Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2, 1958 - Lee Petty Challenges Curtis in Concord

March 2, 1958:  Lee Petty wins a 200-lap, 100-mile race at Concord Speedway in Concord, NC. Or did he?

In his book Full Throttle: The Life and Fast Times of NASCAR Legend Curtis Turner, Robert Edelstein writes:
... [Turner] starts 1958 driving mostly Grand National races for Holman-Moody. In the first six races he runs in the premier series, he wins twice but there are about twelve thousand fans in Concord, North Carolina who believe he's won three times. The hundred-mile race there in March ends in controversy as Turner takes the checkered flag only to lose four days later when a complaining Lee Petty claims he's won, and presents his wife Elizabeth's scorecards as evidence. After days of studying the cards, Petty is declared the victor, even though Turner had seemed to lead every lap. "That Mama Elizabeth," he says, "has the fastest pencil in NASCAR." ~ p. 114
Fans, Turner, and the press left the track believing Turner had indeed won the race. 

Source: Spartanburg Herald-Journal via Google News Archive
Four days later, however, NASCAR modified the finishing order of the race and declared Petty as the winner.

Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive

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