Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7 - Historical moments in NASCAR

Lots of folks celebrate with friends from south of the border on Cinco de Mayo. However, May 7th has it own special relevance for racing memories. I offer the following...

1966 - Richard Petty wins from the pole in the Tidewater 250 at Langley Speedway in Hampton VA. (I have no photos from Langley in my collection. I'd love to find some if someone cares to e-mail me JPGs or a link.)

1972 - Buddy Baker starts 5th and finishes 3rd in the Winston 500 at Talladega in a #11 STP Petty Dodge. Interestingly, Richard starts 3rd and finishes 5th.

The race was also the first career start for a driver from Owensboro, KY who had relocated to Franklin, TN. He had a stellar late model career at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway driving for owners such as P.B. Crowell Jr. and R.C. Alexander. He later went on to have a fair to middlin' Cup career. The ol' boy did purty good for himself. Darrell Waltrip.

Another great trivia moment about the race - country music singer and part-time Cup racer Marty Robbins was disqualified. He ran in the back all day. For the last 100 miles, he had his crew remove his carburetor restrictor plate. He said he wanted to see what it would be like to blow by everyone. He said he was grinning ear to ear and loving every moment of it. NASCAR, however, wasn't amused and DQ'd him.

1989 - Winston 500 - Talladega - The race was the first of three races for toomuchcountry's girlfriend and eventual wife. The day was memorable for her.
  • A drunk guy accidentally mooned her while trying to take off his sweats. Instead of just removing his sweats from his shorts underneath, he hooked his sweats, shorts, and underwear. Don't look Ethel! Too late.
  • A 2nd drunk guy behind her puked through the slats of the wooden bleacher while I was off visiting those wonderfully clean, well-maintained Dega facilities.
  • A 3rd drunk guy about crushed her. He tried to step down the bleacher planks vs. the aisle. He tripped, fell and used her back to catch himself. He pulled himself up, muttered a meek "sorry", and stumbled away.
After that adventurous day, a complete wash-out at Atlanta a couple of years later, and a 2nd race at ATL where she read a book the whole time, we mutually agreed I'd be the sole race fan of the family.

Update 5:00 PM:

Found a video of Marty talking about his fun. Story starts at 3:54 mark.


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