Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6, 1955 - Lee Petty Savors Savannah

March 6, 1955: Driving a #42 Chrysler, Lee Petty wins a 200-lap, 100-mile race at Oglethorpe Speedway in Savannah, GA. The race is the second of only two Grand National races sanctioned at the speedway. (The other was a year earlier in 1954 and won by Al Keller.)

Oglethorpe continues to operate today though it is no longer sanctioned by NASCAR for its local events.

Greg Fielden recapped the race in his book, Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Vol. 1:
Lee Petty continued his hot pace by trouncing the field in the 100-mile Grand National race at Oglethorpe Speedway. Petty's Chrysler New Yorker wound up four full laps ahead of runner-up Don White... Dick Rathman, leader of the first 54 laps after winning his third pole of the young 1955 season, fell to third in the final order, six laps behind the fleet Petty... Petty's third win of the season moved him into a solid 234 point lead, but it was White who captured the hearts of the 3,750 spectators. The slightly built Keokuk, IA driver was forced to overcome a four lap pit stop midway in the race. After rejoining the fray, White was as quick or quicker than eventual winner Petty.

Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive

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