Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 1956 - Lee Petty Whips Weaverville

July 1, 1956: Lee Petty nips Jim Paschal to win the 200-lap, 100-mile Grand National race on the half-mile, dirt Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Weaverville, NC.

Lee's victory was his first of the season. He won again two races later at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, SC. The season was dominated by NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker's 14 wins in Carl Kiekaefer's Chryslers. Lee managed to score only two trophies for the season and finished 4th in the year-end standings.

In Silent Speedways of the Carolinas, Perry Allen Wood writes:
The factory wars raged as 29 took the green on July 1, 1956, when Commandant Kiekhaefer entered four big white Mopars, three Chryslers and a Dodge. As incredibly successful as they were, none of them were factors. Fireball [Roberts] nailed the pole in a De Paolo Ford and a star-studded field chased him. He led over three-quarters of the race until a blowout ended his run. When the checkers fell, it was across the nose of another Mopar, that of Lee Petty, with the red and silver CU Later Alligator Mercury of Jim Paschal second [TMC: and a future Petty driver] ... A paltry $850 was Petty's take-home pay this scorching summer Sunday. ~ pp. 220-221
Lee flashes across the finish line with runner-up Paschal (75) close behind. A shirtless, teenaged Richard Petty waves to his dad as he takes the checkers.

Source: Spartanburg Herald-Journal via Google News Archive

TMC

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