 and that doesn't slow the racing part of it down. I don't think this will slow my moving around a lot either."

-Pontiac Racing -

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty