Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5 - This day in Petty history

1967 - Richard Petty qualifies second, leads 150 - exactly half - of the laps, and wins the Fireball 300 at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in North Carolina by two laps over second place Darel Dieringer to earn his 50th career victory.

The race was named in memory of driver Fireball Roberts who died in 1964 from injuries and burns suffered in a horrific crash and fire in the 1964 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was held the week after the Daytona 500 - where open wheeler Mario Andretti surprised the stock car establishment with his win. When the glitz of Daytona ended and the normal seasonal grind at Asheville-Weaverville returned, Mario - and most of the other big name drivers - were absent.

Perhaps the teams couldn't be blamed for skipping the race. Andretti earned over $48,000 for his Daytona win. Petty earned $1,800 in winning at Asheville-Weaverville - roughly the same amount A.J. Foyt earned at Daytona ... for finishing 37th.

The winning trophy as seen by TMC at the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman, NC.

Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire

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