June 7, 1959: Tiger Tom has a racy ragtop

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
4 years ago
3,984 posts

Sandwiched between spring and fall 500-lap Grand National races at Martinsville was the 500-lap Old Dominion 500 for NASCAR's short-lived convertible series. Glen Wood took the pole during qualifying on D-Day, June 6th.

Youngster Richard Petty qualified 2nd at the track he'd come to master many times over the next 20 years. Jimmy Massey timed 3rd in a second Wood Brothers car - one spot behind Petty. Massey likely had a bit of frustration or resignation a year later when he finished one spot behind Petty again - this time in the [ 1960 Virginia 500], Richard's 2nd win.

Lee Petty, Bob Welborn and Fireball Roberts arrived too late to qualify but were allowed to start shotgun on the field. Petty and Welborn had raced in the GN race in Spartanburg on Friday night, June 5th. They probably just couldn't make it to Martinsville by the time qualifying began on Saturday. I'm not certain why Fireball was late as he isn't shown in the finishing order for the Spartanburg race. -Spartanburg Herald

The first half or so of the race was competitive with the lead swapping between Wood, Rex White, Welborn, Bobby Johns and Lee Petty. But one by one, the various leaders had issues of one kind or another. Around the 300 lap mark, Tiger Tom Pistone headed to the point in his independent Ford Thunderbird. He was unchallenged the rest of the way as he won by 6 laps over Larry Frank, Joe Lee Johnson, Roy Tyner, and Bobby Johns. The two Petty cars driven by Lee and Richard finished 6th and 7th, respectively.-Spartanburg Herald

Fin Driver Car
1 Tom Pistone '59 T-Bird
2 Larry Frank '57 Chevrolet
3 Joe Lee Johnson '57 Chevrolet
4 Roy Tyner '57 Chevrolet
5 Bobby Johns '57 Chevrolet
6 Lee Petty '59 Plymouth
7 Richard Petty '57 Oldsmobile
8 Jimmy Massey '58 Ford
9 Junior Johnson '57 Ford
10 Joe Eubanks '58 Ford
11 Gene White '57 Chevrolet
12 Glen Wood '58 Ford
13 Barney Shore '57 Chevrolet
14 Shorty Rollins '58 Chevrolet
15 Brownie King '58 Chevrolet
16 Fritz Wilson '58 Ford
17 Shep Langdon '58 Ford
18 Billy Carden '57 Chevrolet
19 Buck Baker '59 Chevrolet
20 Joe Halton '57 Chevrolet
21 Bob Burdick '59 T-Bird
22 Paul Walton '57 Mercury
23 L.D. Austin '57 Chevrolet
24 Max Berrier '57 Plymouth
25 Ermon Rush '57 Chevrolet
26 Buck Brigance '57 Chevrolet
27 Tiny Lund '57 Chevrolet
28 Ken Rush '58 Ford
29 Johnny Allen '57 Chevrolet
30 Bob Welborn '57 Chevrolet
31 Ben Benz '57 Chevrolet
32 Joe Weatherly '59 T-Bird
33 Rex White '59 Chevrolet
34 Ned Jarrett '57 Chevrolet
35 Bunk Moore '58 Ford
36 Neil Castles '56 Ford



--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
bill mcpeek
@bill-mcpeek
4 years ago
820 posts

Great report, A couple of drivers I followed back in the day were Gene White and Bob Welborn. Love to read about these two drivers.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
3,984 posts

Program cover fromMotor Racing Programme Covers




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,124 posts

A year later at Martinsville in 1960, the run by 8th place finisher Jimmy Massey of Burlington, NC would inspire this song you put us onto a few years back:




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
last year
3,984 posts

A bit of silent B-roll, video footage of Tiger Tom's Martinsville ragtop win.

http://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/uva-lib:2244073




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
5 months ago
3,984 posts

Tiger bump




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.