Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 1958 - Welborn Wins Weaverville

The location was different, but the result was the same. For the third consecutive race since joining owner Julian Petty's racing venture, Bob Welborn claimed the checkers. After winning the Grand National race at Champion Speedway in Fayetteville, NC and the convertible race at Bowman Gray Stadium, the team headed for another convertible division race on April 13, 1958, at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway.

Welborn left little doubt his car was the one to beat. He set a track record in qualifying to claim the pole in his #49 Chevrolet. Banjo Matthews - a rare entrant to convertible races - timed second. Matthews had been hired by Lee Petty to drive his #42 Oldsmobile. I'm unsure how the arrangement came to be. The promoter may have paid Matthews show money and arranged for Lee to provide the car. Lee may have arranged the deal himself since he had just raced in a Grand National race in Spartanburg, SC the previous night.

Whatever arrangements were made, they didn't matter. Julian again got the better of his brother. Welborn led flag-to-flag to win the 200-lap race. Matthews finished second in Lee's Olds. Julian's second team car driven by Ken Rush finished fourth. The car was re-numbered #44 as a change from #38 that had been used by Gwyn Staley before his death a few weeks earlier.

Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive
After carrying on after Staley's death at Richmond, drivers again had to race with heavy hearts at Asheville-Weaverville. Fellow competitor Billy Myers died of a heart attack during a sportsman race at Bowman Gray Stadium the night before the convertible race. Myers was leading the race with only 4 laps to go when he passed away at the wheel. He was a two-time convertible division winner with Lee Petty Engineering.


1 comment:

  1. Welborn & Julie were definitely on a hot streak!