Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29, 1960 - Lee Petty Hauls in Hillsboro

May 29, 1960: Starting second alongside son Richard, Lee Petty leads all 110 laps and wins at the .9 mile dirt surface Orange Speedway in Hillsboro, NC.

Richard Petty won his first of 127 career poles for this race, but he finished sixth and three laps down to the winner.

Perry Allen Wood humorously recalls this apparently boring race in his book, Silent Speedways of the Carolinas.
Memorial Day weekend, May 29, 1960, and 23 lined up the day after [Ned] Jarrett and [Jimmy] Massey teamed to win at Spartanburg. Boring would be a kind way to describe this as Lee Petty took the pole (TMC: Actually, it was Richard), then led all 110 laps for his 51st win. He had started with son Richard flanking him on the front row for the first time, but youth faded fast. It took less than 73 minutes for Papa Lee to cop the $900 in his Petty blue 42. Second was "Gentleman Ned" Jarrett, third Jack "The Red Fox" Smith, fourth Tommy Irwin, fifth "The Old Pro" Buck Baker, sixth Richard "Squirrel" Petty, seventh [Emanuel] "The Golden Greek" Zervakis, eighth Joe Eubanks, ninth Junior "The Ronda Roadrunner" Johnson, and tenth was Gerald Duke... This sleeper should have been the "Nickname 99". The only caution was for [Curtis] Turner's flight off the turn into the shrubs, but short of the drink. ~ p.111
Source: Newport News Daily Press
The Hillsboro race was hastily scheduled in mid-May 1960. The inaugural World 600 at the newly constructed Charlotte Motor Speedway was originally scheduled for May 29th.

Because of construction delays and track preparedness resulting from money woes between owners/promoters Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith, the duo and NASCAR announced on May 18th that the 600 would be postponed until June 19th. With the date vacated, the Grand National teams raced at Hillsboro instead.

Edited May 29, 2014

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