Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17 - This day in Petty history

1968 - Richard Petty leads 362 laps and wins the Georgia 500 at Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, GA (near Macon) for his 92nd career win. Suffering from the flu, Petty wasn't sure he could race and had young driver Pete Hamilton standing by to drive the 43. But when it was show time, Petty put himself in the car, went the distance, and won the race. (Hamilton got his shot with Petty Enterprises a season later when he was hired as a 1970 teammate to Richard to drive the winged Plymouth Superbirds.)

Even though the race occurred in November 1968, it was scheduled by NASCAR as the first race of the 1969 season. Many remember the King raced Fords for the 1969 season. The announcement that Petty Enterprises would change to Fords, however, wasn't made until eight days after this race. So Petty's win at Middle Georgia was his only Plymouth win of the 1969 season and his last in one until March 1970. (He did race a Plymouth to win the pole and finish second at Birmingham Speedway in December 1968 before switching to Fords in January 1969.)

Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire


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