Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23, 1954 - Lee Petty Soaks up Sharon

May 23, 1954: Lee Petty wins a rain-shortened race at Sharon Speedway. The race on the half-mile dirt track was scheduled for 200 laps and 100 miles.

The race was the only NASCAR Grand National event ever sanctioned at the track. Sharon Speedway is located in Hartford, Ohio but was named for nearby Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Long-time unofficial NASCAR historian Greg Fielden wrote in his book Forty Years of Stock Car Racing:
Lee Petty took the lead in the 101st lap and was in front when rain terminated the 100-mile Gran National Race at Sharon Speedway after 160 of the scheduled 200 laps had been been completed... A crowd of 4,000 was in attendance despite the poor weather. Because of the frequent rain interruptions, no official average speed was recorded. ~ p. 146.
Credit: Mike Shaub at RacersReunion.com
I find it interesting and a bit humorous that Fielden's reason for the early end to the race didn't match the reason noted in the Associated Press wire report.

Source: Reading Eagle via Google News Archive
The track originally opened in the late 1920s. Though it hosted only one NASCAR GN race, the track still operates today as a 3/8-mile, dirt oval under the ownership of driver Dave Blaney and others. A full slate of modified, late model, sprints, and mini-stock races is slated for 2013. Follow 'em on Twitter at @sharonspdwy.




TMC

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