Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 16, 1958 - Lee Petty Wins Wilson

March 16, 1958 - Driving a number 42 Oldsmobile, Lee Petty wins a 200-lap, 100-mile race on the half-mile Wilson Speedway dirt track in Wilson NC.

In his book Silent Speedways of the Carolinas, Perry Allen Wood writes:
Sunday, March 16, 1958, dawned and the Grand Nationals went at it for the second time in 24 hours.  The day before, [Curtis] Turner won a 150-lapper at Fayetteville. This time Turner found himself on the outside of the front row next to [Marvin] Panch. Turner jumped out front for a lap before Pancho took over for the following 72. The Roanoke Rumrunner retook the point until lap 150 when a sickening snap signified his drive shaft was shot and his day was done. Lee Petty soft-pedaled his Olds to an easy four-lap win over Baker's Chevy. ... A slim crowd of only 2,300 saw the Petty romp. ~ p. 163 
Source: Spartanburg Herald-Journal via Google News Archive 
Lee's victory was a double win for Petty Engineering. On the same day, Billy Myers dominated a NASCAR convertible series race in North Wilkesboro driving a number 42 Petty Olds ragtop. Myers led 123 laps of the 160-lap race. Coincidentally, the remaining 37 laps were led by Gwyn Staley who was driving a Chevy convertible for Julian Petty, Lee's brother and Richard's uncle.

Photo courtesy of Billy's son, Randy Myers at
Source: Spartanburg Herald-Journal via Google News Archive

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