October 27, 1957 – Buck Baker wins second consecutive NASCAR championship

A dramatic 250 lap NASCAR race on the ⅓ mile dirt track at Central Carolina Fairgrounds in Greensboro, North Carolina took place on this day to cap off the 1957 racing season, leading to Buck Baker’s second consecutive championship. When the race started Ken Rush held the pole position, but spun out on lap 35, knocking out several other cars and sending Marvin Panch and his Ford end over end. Panch’s car landed on its wheels and was able to continue driving for 16 more laps before having to be parked. Several other crashes led to long afternoon in the frigid temperatures for the shivering 2,500 fans who came out to watch. Elzie Wylie “Buck” Baker Sr., in a 1957 Chevrolet known as the Black Widow, and Lee Petty in his Oldsmobile swapped for the lead four times throughout the race but on lap 191 Baker pulled ahead and led the rest of the race. Petty would eventually finish in 5th, bringing home $245 in prize money. Baker on the other hand not only took home $1,000 that day but also secured his second consecutive Grand National Series Championship trophy, making him the first driver to ever win the series two years in a row. Baker was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on February 8, 2013. His son, Buddy, also a NASCAR racer, won the 1980 Daytona 500 with an average speed of 177.602 mph, which is still a record today. Throughout Buck’s career in NASCAR he had 46 wins, 372 top tens and claimed 45 pole positions. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 83.

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