Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19, 1958 - Bob Welborn Grabs Greenville

NASCAR's convertible division raced at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on July 19, 1958. The 200-lap, 100-mile race was the third of four ragtop races at the track from 1956-1959 in the short-lived series.

Greenville-Pickens (web | Twitter) continues to operate today with a full slate of late model hot shoes.

Car owner Julian Petty fielded three cars in the 1958 race. Two-time convertible division champion Bob Welborn drove his customary #49. Ken Rush belted into a #44 Chevy, and Jim Paschal - who later raced and won for Petty Enterprises in the 1960s - started 9th in #49A.

The race was held the day after Julian's brother Lee and nephew Richard raced north of the border in Toronto Canada. Lee won the race which frankly is better remembered as the King's first career Grand National / Cup start.

In looking at the finishing order, one might think the race was uneventful. The top 10 starters finished in the same order except for the third and fourth place finishers who swapped spots from where they began the race.

The race, however, did have some late race drama. Knoxville, TN's Tootle Estes made a late race pit stop with about a dozen laps to go.

Ken Rush - NASCAR's 1957 Grand National Rookie of the Year - was leading and headed towards the win. Instead of taking the checkers, however, Rush clipped Estes' car as he pulled back onto the racing surface after completing his stop. The collision caused Rush to hit a dirt bank, and the hit negated his chances for victory.

Welborn assumed the lead and led the remaining laps to claim his fifth convertible win of the season. Teammate Rush recovered from his late race encounter with Estes to finish 3rd - albeit 3 laps down to the winner.

Fin St # Driver
1 1 49 Bob Welborn
2 2 76 Larry Frank
3 4 44 Ken Rush
4 3 87 Buck Baker
5 5 21 Glen Wood
6 6 36 Tootle Estes
7 7 41 Whitey Norman
8 8 66 Roy Tyner
9 9 49A Jim Paschal
10 10 999 Wilbur Rakestraw

Source: Star-News via Google News Archive


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