But he can appreciate the significance of that milestone victory. It was Petty’s first superspeedway win, the Woods’ fourth in the 600-miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the team’s 70th on a superspeedway. And it came on the same afternoon that Al Unser won his fourth Indianapolis 500.
Petty won the 600 in a Ford Thunderbird sponsored by Citgo and 7-Eleven, the car that will be represented in the team’s throwback scheme for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in September.
In the meantime, Blaney would like to earn a 600 trophy of his own on Sunday.
“That would be really special to be able to do that for the Wood Brothers,” he said in a media session on Thursday. “That would be really cool and then the 30th anniversary to when Kyle won it would be even more special.
“I think we have the team to do it, we just have to do our jobs and stay in it for all 600 miles and position ourselves at the end of this race to have a shot at it.”
Back in 1987, Petty, like Blaney today, was in his third season driving the iconic No. 21 Ford. He qualified seventh, as Blaney did on Thursday.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood remembered May 24, 1987, as one hot afternoon.
It also was a day of heavy attrition, one that left Petty and Rusty Wallace alone in the lead lap as the laps wound down.
While many top contenders had engine problems, the Woods’ powerplant, prepared by Tommy Turner, Leonard Wood and Len Wood, never missed a beat.
Turner, a veteran of the Holman-Moody shops, prepared the short block. The cylinder heads and the rest, plus the dynamometer testing, was done by the Woods at their shop in Stuart, Va.
“Kyle had run up front most of the day, but it looked like Rusty was going to win the race and we were going to run second,” Wood recalled. “Then Rusty had engine trouble, and we led the rest of the way from there.”
Petty wound up leading the race on three occasions for a total of 35 laps, including the final 17, to earn his second career victory and the Woods’ 94th overall.
Morgan Shepherd, who later drove for the Woods, finished second while Petty’s father Richard was fourth.
“Kyle and Len and I were the last ones to leave Victory Lane,” he said. “And we ate our victory dinner at a Golden Corral in Salisbury later that night.”
Eddie and Len Wood have often said that some of the most enjoyable years of their NASCAR careers were when Kyle Petty was their driver.
Petty indicated in a Twitter post on Friday, one that included a Victory Lane photo from Charlotte, that he felt the same way.
“Special years with @woodbrothers21. We’ve been family ever since,” he wrote.