Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7 - This day in Petty history

1970 - Richard Petty qualifies second, leads 136 of 250 laps, and wins the Albany-Saratoga 250 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY for his 108th career NASCAR Grand National victory.

The race was the first of only two NASCAR Grand National races held at the .362-mile paved track (the other was one year later in '71). The King won them both. 

Bobby Isaac - who would go on to win the 1970 Grand National title - won the pole for the tour's first stop of its three-race Northern Tour. (The other two were at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut and the Schaefer 300 at Trenton Speedway in New Jersey.) Petty timed second and started on the front row with Issac. Bobby Allison, Dave Marcis and James Hylton rounded out the top 5 starters.

Isaac made the most of his top qualifying spot in the early stages of the race. He led the first 47 laps in what was shaping up to be a good night for his #71 team. For some reason, however, his car lost its edge. He continued to race, but he lost many laps to the leaders and ended up with a 17th place finish.

With Isaac's troubles, the blue 43 took over the top spot and led the next 131 laps. The Dale Inman-led team timed their pit strategy perfectly. Petty gave up a comfortable two-lap lead on the 178th lap to make a stop for fuel. Bobby Allison was able to make up the two-lap deficit and take the lead during Petty's stop.

Allison's team made an earlier pit stop and believed he was good to go the rest of the way. Instead, Allison's Coca-Cola Dodge ran dry with four laps to go and a half-lap lead on the King. Bobby ducked onto pit road, and his rival re-took the point and led the remaining laps for the win.

Source: Schenectady Gazette via Google News Archive
Edited July 7, 2014

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