Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 1962 - Jim Paschal Wins Weaverville

August 12, 1962: Going three-for-three in three mid-season races after being re-hired as a Petty Enterprises driver, Jim Paschal wins the Western Carolina 500 at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway driving a #42 Plymouth. Teammate Richard Petty lost one spot from his 6th place qualifying run and finished 7th in his #43 Plymouth.

Jack Smith won the pole for the 500-lap race on the half-mile paved oval. Paschal's qualifying speed matched Smith's hot lap; however, Smith was awarded the pole simply because he qualified first. Go figure. Dadgum Petty drivers - they've never been able to catch a break over the years (tongue planted firmly in cheek).

Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive
Smith took the lead from the drop of the green and led about one-third of the laps. But Paschal then took over the lead from Smith on lap 164, and he led the remaining 337 laps for a dominating victory.

In his book, Silent Speedways of the Carolinas, Perry Allen Wood writes:
The Fifth Annual Western North Carolina 250 ran on Sunday, August 12, 1962, under beautiful summers skies. The question was whether the track could handle 500 summertime laps. A field of 25 took the green, led by pole-sitter Jack Smith, who paced the field for 163 laps until tire troubles gave the lead to Paschal. Unchallenged in a Petty Plymouth, Jim led 337 circuits for his fourth win of the year at a race record of over 77 miles per hour. ~ p. 224
Source: Charleston News and Courier via Google News Archive
Earlier in 1962, Paschal raced several times for car owner Cliff Stewart. Then in the summer, he was hired to once again pilot a Petty Plymouth. (He'd previously driven for the team a few times in 1960-61.) In the next five races, he rattled off three wins - all in the Petty car - at Bristol, Nashville and Asheville-Weaverville. Sandwiched between the three wins were two more starts for Stewart in Chattanoga, TN and Huntsville, TN. Following the race and win at Asheville-Weaverville, Paschal raced in the majority of races for the rest of the season, and all of his starts were for the Petty team.

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