Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12 - This day in Petty history

First things first: a Happy Birthday shout-out to my wife, notenoughcountry, who has zero interest in anything having to do with racing. But she married me anyway.

1971 - Richard Petty wins the Texas 500 at Texas World Speedway near College Station, TX to notch his 21st win of the season and 140th career victory. As the 1971 season concludes, the King also wins his third NASCAR Grand National championship title - tying him with Lee Petty and David Pearson. Teammate Buddy Baker finishes second in a white, #11 Petty Enterprises Dodge.

The race was originally scheduled for December 5; however, it was delayed one week because of a rain-out.

The inaugural Texas 500 was run in 1969. The event was not run in 1970, but NASCAR scheduled it again in 1971. I find it interesting and a bit amusing the track promoters chose to label the second event at the track as the 'First Annual'.

Source: Motor Racing Programme Covers
The race also featured an STP Pontiac - 11 years before Richard and Kyle Petty started driving STP Pontiacs. This one was driven by David Pearson and owned by Ray Nichels.

Below is a photo of the starting line-up with former Petty Enterprises driver Pete Hamilton on the pole and 1973 Winston Cup champion Benny Parsons on the outside of the front row. Petty cars occupy the second row with Richard on the inside and Buddy Baker starting fourth.

The following picture and article are included courtesy of Jerry Bushmire.


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