Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15 - This day in Petty history - part 3

1971 - Richard Petty captures his 131st career NASCAR Grand National victory by winning the pole, leading all 230 laps, and winning the Islip 250.

According to Greg Fielden in his book, Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Volume 3:
An embarrassing scoring mistake shaved 20 laps off the scheduled Islip 250, but it didn't matter to Richard Petty. Petty led all the way and was in front when the checkered flag was mistakenly dropped at 230 laps... "Don't tell nobody about them 20 laps they forgot to run," cracked a weary Petty. "It seems like we ran 500 laps out there. This has to be the smallest track in the country. You relax one moment and you've run over three cars." ~ pp. 349-359
Veteran, independent driver, G.C. Spencer, had a good race and finished 5th for his final career Top 5. The Johnson City, TN driver once drove three races in 1967 in a second Petty Enterprises Plymouth, and he finished in the top 5 in two of those three starts. Spencer's legacy extended beyond his days as a driver and later an owner. In the early 1980s, he sold his team to Tim Morgan and Larry McClure. The two of them re-formed the team as Morgan McClure Motorsports and had a good streak of success in the 1990s with drivers including Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin and Bobby Hamilton.

In June 2010, I posted a blog entry about the short track near Long Island, NY. The track has a rich history - for Petty, Bobby Allison, demolition derbies, and Schaefer beer.

Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire

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