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Historic Moments

This Week in NASCAR History: May 18-24

Four NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers who won multiple premier series championships figure prominently in the record books.

David Pearson won his second championship in 1968. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 18, 1968

In the Tidewater 250 at Langley Field Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, Hall of Famer David Pearson (2011) scored one of his career-high 16 victories en route to his second of three NASCAR premier series championships. Driving a Holman-Moody Racing Ford with engines built by Hall of Famer Waddell Wilson (2020), Pearson and the team earned $1,000 for the victory.

The “Black Widow” was a winner for Buck Baker. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 19, 1957

After leaving his championship ride with car owner Carl Kiekhaefer, Hall of Famer Buck Baker (2013) picked up right where he left off with his own car, this one a 1957 Chevrolet known as “The Black Widow.” Baker took the victory in the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway and continued his march in becoming NASCAR’s first back-to-back champion in the Cup Series.

Tony Stewart has four NASCAR titles. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 20, 1971

Born on this date in Columbus, Indiana, Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (2020) would go on to have a remarkable racing career. The only driver to win championships with title sponsors Winston, Nextel and Sprint, Stewart also was the first USAC Triple Crown champion and a title winner in the Indy Car Series. Stewart also was the car owner in Kevin Harvick’s premier series championship season of 2014.

Curtis Turner excelled early on at NASCAR’s dirt tracks. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 21, 1950

At Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR’s longest continually operating track, Hall of Famer Curtis Turner (2016) finished two laps ahead of the field to claim victory in a 150-lap race. On the day, Turner led 140 laps, dominating the action to win his second consecutive race of the season and pocket $1,000 for his efforts.

Matt Kenseth had a million reasons to be happy after his all-star win. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 22, 2004

Matt Kenseth delivered a victory in the Nextel All-Star Challenge for Hall of Fame team owner Jack Roush (2019), taking the checkered flag 0.571 seconds ahead of Ryan Newman and Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (2020). Kenseth’s big victory at the annual all-star tilt at Charlotte Motor Speedway was worth a cool $1,044,000 for the winner and his team.

Caption: Bobby Isaac was the 1970 premier series champion. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

May 23, 1971

Driving the No. 71 K&K Insurance Dodge for team owner Nord Krauskopf, Hall of Famer Bobby Isaac (2016) won the Kingsport 300 at Tennessee’s Kingsport Speedway by 5 laps over second-place Elmo Langley. Isaac, the 1970 NASCAR premier series champion, led 294 of 300 laps, capturing the $1,800 purse for himself and the team.

Herb Thomas popularized The Fabulous Hudson Hornet. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images.

May 24, 1953

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet carried Hall of Famer Herb Thomas (2013) to victory in a 200-lap race at the half-mile Powell Motor Speedway dirt track in Columbus, Ohio. Thomas won $1,000 for his third victory of the season, which would help him become the first two-time NASCAR premier series champion.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen

Tom is the Curatorial Affairs Manager of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a veteran of more than 20 years in the NASCAR media industry.

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