Today we will return to the Convertible Division for the second time in this series of Racing History Minutes. Part of the reason is because I always found those races "special" because of the clear view of the driver you had watching from the infield and the other part of the reason is I'm leading up to the very first Darlington Convertible event in 1957 which was my first visit to that track. This date, however, in 1957, saw the convertibles roll into Wilson, North Carolina for a 100 mile event on the half-mile dirt track. I've never been to Wilson, but I've heard the stories about the nice track and the loyal fans that supported events there.
Joe Weatherly put his DePaolo Ford on the pole for the race with Bob Welborn qualifying his Chevrolet second. It was third place starting Curtis Turner that dominated the race, leading from lap 9 through lap 146 while 'lil Joe filled the rear view mirror of team mate Turner's Ford. Although the two were team mates and very good friends, both were very competitive on the race track and second place was "no" place either of them wanted to be. The race only had two leaders; Joe laps 1-9, Curtis, laps 10 -146, Joe lap 147 to the checkers. Of the nine convertible events thus far in 1957, Joe made this his fourth win of the season. It was a broken ball joint on the Curtis Turner Ford on lap 146 that sent him "behind the wall" and out of the race.
Top five finishers were:
1. Joe Weatherly, Ford, winning $500.00
2. Gwyn Staley, Plymouth, winning $425.00
3. Glen Wood, Ford, winning $350.00
4. Al Tasnady, Plymouth, winning $300.00
5. Whitey Norman, Ford, winning $250.00
Other finishers of note were Larry Frank 7th, Neil Castles 13th, Curtis Turner 14th, Bob Welborn 15th, Possum Jones 18th, and Darel Dieringer 19th. Only 19 cars started the event and 14 were running at the finish although 16th place finisher George Bumgardner was 100 laps behind.
Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future.
updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM