|Photo courtesy of Smyle Media|
David Pearson won two of his three Grand National titles driving for Holman & Moody. But the Darlington race was his final one with the team. He finished out the season making a handful of starts for Ray Nichels who sometimes fielded two cars - a Plymouth for Lorenzen and an experimental Pontiac for Pearson. Early in the 1972 season, Pearson signed on with the famed Wood Brothers where the pairing would have an incredible streak of poles and wins running a limited schedule through much of the 1970s.
The Woods car with Donnie Allison at the wheel dominated much of the race. He led 244 of the race's 293 laps. But with 10 laps to go, Allison blew an engine. He still managed a 4th place finish as he watched Baker drive on to the win and finish SEVEN laps ahead of second place finisher, Dick Brooks.
The Petty team certainly enjoyed the win as victories at Darlington were hard to come by for Petty Enterprises. Richard won only three races - one in 1966 and the sweep in 1967. Lee, Kyle, and all other Petty drivers failed to win at the track. So Baker's win was only the fourth and the final victory by Petty Enterprises at the venerable, old South Carolina track.
The pomp and circumstance and trappings of victory lane have certainly changed since the early 1970s.
|Credit: Mopar Dealer|
|Photo and article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire|