Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 1960 - Lee Petty is Wilkesboro Winner

1960 - Racing his #42 Petty Blue Plymouth, Lee Petty wins the disputed Gwyn Staley 160 at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina. Son Richard lost an engine and sunk from his fourth starting spot to 18th in the the finishing order.

In Greg Fielden's book Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Vol. 1, he writes:
Lee Petty spun Junior Johnson from the lead with 14 laps to go and won the 100-miler at the .625 mile paved oval. The 45 year-old Randleman, NC pilot faced his toughest challenge immediately after the finish of the 160 lapper when Johnson supporters pelted the three-time champion with rocks, bottles and items that fit all descriptions.

Most of the 9,200 spectators who attended the race in the Carolina mountains ... were incensed when Petty shoved leader Johnson into the guard rail in the closing stages. The winner grabbed the microphone and pleaded his case with the huge throng, only to be pelted again with miscellaneous debris amid a roar of jeers.

Rex White finished second and later remarked, "Something's got to be done. The Old Man (Lee Petty) is getting rougher and rougher. If this sort of thing keeps up, there is going to be a lot of equipment torn up and some drivers badly hurt."... The victory was Petty's 49th of his career, making him the Grand National all-time leader, passing the retired Herb Thomas. ~ p. 62
Hmm... late race spins of the leader? Discontent by the fans? Mea Culpas by the offending drivers? Where have I have heard that before? Oh yeah!

It's called That's Racin' folks!

Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive

1 comment:

  1. That Lee Petty fellow seems to have been a bit of an ass. Every time you report on one of his wins there's some sort of controversy surrounding it. Apparently, Rex White thought Petty was a jerk too.

    Good to see that his son was more reasonable. His grandson Kyle seems to be a rabble-rouser but his rants against NASCAR are true so I'll let him slide.