LISLE, Ill., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty is no stranger to handing over keys. As the current co-owner of the famed No. 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford, Petty allows his driver Aric Almirola to take the keys of his race car each week. But today, with partner Eckrich, Petty gave away a different set of keys to an unsuspecting military family.
Petty gave United States Marine Corps veteran James Wallace and his family the keys to a mortgage free house located in Bolingbrook, Ill. The new home came as a complete surprise to the Wallace family of three who were just as shocked to see "The King" Richard Petty climb out of the No. 43 Eckrich race car to deliver the tremendous gift on behalf of Eckrich and Operation Homefront and their partner Wells Fargo.
And, Petty wasn't done giving gifts either. The racing legend invited the Wallace family to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway located in the city of Joliet, Ill. Petty gave them authentic Eckrich crew uniforms and race hats in a gift basket also filled with Eckrich products and asked the family to be honorary crew members of the No. 43 Eckrich Ford team."I think they were really surprised to see all of us in front of this house," said Petty. "But that was nothing compared to their shock when we handed over the keys and told them that this was their new home. I've been a part of giving away a lot of things in my lifetime, but I don't remember giving away a house. That's a pretty big deal for anyone.