Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13, 1955 - Lee Petty Snags Jax

1955 - Starting second, Lee Petty leads 168 of 200 laps, and wins at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, FL in a #42 Petty Engineering Chrysler. Dick Rathman won the pole but flipped spots with Lee when the checkers fell and finished second.

Credit: Mike Schaub at
In his book, Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Vol. 1, Greg Fielden recapped the race as follows:
Lee Petty grabbed his second win in three starts by shoving his Chrysler across the finish line first to win the 100-miler at Speedway Park. Rathman, who had led on four occasions for 30 laps, appeared head for his first win of the season until he pitted for fuel while leading with ten laps to go. Petty hustled into the lead and led the rest of the way... Petty led four times for a total of 168 laps as the lead changed hands eight times among three drivers. Prevailing cold weather kept the crowd down to 3,000, but the sparse crowd was treated to a spine-tingling affair. Petty averaged of 69.031 MPH, a speed that was nearly six MPH faster than Rathman's pole winning effort. of 63.514 MPH. ~ p. 172

 Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any victory lane photos from the 1955 race. I also couldn't find any victory lane photos of the race winner of the 1963 race at Jacksonville - Wendell Scott. Buck Baker was flagged as the winner and got the trophy. After a scoring re-check, it was determined Scott won. But it was too late for a victory lane re-set as everyone had gone home. Most agree the mix-up was deliberate. Why? Simply because of the color of Wendell's skin.


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