Kasey Hess here at Marathon Coach,
and today we’re on the infield of Darlington here at NASCAR’s throwback weekend and
I’m joined by “The King” Richard Petty. Richard, thanks for sitting down with us today.
[Richard] Yeah, you’re talking “throwback” that’s me! [Kasey] So I wanted to sit down with Richard Petty.
He’s been a Marathon customer of ours for many years, but wanted to talk to you,
Richard, about the beginning of motorhomes in NASCAR. So you were sort of
there at the front line of when… [Richard] You know it’s been so dang long I don’t even
remember when we got the first one. I think it was probably the second or third one that
started doing it on a regular basis. And this was probably early 90s/late 80s, you know,
got word there’s many people the the race track and hard to get in and stuff and we said
“okay we’ll just take our home with us.” So you know we’d spend two or three days, a week –
in the bus. And probably more time here then I do at home when you really look at it.
[Kasey] Yeah I’ve talked to a lot of drivers and that’s what they explained: that 38 weekends a year,
they’re not home. So this is their “home on the road.”
[Richard] This …you got everything here, you know? I can go from here to California, and not take anything.
When I get here, I got everything I need, as far as eating, or clothes, or whatever
it is, again: it’s just taking your home with you. That’s what’s so nice. And then
when you go to the racetrack – and so many people, so much stuff going on –
you can sort of get away from everybody. So it works out really good.
[Kasey] You mentioned it’s been about 30 years since motorhomes popped up in NASCAR.
How have motorhomes changed, or how has it changed in 30 years?
[Richard] It got more expensive! No really, as people got them, then the next time they
get a bus and stuff they say “okay I want this improvement, I want that improvement.”
So they’ve been improved so much, you know, every year they get better – but over
a period of 10 to 15 years, they got to be more like yachts, you know what I mean?
They got everything you need, every piece or every whole
in the whole bus… there’s not a place here that’s wasted. And so it’s really
like a big deal, especially when you get your rollouts inside, then you know you
can almost have a party in here, right? [Kasey] Yeah, a lot of space, especially on like you said
these four slides. Real quick: so this is a custom-built Marathon.
Why did you choose the things you did? I love the paint job. It’s got the Petty blue on it…
[Richard] Well you know, I guess we went to wherever – Oregon, or wherever your company’s at –
my wife and myself went. This bus is like 10-11 years old. And I said “okay here’s the deal: you pick
out the inside, and I’ll pick out the outside.” And she went with me so much,
that she knew what she wanted, where she wanted it, the colors, the whole deal.
So you know we spent a couple of days up there picking out different things, doing the deal.
She got with the interior decorator. I was always there and didn’t say no:
“whatever you want we can get.” And then I worked with a painter
on the outside. I think we had probably had 10 or 15 different drawings, and they
were kind of eliminating things – put this there, and doing that, so this is what we wound up with.
It’s been great ever since. [Kasey] I must say a bus that’s ten
years old, has been on the NASCAR circuit for ten years, it still looks brand-new. It’s in great shape.
[Richard] Joy takes good care of it! We take care of the Prevost part
of the thing and the Marathon thing, then between y’all and him,
they take care of everything so it’s not been trouble-free, but it’s
almost like trouble-free, you know? You go back home, and you do things to the house,
a step or something don’t work, you don’t think anything about it.
I think you think more about it on the bus, just because it’s a traveling deal, right?
But I can’t believe they’ve lasted this long in this good of shape over the miles
and stuff that we put on going back and forth to California, you know, it could be 36, 38
weekends a year for 10 or 12 years, and we’re still here. Right now, I don’t see anything
we need to do, you know, we always put it down for the winter, right?
And regroup if there’s anything wrong. Right now as far as I know haven’t got any…
we’re not having to have any major deals, anyway. [Kasey] Awesome. Well, I appreciate you sitting
down with me here at throwback weekend, and thanks for being a great customer of ours. [Richard] Thank you guys!