Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15 - This day in Petty history

As I blogged my series about each of Richard Petty's 200 wins from August 2011 through July 2012, my hope was to:
  • blog about each of his wins
  • include an article or photo in each post
  • include as many personal accounts as possible, and
  • address other interesting aspects of each race beyond Ol' Blue getting the checkers.
Looking back, I've thought "Dang son, ya did it. Well almost..."

Two races eluded me. One was Petty's 10th career Grand National win at Starkey Speedway in Roanoke, VA. I couldn't find any photos, articles, program, ticket stub, or video, and no one I encountered along the way had any personal memories to share.

I've continued to revisit my posts and edit them as I find additional information. With the passing of another year, I'm now glad to say I can cross one of the two remaining wins off my list. I now have a new #200wins post vs. an edited one. I found an article about the August 15, 1962 Roanoke race in the archives of the Spartanburg Herald. I'm not sure if I overlooked it in 2011, if I didn't check that page, or what happened. But I now have it.

Jack Smith won the pole for the 18-car race with Petty to his right on the front row. Ned Jarrett, Bob Welborn and G.C. Spencer rounded out the top 10 starters for the 200-lap race on the quarter-mile paved oval.

At the drop of the green, pole-winner Smith grabbed the lead and rode the point for the first 8 laps. Third place starter and future NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett got by Smith on lap 9, and he paced the field for the next 152 laps.

With 40 laps to go, however, the King went door-to-door with Gentleman Ned and took the lead. Once out front, Petty put his Plymouth into the wind and went the distance to take the checkers. Richard won driving a #42 Petty Plymouth. The win was his first of only two victories with the number most commonly associated with his father, Lee Petty. (The second win in #42 was at Augusta in 1965.)

Four of the top five qualifiers finished up front - Petty as the winner, Jarrett in third, Welborn in fourth and Smith in fifth. Joe Weatherly finished second after starting seventh in Bud Moore's Pontiac.

Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive
The sixth place finisher was Tom Cox in Cliff Stewart's Pontiac - a car Jim Paschal piloted for much of the season. Paschal left the team about two-thirds of the way through the 1962 season to go race for ... Petty Enterprises. Stewart hung around the sport as an owner for another two decades or so. He generally fielded entries in a handful of races during most of that time. He expanded to a full-time schedule in the 1980s with drivers such as Geoff Bodine and Rusty Wallace, and he earned his second and final win as a car owner in 1981 at Martinsville with Morgan Shepherd driving.


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