Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30 - This day in Petty history - part 3

1970 - Starting 7th on a spring Thursday night, Richard Petty wins his 105th race by leading about half of the Columbia 200 at the Columbia Speedway dirt track in South Carolina.

Rookie Larry Baumel (who?) won the pole. A few of the big dogs raced - including Petty, Bobby Allison, and Bobby Isaac, but the majority of the entrants were independent drivers intent on putting up a good fight.

A recap of the race is detailed in Perry Allen Wood's book Silent Speedways of the Carolinas. Wood references Ron Kaye in his narrative. Kaye was apparently an easier-to-pronounce alias for driver Ron Keselowski - uncle of contemporary Cup driver and now Twitter legend, Brad Keselowski:
At the start, [Johnny] Halford put his Dodge out front for a mile or so before Ron Kaye, as Keselowski billed himself, led for nine. Kaye tangled with Baumel and sailed into a ditch along the backstretch between the rail and a wooden plank fence, vanishing from view ... On lap 30, a bone-jarring crash occurred when [Roy] Tyner, Dick May and Ed Negre mixed it up at the head of the main straightaway. With the pretenders dropping like flies by halfway, Richard Petty took over and checked out. Allison had a Mario Rossi Dodge from Spartanburg in the runner-up spot a lap back with Isaac three back in third. Petty's victory was in a car he drove for owner Don Robertson. It was Robertson's first career win. ~ p. 73.
Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire

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