Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17 - This day in Petty history

1971 - Richard wins his 137th career race in the Delaware 500 at Dover. Bobby Allison had the race wrapped-up, but he broke a wheel stud and needed an extended pit stop to repair it. A wheel stud cost him the victory. When is the last time anyone recalls that happening?

Richard had his own "oh crap!" moment with 25 laps to go. He spun by himself off the track - but he gathered it back up, never lost the lead, and went on to win the race. I'd love to see video of that incident. Dover is a 1-mile track, but it's tight along the bottom. I'm curious how the King managed to loop it without crashing the car.

Brian '200WINZ' Hauck remembers:
I remember getting up early race morning, and the weather was kind of crappy. My father was on the fence about going. It was hard at 16 years old to try to NOT throw a hissy fit, but the old man was swayed into making the drive. Bobby Allison owned the race, but Richard came on at the end for the win. I was impressed by the blinding STP red on Fred Lorenzen's #99 and how easy it was to spot anywhere on the track! Little did I know that day! After the race, they opened the cross-over gate, and I headed to victory lane just as the crew was pulling out the 43. I managed to grab the photo and then jumped pit wall to follow the car around to the garage area for a photo. I raced to the press box which was located at the top of the grandstands at the start/finish line. Just as I got there, Richard had made his way to the bottom of the steps, and I snapped his photo! Thank God my father understood what racing and Richard Petty meant to me! He patiently waited for me to run around taking pictures. Because of him, I have been able to document some of the best times of my life! My pop stayed true to racing to the very end - always talking about the last weekend's race. Once I became old enough to drive myself to the races, Pop stayed at home and watched them on TV. And because of my Dad, I was able to get to know the Petty family personally which has been a dream come true for me! I know in my heart he felt a deep satisfaction watching me watch races! Thanks Pop, I miss you dearly...R.I.P.
Program and photos courtesy of Brian Hauck

Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire


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