This Week in NASCAR History: May 4-10
by Tom Jensen May 04, 2020
Exciting moments in NASCAR history from May 4-10.
May 4, 1980
After setting the all-time Daytona 500 speed record in February, Hall of Famer Buddy Baker (2020) followed it up by driving the fabled No. 28 Ranier Racing “Gray Ghost” Oldsmobile to victory in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Baker’s car and engine were prepared by his Hall of Fame crew chief Waddell Wilson (2020). The Gray Ghost is on display in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Hall of Honor.
May 5, 1985
After qualifying on the pole for the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway at a blistering 209.398 mph, Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (2015) found himself 2 laps down after an oil-line fitting broke on his Harry Melling-owned Ford. Elliott shocked the field and the fans by making up the deficit under green-flag conditions and coming back to win. The victory helped propel Elliott to capture the Winston Million for winning three of NASCAR’s four biggest races.
May 6, 1961
Driving a Holman-Moody Racing Ford, Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (2015) took home $8,420 for himself and the team by capturing the Rebel 300 at Darlington Raceway. Hall of Famer Waddell Wilson (2020) would later become Lorenzen’s engine builder and a crewman for the team.
May 7, 1977
Driving a Chevrolet for car owner L.G. DeWitt, Hall of Famer Benny Parsons (2017) prevailed over fellow Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough (2012) and Darrell Waltrip (2012) to capture the Music City USA 420 at Nashville Speedway. It was the first of BP’s career-high four victories that season.
May 8, 1955
During a rare Western visit during NASCAR’s early days, Hall of Famer Tim Flock (2014) piloted one of Carl Kiekhaefer’s dominant Chryslers to victory on the 1-mile Arizona State Fairgrounds dirt track in Phoenix. Flock went on to win a career-high 18 races and his second championship that season.
May 9, 2015
Piloting a Chevrolet owned by Hall of Fame team owner Rick Hendrick (2017), Jimmie Johnson profited from a late-race caution to win the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 and the $243,726 purse at Kansas Speedway. Johnson took his only lead of the race on Lap 258 and held on for the final 10 circuits to win his third NASCAR premier series race of the season.
May 10, 1966
On the half-mile Middle Georgia Raceway in Macon, Georgia, Hall of Famer Richard Petty (2010) led 159 of 200 laps to win the Speedy Morelock 200 and the winner’s purse of $1,000. The victory was one of eight on the season for Petty and his family owned race team, which included Hall of Famers Lee Petty (2011), Dale Inman (2012) and Maurice Petty (2014).
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.