Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20 - This day in Petty history - part 2

1984 - Starting 5th, Richard Petty wins his 199th career NASCAR Winston Cup race in the Budweiser 500 at Dover.

Source: Motor Racing Programme Covers
Through the mid 90s, Dover's races were 500 miles vs. the 400 miles the teams race today. Those extra 100 laps really tested the durability of both car and driver. Richard's son, Kyle, won his eighth and final career Cup race in a 500-miler at Dover in 1995. He was completely exhausted and had to be given oxygen before getting his trophy and giving his interviews.

The 1984 win left Petty one shy of the milestone 200-victory mark. However, the victory was his first one with Curb Motorsports. With the financial challenges of Petty Enterprises fielding a second team for Kyle Petty in the early 1980s and an embarrassing penalty at Charlotte in 1983, the King made the tough choice to drive for another team. After considering offers from Rahmoc, Harry Ranier, and even newcomer Rick Hendrick, Richard settled on Mike Curb's race team - a start-up. Using equipment brought over from Petty Enterprises and engines purchased from DiGard, Richard continued racing his famed 43 / STP Pontiacs. Despite a lot of pre-season promise, the team had a tough time finding success - until Dover.

National Speed Sport News cover courtesy of Russ Thompson
Fellow long-time Petty fan (and Schaefer Ring of Honor) member, Brian '200WINZ' Hauck, was fortunate enough to be at Dover the day of Petty's win - much like he'd done since the track opened in 1969.

Some time later, he was able to visit Curb Motorsports' shops and get a photo of the banners for the last of Richard's 200 career wins.

Photo courtesy of Ray Lamm
If you are like me and were not able to be at the race - or even watch it on TV back then - you're in luck. The race can be watched in this 7-part series available on YouTube. Note the youthful Mike Joy as the lead on the broadcast. Joy is now the anchor for FOX Sports' NASCAR coverage. With Joy is Phil Parsons. After a journeyman-type career in Cup and Busch/Nationwide, Phil is now in the broadcast booth for Speed Channel's coverage of the Camping World Truck Series.

Links to YouTube segments:

1984 Budweiser 500 - part 1
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 2
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 3
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 4
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 5
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 6
1984 Budweiser 500 - part 7

GNS cover courtesy of Jerry Bushmire


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