Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8 - This day in Petty history - part 3

1974 - Richard Petty milks a softening tire to win the Capital City 500 at Richmond from the pole position. Its his 163rd career win and the 12th win at Richmond.

Though the King won the race and had developed a close friendship with track promoter Paul Sawyer, he was vocally critical of the track conditions that fall day. As has been seen a couple of times in recent years at places such as Daytona and Martinsville, asphalt pieces began to come up in the corners. Petty's post-race remarks were reported by Southern Motorsports Journal:
When all those little pieces were kicked up, it was like trying to drive on marbles. And you had to dodge the holes. But the most trouble I had was trying to dodge that road sweeper out there. That guy made so many laps he would have finished high if he had a number on the side of his tractor.

Really the fans didn't get to see much racing. There were so many caution flags that about all the people saw were the cars going around and that road sweeper.

You can't blame the speedway, and using that sweeper really helped out because it did clear the track of the loose stuff.  But the drivers were just trying to survive out there instead of doing much racing. If I had been a fan, I'd have been disappointed. ~ Southern Motorsports Journal, September 13, 1974 
Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire

Edited June 22, 2014

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