Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23 - This day in Petty history - part 1

1961 - Starting from the pole, Richard Petty leads 182 of 200 laps, and easily wins the Richmond 200 at what was then known as Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds - today the site of Richmond International Raceway.

The win was Petty's fourth career Grand National victory. Also, it was his first pole and win since he - and father Lee - sailed over the fence in their respective Daytona 500 qualifying races about 60 days earlier. Richard escaped his wreck without much harm. Lee's wreck, however, nearly killed him and could have ended Petty Engineering as a company. Richard and brother Maurice re-grouped after Lee's wreck, went to work immediately, and their efforts were rewarded with some good finishes - including the Richmond win.

Only 12 cars started the race - a record shared with six other races for the fewest entries in a Grand National / Cup race. Of the twelve who started, only six cars took the checkers.

Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire

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