Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7, 1952 - Lee Whoops 'em in Macon

September 7, 1952: Starting 8th in his #42 Plymouth, Lee Petty passed Herb Thomas with 5 laps to go and claimed the win at Central City Speedway. The race was a pretty long one for that era - 300 laps, 150 miles  - on the half-mile dirt track in Macon, GA.

The track hosted seven NASCAR Grand National races. A single race was run in 1951, and two races were held each year from 1952 through 1954.

Greg Fielden recaps the race in his book, Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: Vol. 1:
Herb Thomas suffered a heart-breaking defeat as Lee Petty came home first in the 300 lap Grand National event at Central City Speedway.

Thomas had taken the lead from Tim Flock on the 255th lap ... and appeared to be on his way to victory when the left rear tire on his Hudson blew on lap 204. The Olivia, NC driver elected not to pit and stayed on the track in a game effort to stay ahead of Petty.

Petty drove his Plymouth into the lead with five laps remaining and was 14 seconds ahead of Thomas when the checkered flag fell.

Fonty Flock led the first 44 laps from the pole position, but a clogged fuel line put his Oldsmobile out of commission. Tim Flock took the lead at that point and led until lap 254 when the gas pedal on his Hudson worked its way loose.

Dick Passwater of Indianapolis qualified second and was running in the top five when the right front wheel came off his Olds. The wheel bounded into the stands, injuring one spectator.

Stan Parnell had a long evening, blowing six tires and flipping his Olds twice. He finally had to quit after 159 laps.  ~ pp. 95-96
For the record, Stan Parnell's Grand National career duration was: 1 race.

Source: Daytona Beach Morning Journal via Google News Archive

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