Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18, 1999 - Petty Enterprises' Final Victory

April 18, 1999: Starting deep in the field in 21st and leading only four laps - the final four - John Andretti wins the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Andretti spun early in the race and found himself a lap down. He hung around much of the rest of the day waiting for an opportunity to wrest his lap back. Crew chief Robbie Loomis made the call for a two-tire stop, and the call helped the 43 get back in the hunt. As the laps wound down, Andretti worked himself back towards the front and sat perched inside of the top 5. When the laps remaining dropped to single digits, he dug in and marched forward. His final pass was of Jeff Burton with four to go. Once on point, he drove away to take the checkers.

Though wins were hard to come by for Petty Enterprises in a post-King driving era, few could have guessed that Andretti's win would be the final one ever for the organization.
As referenced in the article, Petty Enterprises hit the weekend double at Martinsville. A day earlier, Jimmy Hensley won a day earlier in a #43 Petty Craftsman Truck Series Dodge. Hensley's win was the second of only two truck series wins by Petty Enterprises.

Source: Sports Illustrated
Source: Rome News-Tribune via Google News Archive

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