Source: Motor Racing Programme Covers
Paschal's victory was the first by a Petty Engineering / Enterprises driver NOT named Petty. He'd go on to win eight more times and notch an additional 24 top five finishes in 65 starts for Petty Enterprises. With Lee's career coming to an end with his vicious wreck at Daytona in February 1961, Paschal was a great hire for the company to keep the wins, finishes, and money flowing until Richard truly established himself as a winning driver.
Greg Fielden notes in Forty Years of Stock Car Racing - Vol. 2:
Junior Johnson slugged his way to the front and led on two occasions for a total of 166 laps. However, his Pontiac popped a tire and he crammed head first into the retaining wall on lap 283, putting him out of the action.Driving a third Petty Plymouth, Bunkie Blackburn tangled with other cars and backed his car into the guardrail near pit road. After getting an assist from the wrecker, the Petty crew repaired the car. Blackburn returned to the race and still eked out a top 10 finish, nine laps down to the winner.
Petty and Lorenzen fought for the lead after Johnson's departure and trackside witnesses said Lorenzen leaved heavily on Petty' s rear bumper. On lap 321, the Elmhust, IL Ford driver eased into the side of the Petty Plymouth and cut the left rear tire. The rub down sent Richard to the pits and he was unable to make a run for the lead for the remainder of the race.
Lorenzen led for a 91 lap stretch, but Paschal ran him down in the final 100 laps. After an exchange of pit stops, Lorenzen held a three second advantage which Paschal erased in a matter of eight laps. On lap 475, Paschal whipped his car in a four wheel drift coming off the fourth turn and spurted ahead of Lorenzen for the final pass of the race.
Joe Weatherly's sixth place finish left him 1,786 points ahead of Petty in the point standings. Little Joe almost did not start the race. Qualifying 13th, he refused to line his Pontiac up on the starting grid because of an ingrained superstition about the number 13. The promoter graciously allowed him to use the starting position designated as "12a" instead of 13. ~ p. 170
|Photo and NSSN headline courtesy of Jerry Bushmire|
|Source: Hendersonville, NC's The Times-News via Google News Archive|
The start of the race was delayed about a half-hour because of localized showers. This delay reminded me of my first trip to Bristol in the spring of 1986 for the Valleydale 500. Morning rains on race day also delayed the start of the 1986 event. The race got underway after a delayed start, and I was there to see Rusty Wallace win his first Winston Cup race.