Volunteer 500 at Bristol. Nashville was the next event, and Richard won by six laps over second-place finisher, Ned Jarrett.
|Source: The Tennessean - July 25, 1965|
|Credit: Henry Ford Museum Flickr gallery|
Once Chrysler chose to lift its boycott and allow its factory-supported race teams to return, Lee Petty intimated Richard might make his return in the July 4, 1965, Firecracker 400 at Daytona.
For whatever reason, Petty Enterprises didn't field a car for Richard at Daytona, and he made his return a couple of weeks later at Bristol. That doesn't mean, however, the Petty team wasn't involved at the beach. Red Vogt hired Nelson Stacy to run the race in a Petty Enterprises-prepared Plymouth, and Richard's brother - Maurice Petty - led Stacy's crew for the race.
The King made his GN return at Bristol on July 25, 1965 - but it wasn't a great return. Tiny Lund blew an engine, and G.C. Spencer and Junior Johnson got caught up in it. Petty slowed and was about to avoid it, but J.T. Putney plowed into the rear of Petty's car. The 43 continued for a few laps but then had to park it.
The Petty team thrashed on the car over the next week, banged out the damage, painted the repairs and hauled it six days later to Nashville - albeit without a driver's side 43.
|Photo courtesy of Russ Thompson|
|Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire|