Tonight, in the Arlington, Crystal City, VA Morton's of Chicago, I sat within 5 feet of Richard Petty. And I didn not even know it!
When I arrived at the bar I ordered a Bud, noticed there was some guy, wearing cowboy boots, sitting at a table chatting. I thought "cool, someone wears cowboy boots besides me around here." Then they left for the dining room. The bartender then asked if I noticed Richard Petty!
Two weekends ago an uncle of mine, in Knoxville, mentioned that he looked at a Hemi (hemispherical heads) Charger several years ago. The lady wanted $10,500 and he offered $8,500. She politely declioned and said she had an offer for the asking price from Richard Petty. He thought that was nonsense and went on his way. Several days later, Richard Petty bought the car for real.
Several years ago I was in Nashville at a Shoney's having breakfast. Three tables away was Richard Petty. My waitress was waiting on him too. I asked her to get his autograph as there was a line of people at his table and she had to go there anyway. She did, I gave the autograph to a lady friend in Nashville. She later threw it away because she thought it was fake!
So, I was even closer this time without an autograph
Good thing I do not own that 1972 Charger yet, I might have chased him down in the dining room to autograph the glovebox!