Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10, 1968 - Myers Brothers Memorial

On Saturday, August 10, 1968, NASCAR's Grand National drivers arrived in Winston-Salem, NC for the 250-lap Myers Brothers Memorial race. The same drivers raced at Bowman Gray Stadium just two days after a Thursday night, 200-lap race on the half-mile, dirt Columbia Speedway in South Carolina.

Many newer fans of NASCAR may not recognize the names associated with this memorial race. Many may recognize, however, the name Chocolate Myers from his tenure as the gasman for Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt and his more contemporary employment as a midday co-host on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel.

Chocolate's father was Bobby Myers, and his uncle was Billy Myers. If unfamiliar with either or both, Google a bit to learn about their contributions to racing...and their untimely deaths.

Twenty cars arrived at the track for the event, and Richard Petty put his #43 Plymouth on the pole. David Pearson, fresh off his win at Columbia two nights earlier, started second in his Holman Moody Ford. Bobby Isaac, James Hylton, and Bobby Allison rounded out the top five starters.

Petty took the lead at the drop of the green flag and held onto it for the first 139 laps. As Petty ran upon Bobby Allison to put him a lap down, the engine in Allison's Chevrolet blew sending him into the wall. As Allison's engine dumped oil on the track, Petty spun and brushed against the wall. The unfortunately timed event was just enough to allow Pearson to slide under and take the lead.

Petty regathered his Plymouth and continued. His excursion to the high side, however, was all the advantage Pearson needed. Once out front, the Silver Fox led the remaining 111 laps on the quarter-mile track and was the first to take the checkered flag. Pearson and Petty were the only two cars on the lead lap with Isaac finishing third four laps down.

Pearson won at Bowman Gray for his third and final time - though the first and only time with Holman Moody. He also had the Big Mo as he pursued his second Grand National title. Pearson went back to back with wins at Columbia and Bowman Gray. He was also in the midst of a four out of six winning streak with additional wins in the Volunteer 500 at Bristol and Nashville 400 (and a P3 and P4 in the two races he didn't win.)

The race was also the 25th of 63 times Petty and Pearson finished in the top two spots.



  1. From what I've read, one of the toughest tracks physically. Basically inside a football stadium!

  2. Saw a weekly show there years ago and loved it. The modifieds really are awesome to watch. In those days they also ran a "Blunderbust" (their spelling) division for full-sized sedans like Caddies, Oldsmobiles, Chryslers, etc., and seeing a Lincoln Continental slide across the 50-yard-line of the football field after being spun was worth the price of admission alone. In fact, that night they had a Blunderbust Powder Puff, and several of the ladies seemed to use the occasion to settle scores for their hubbies/boyfriends. A lot of sheet metal was torn up. Wish I was closer and could go back.