HOUSEHOLDER: Lincoln Speedway triumph should be added to Richard Petty's NASCAR win total
- Richard Petty has been credited with 200 career NASCAR victories.
- Petty earned a NASCAR National Short Track Series win in 1961 at Lincoln Speedway.
- That Lincoln triumph is not included in Petty's career NASCAR victory total.
Much has been reported lately about Kyle Busch’s 200th win in NASCAR’s various national touring series.
I don’t want to take anything away from Busch’s remarkable feat. For a driver to win 200 races in any type of race car is worthy of all the fine descriptive words one can use — amazing, incredible, awesome come to mind.
I don’t even think it’s a bad thing to compare Busch’s wins with Richard Petty’s 200 wins in NASCAR’s top series. After all, things have changed a lot since Petty began winning his races in what is now the “Cup” series. Most of the smaller tracks are gone and the series no longer races on dirt. Petty’s 200 wins came on all of those kinds of tracks, as well as the big tracks the series frequents now.
Nope, I don’t have a problem with any of that.
Lincoln's NASCAR history: My problem stems from the fact that they aren’t counting Petty’s wins in other national touring series from NASCAR’s past. I don’t claim to have all the records of the past. In fact, I’m not sure anyone has ever researched all of them. I can claim, for absolute certain, that Petty has at least one more win in a national NASCAR touring series. It came at Lincoln Speedway in 1961.
Lincoln Speedway’s weekly stock-car races for some years in the late 1950s were sanctioned by NASCAR. From that association, Lincoln was able to host races for NASCAR’s top series. At that time, what is now the “Cup” series was known as the Grand National Series and they raced at Lincoln from 1955 through 1958, presenting five races with legendary winners such as Junior Johnson, Buck Baker, Lee Petty and Marvin Panch.
Lincoln promoter Hilly Rife had a falling out with NASCAR in 1959 and the Grand National Series didn’t return to Lincoln until 1964, when David Pearson was the winner. Dick Hutcherson won Lincoln’s final Grand National race in 1965. Equally legendary Curtis Turner won a NASCAR Convertible race at Lincoln in 1957.
While the top touring series didn’t return to Lincoln until 1964, NASCAR tested the waters for a few years before that. During the late 1950s and early 1960s NASCAR had a series known as the National Short Track Series that raced at tracks not on the Grand National schedule.
Lincoln fell into that category from 1960-1962. The National Short Track Series was described as the same cars, the same rules, but no big tracks. In other words, it was NASCAR’s short-track series for the Grand National racers. In reality, it was a way for local racers who wanted to race with the Grand National Series to have a few extra races in their area without traveling all over the country. However, those races always also drew some of the bigger-name drivers to help lure the crowds.
Lincoln’s National Short Track Series events always had several “big-name” drivers in the field. It was NASCAR’s way of getting Lincoln back up to the Grand National level.
Petty's 1961 Lincoln win: It was in this series that Richard Petty won his race at Lincoln on July 1, 1961. The race fell between Grand National races at South Boston, Virginia, on June 23, and Daytona on July 4. Earlier that year Petty had won Grand National races at Richmond and Charlotte.
I don’t know how many other National Short Track Series races Petty won, but I do know that he has at least one more national series win than he’s been credited with.
Should it count? I think so, considering some of the other drivers who ran Lincoln’s Short Track Series races. Top-five finishers in the races at Lincoln, besides Petty, include winners Jim Paschal and Elmo Langley, who account for 27 Grand National wins, along with Buck Baker and Wendell Scott, who account for another 47 Grand National wins.
Grove clarification: My other recent beef is Williams Grove’s 80th anniversary, or more to the point, some reporters who didn’t do their research.
Williams Grove is absolutely correct in observing its 80th anniversary this year. The first race at the track was held in May of 1939. That folks is 80 years ago.
My beef is with those who claimed Lucas Wolfe won the 80th season opener at the Grove. That's not true. While the Grove has been there for 80 years, it hasn’t been racing for all of them. Not because it couldn’t or didn’t want to be racing. No, Williams Grove missed two seasons of racing because they weren’t allowed to race during World War II. No track was, not even the Indy 500.
When the United States entered World War II in December of 1941, the Grove did open for the 1942 season, but after two races was forced to close at the end of May of that year. The next race was in September of 1945, a few months after the war ended.
Perrego wins at Port Royal: Anthony Perrego won Sunday's Short Track Super Series modified feature at Port Royal Speedway.
Perrego bested Matt Sheppard for the win, with Mat Williamson, Danny Bouc and Brett Hearn in the top five.
In the United Late Model Series event, it was Michael Norris picking up the win over Greg Satterlee. Mason Zeigler, Max Blair and Mike Meresca completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Dylan Yoder, York's Rick Eckert, Newberrytown's Jason Covert, Austin Hubbard and Jeff Rine.
This weekend: Williams Grove hosts the sprints and late models on Friday evening.
The Saturday slate includes the sprints and 358 sprints at Lincoln, while Port Royal has the sprints, late models and limited-late models. The BAPS Saturday slate includes the super sportsmen, limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks and classic cars, while Hagerstown on Saturday has limited-late models, pure stocks, hobby stocks and U-Cars. The wingless super sportsmen are at Path Valley on Saturday.
1991: Not a good weekend for racing in the area in 1991.
It was cold, with rain and snow flurries in the area. Williams Grove on Friday and Port Royal and Selinsgrove on Saturday all postponed.
Lincoln, however, did race on a very cold, windy night. That race produced the only local win for a National Sprint Car Hall of Famer. Legendary racer Jack Hewitt drove Bob Hampshire’s No. 63 to the Lincoln win that night over Meme DeSantis, Kenny Jacobs, Billy Pauch and Bobby Fletcher.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 CHAMPION RACING OIL
RM RACING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
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1. Lucas Wolfe (2) 118
2. Danny Dietrich (1) 115
3. Ryan Smith 95
4. Anthony Macri 79
5. Brock Zearfoss 76
6. Brian Montieth 64
7. Alan Krimes (1) 50
7. Dylan Cisney (1) 50
9. Jim Siegel 46
9. Chad Trout 46