Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23 - This day in Petty history - part 3

1972 - Starting third, Richard Petty wins the Gwyn Staley 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway to notch his 143rd career win.

Unlike many of Richard's victories where he ran off and hid from the rest of the field, he paced himself a bit more to get this win. Though he did lead 84 laps, most of the race was dominated by the two front row starting Bobbys: Bobby Isaac and Bobby Allison.

In his book Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: Volume 4, Greg Fielden writes:
Petty edged past Bobby Isaac with 25 laps to go and went on to beat runner-up Bobby Allison by 2 seconds. Petty said he was comfortable running most of the race behind the foot-stomping Allison-Isaac duel. "That was a real wing-doolie of a battle." declared Petty afterwards. "Those cats were really racing - for all 400 laps. I had a ring-side seat for about 200 of 'em. I wanted to stay behind them because I figured they were likely to crash. On the last pit stop, we put on gumballs (soft-compound tires) and that probably made the difference.


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