November 14, 1965 & 1971 – Richard Petty wins NASCAR Grand National race

Between 1949 and 1993 the date November 14th was host to just two NASCAR Grand National Races, both of which were won by Richard Petty, in 1965 and 1971. The 1965 race, the first for the 1966 season, took place in Augusta, Georgia where Petty had claimed the pole position. At the drop of the green flag Bobby Isaac in his Junior Johnson Ford dashed out front, leading the first 11 laps. Petty overtook him and led until lap 106, when he was overtaken by Tiny Lund. Lund had started at the very back of the pack in the number 30 spot, as his car arrived late and had no chance to qualify. He led until lap 200 when his distributor blew and Lund coasted into the pits for a replacement, essentially knocking him out of the race as the repair took several laps. He would eventually finish in number 20. Isaac was on Petty’s bumper throughout the race but was never able to overtake him. Petty, in his Petty Enterprises Plymouth, took home a purse of $1,700.  The second race, in 1971, was the Capital City 500 in Richmond, Virginia. It was originally scheduled for September 10, but a series of rainouts pushed it back to November 14. Because of the two rainouts there wasn’t a lot of sports coverage about the race. However it is known that Petty cruised his Plymouth around the track at an average speed of 80.02 mph, taking home $4,450. Second place went to Bobby Allison in his 1971 Ford. Between Allison and Petty they had won the last four late model NASCAR races. The win pushed Petty into the points lead for the season, earning him his 3rd title. PicsA flyer for the 1965 raceA newspaper clipping showing Petty with the trophy after the 1965 race.

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