The Republican primary race is heating up nationwide, and every candidate is looking for big-name endorsements. However, NASCAR legend Richard Petty is against having his name and likeness used for the primary race and has come out to state he’s not supporting anyone. Let’s see what happened.

All Because of a Christian Castelli Video

Christian Castelli, one of the Republican primary candidates for North Carolina, released a video on his social media account that showed the NASCAR Hall of Famer endorsing him as representative for his district.

Source: Twitter/X

After this video came out, members of Petty’s family quickly stated that he wasn’t endorsing any of the candidates this time around, despite being heavily involved in Republican politics to this point.

Video Has Been Circulated Extensively

Throughout the 2024 election cycle, Castelli’s election marketing team has extensively shared and circulated a video that shows Petty saying that the candidate stood for North Carolina values and endorsing him as the representative he’d choose.

Source: Flickr/ATLAS Social Media

Yet this video was never made for the 2024 election cycle. According to Petty’s family, this video was recorded for the 2022 cycle, and using it for this cycle goes against the agreements for the recording. The original video was posted on Castelli’s YouTube channel in 2022, supporting the family’s claim.

Raising The Question

Who blew the whistle on Castelli reusing the old video for his campaign? Rep. Mark Walker (who has his own questionable campaign videos) spoke about Petty’s statement when he was being questioned.

Source: Flickr/Gareth Simpson

The Castelli campaign managers stated that Petty had endorsed their candidate twice in two separate election cycles. This was in response to investigations into the Petty family’s discomfort with the video being used this election cycle.

The Social Media Post Adds Fuel to the Fire

A social media post from Twitter/X went viral on February 24th, showing Petty endorsing Castelli as the Republican candidate for North Carolina. It caused such a stir in the family that they had to do something about it.

Source: Flickr/Nick Perla

Rebecca Petty Moffitt, the director of The Petty Family Foundation and daughter of Richard Petty, stated that he didn’t endorse anyone for this election cycle. Despite being a lifelong conservative, he didn’t want to put his support behind any of the current candidates.

Would Have Gotten Away With It

Castelli was nonchalant about the video and didn’t seem angry that he was basically putting words into the NASCAR Hall of Famer’s mouth. According to him, if people weren’t paying attention to the primaries, nothing would have come of it.

Source: Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik

The primaries in North Carolina are highly contentious since the Republican party is going through an ideological split. The party is divided based on who supports Donald Trump as their presidential hopeful and who doesn’t.

Throwing The Blame on his Opponent

When asked about the situation, Castelli was frustrated about the fallout. Yet, his responses pointed more towards his disappointment that he was caught using Petty’s likeness than any real issue with the video being used at all.

Source: Flickr/Corell

He stated that he didn’t want to be mischaracterized as someone who lies or presents endorsements he didn’t have (despite the video doing just that). Instead, he suggested it was something his competitor would have done.

Walker Has His Own Issues With Endorsements

While it might seem like a cheap shot, Castelli’s statements have a lot of weight. Walker has a track record for faking endorsements of people who never gave them or stating that certain people endorsed his campaign when they didn’t or had pulled their endorsements previously.

Source: Flickr/ Fernando Matias

Among the people who have shown up endorsing Walker’s campaign but didn’t include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Speaker Mike Johnson. Castelli may have done this once, but Walker seems to have made a habit of lying about his endorsements.

Walker’s Response Is Confident

Some people think that Walker might be the inciting party to cause this entire thing to blow up. Journalists asked him what he thought about the situation with Castelli and the Petty family, and he was eager to comment on the situation.

Source: Flickr/OZinOH

He stated that he enjoyed watching Petty in NASCAR races and was enthralled with the finish in the Atlanta race, which turned out to be a photo finish. He said he didn’t anticipate anything that close in the North Carolina primaries.

Going Out On a Limb

The primary numbers are more challenging to determine than national elections, but many think Walker is the front-runner for the state. Even so, he has a battle ahead of him, as Castelli also has a pretty large core of support in the state.

Source: Flickr/Kristofor and Rebekah

Some election observers wonder if Walker will have enough of the popular vote to avoid a run-off in the state. If he and Castelli have to go to a run-off, it could mean Walker may lose the seat and his place as a representative.

Is There Pressure from Walker On The Petty Camp?

Some commentators think that the Petty family rescinded The King’s endorsement because of pressure from Walker. There is a significant social media presence between Richard Petty and Walker, but is the candidate influential enough with him to make him withdraw his support?

Source: Flickr/Ted Van Pelt

Moffitt was quick to say that there was no pressure from the Walker camp to stop supporting Castelli. This caused an uproar from Castelli when he heard her response. In an outburst, he stated that the Pettys don’t know too much about politics, which underlines his frustration with the situation.

Not A Closed Race By Any Means

While it might seem like the race is between just these two candidates, that’s far from the truth. This district of North Carolina has six potential representatives, all vying for the position. One of the candidates is endorsed directly by former president Donald Trump.

Source: Flickr/Roger blake

As party members in North Carolina determine which candidate they want to support, it’s evident that the race here is still wide open. The endorsements they get may encourage supporters to vote one way or the other. That is, provided the endorsements are authentic and valid for this election cycle.