Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 1959 - Lee Petty Wins Weaverville

October 11, 1959: Starting fourth in his #42 Plymouth, Lee Petty motored to the front and won the 200-laps, 100-miles event at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in North Carolina. Coincidentally, the race was the 42nd event of the 1959 season.

Tommy Irwin won the pole. With the race nearing half-way, however, he lost an engine and finished 28th - one spot ahead of Bob Welborn, who made several starts in NASCAR's Grand National and Convertible series driving for for Lee Petty's brother, Julian. (He also started a handful of GN races for Petty Enterprises.) The previous race at Asheville-Weaverville was the Western Carolina 500 just a couple of months earlier in August 1959. Welborn won the race, but he finished 29th - dead last in the October one.

Lee's son, Richard, started eighth and improved to a fifth place finish. The October race was the future King's second event at the track with the previous one being August's Western Carolina 500. Not only did Richard improve during the race, but he also improved in all areas from the first race to the second. In the August race, he qualified 22nd, crashed, and finished 26th. So the October race was far and away a marked improvement.

NASCAR kept records for qualifying and the finishing order. The lap leaders, however, remain unknown - other than Lee Petty's leading the final one.

Several other future NASCAR Hall of Famers raced in the event including:
  • Glen Wood - 2nd
  • Ned Jarrett - 8th
  • Junior Johnson - 9th
  • Cotton Owens - 11th
  • Buck Baker - 12th
Source: The Index-Journal of Greenwood SC

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