This Week in NASCAR History: April 20-26
by Tom Jensen April 20, 2020
Exciting moments in NASCAR history from April 20-26.
April 20, 1969
Always one of the toughest competitors in the sport, Hall of Famer Bobby Allison (2011) was dominant at North Wilkesboro Speedway, where he won the Gwyn Staley 400. Driving the No. 22 Dodge owned by Mario Rossi, Allison led 167 of 400 laps to claim the $5,125 purse. The victory was one of five on the season for Allison.
April 21, 1968
En route to his second of three NASCAR premier series championships, Hall of Famer David Pearson (2011) defeated fellow Hall of Famers Buddy Baker (2020) and Bobby Isaac (2016) to capture the Gwyn Staley 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Pearson lapped the field in his Holman-Moody Racing Ford Torino, which is one of the cars on Glory Road in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Dale Jr.: NASCAR Champions” exhibit.
April 22, 1951
The first NASCAR premier series race in Phoenix was run on a 1-mile dirt track at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, with Marshall Teague winning the 150-lap battle behind the wheel of his Fabulous Hudson Hornet. Teague’s victory was worth $1,275, while runner-up Erick Erickson took home $800 after competing in his 1948 Pontiac. Hall of Famer Tim Flock (2014) finished third.
April 23, 1960
At South Carolina’s Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett (2011) had the field covered in the Greenville 200, where he won $800 for holding off the Hall of Fame father-and-son duo of Lee (2011) and Richard Petty (2010). Jarrett won by 5 seconds over Lee Petty, the only other lead-lap finisher.
April 24, 1977
In the midst of his run of a (then) record-setting three consecutive NASCAR premier series championships, Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (2012) drove Hall of Famer Junior Johnson’s (2010) Chevrolet to a victory in the rain-shortened Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Yarborough claimed $21,600 for the triumph over fellow Hall of Famers Benny Parsons (2017) and Richard Petty (2010). Yarborough led 243 of 384 laps to win for the fifth time in the first nine races of the season.
April 25, 1971
Tiny Martinsville Speedway has been a challenging track for a lot of drivers, but not for Hall of Famer Richard Petty (2010). The driver known to all simply as “The King,” won 15 races at the paper clip-shaped Virginia short track, including the Virginia 500. In that race, Petty outdueled a pair of Hall of Famers, his archrival David Pearson (2011) and Bobby Isaac (2016). Only 13 of 30 cars were running at the end of the race, which paid $5,075 to win.
April 26, 1959
Driving a 1957 Ford owned by Paul Spaulding, Hall of Famer Junior Johnson (2010) finished four laps ahead of Speedy Thompson to win a 200-lap race on the Reading (Pennsylvania) Fairgrounds half-mile dirt track. For his efforts, Johnson collected a winner’s purse of $800.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.
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