Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14 - This day in Petty history - part 2

1971 - After winning the pole, Richard Petty leads 181 of 250 laps and earns his 130th career victory by winning the Albany-Saratoga 250 at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY.

Malta is located about 30 miles north of Albany in upstate New York and about ... 43 miles ... from where the borders of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts meet. The track hosted two NASCAR Grand National races in 1970-71, and the King won them both.

Source: Johnny Williams at 3 Wide Message Vault
The race was originally scheduled for Tuesday, July 13th. Rain arrived, however, and qualifying and the race were pushed back to Wednesday.

Source: Troy NY's Times Record
July 14, 1971, was a red-letter day for a few drivers:
  • Independent, journeyman driver J.D. McDuffie finished 3rd - a career best. J.D. only had 12 top 5's in his 653 race career, and this finish was the best of them. Sadly, McDuffie was killed in an accident at Watkins Glen in 1991.
  • Independent driver Elmo Langley finished 5th. Though not a career best (Elmo had two wins), it was a nice finish for him. He finished in the top 5 only four more times - the last one coming in 1972. Elmo retired from driving in 1981. He later became a popular pace car driver for NASCAR before passing away from a heart attack at a NASCAR exhibition race in Japan in 1996.
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Wendell Scott finished 7th - the final top 10 of his career that ended in 1973.
  • Ron Keselowski finished 9th. In his brief NASCAR career of 68 starts from 1970 to 1974, Ron earned two top 5's and eleven top 10's. Ron is the uncle of current driver Brad Keselowski. Coincidentally, Ron drove car number 88 in this race - the same number Brad ran when driving for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.
Courtesy of Chris Hussey
Photo courtesy of Jerry Bushmire
TMC
Edited July 14, 2015

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