Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14 - This day in Petty history

1963 - Richard Petty wins his 17th career race. He starts second, leads 325 of 400 laps, and wins the South Boston 400 on Easter Sunday at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.

Future and fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame member Ned Jarrett won the pole and led the first 75 laps.

Then during a pit stop, the 43 exited ahead of Jarrett and never looked back.

Petty's teammate, Jim Paschal, finished second - two laps down to Richard - driving a #41 Petty Plymouth. Jarrett finished 3rd. Eventual 1963 season champion Joe Weatherly bummed a ride for the race and finished dead last in the 16-car field. The name of his car owner for the race - Worth McMillion - sounded like it was straight out of the movie Stroker Ace.

Petty takes the checkers...

Source; Halifax Gazette
Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire
Edited 2012-04-14: After carefully reading the above article, reader Dave Fulton noted its final sentence. Junior Johnson had to skip the South Boston race because he was in California being fitted for a car he planned to race in the 1963 Indianapolis 500. As it turns out, Johnson did not qualify for the event at the Brickyard. Fulton also shared a link to the following video about a restoration of the car Johnson drove in his attempts to qualify for Indy.

Edited April 5, 2015

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