Racing History Minute - September 7, 1958

TMC Chase
3 years ago
3,939 posts

The next to last race of the 1958 NASCAR convertible division season was a 150-lap race on the half-mile, dirt Wilson Speedway in Wilson, North Carolina.

I posted a blog about the race today here:

Ken Rush in Julian Petty's #44 Chevy, and teammate Bob Welborn qualified on the front row with Rush.

Starting 11th was Richard Petty in his family team's #42 1957 Oldsmobile. The race was only his second convertible start and seventh NASCAR start overall.

On the 12th lap, Rush lost the car coming out of turn four and rolled his convertible down the frontstretch. He remarkably suffered only a bruised shoulder and arm and returned to race the next week. Though I'm sure his wreck brought the crowd to their feet, Rush left Wilson with a 23rd and dead last finish.

All was not lost for Julian as an owner though. Welborn did what he'd been doing pretty much all season: winning. Though I haven't found any detail about lap leaders, Welborn did lead the lap that mattered most - the last one. With Welborn's win, Julian went home with bookend finishes - cars that finished first and last in the race.

Petty finished fifth - his first top 5 in NASCAR competition. Coincidentally, Richard's first top 5 in a Grand National race was also at Wilson Speedway. He finished third at Wilson in March 1959.

One confusing point about the race is its distance. Some materials I've referenced indicate the race was 150 laps and 75 miles. The wire service report I found in several newspapers, however, states the race was 200 laps and 100 miles. Either way, the constant between them all is Welborn again took the top prize in a 1958 convertible race.

Fin Driver Car
1 Bob Welborn '57 Chevrolet
2 Tootle Estes '57 Ford
3 Brownie King '57 Chevrolet
4 George Dunn '57 Mercury
5 Richard Petty '57 Oldsmobile
6 Doug Yates '57 Chevrolet
7 Bob Walden '57 Ford
8 Whitey Norman '57 Chevrolet
9 Larry Frank '57 Chevrolet
10 Bill Morton '57 Ford
11 L.D. Austin '56 Chevrolet
12 Roy Tyner '58 Plymouth
13 Elmo Langley '57 Chevrolet
14 Bill Poor '56 Chevrolet
15 Harvey Hege '57 Ford
16 Neil Castles '56 Ford
17 Shep Langdon '56 Ford
18 Dick Walters '56 Ford
19 Barney Shore '57 Chevrolet
20 Johnny Gardner '56 Ford
21 Vernon West '56 Dodge
22 Fred Harb '57 Mercury
23 Ken Rush '57 Chevrolet

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
Dave Fulton
3 years ago
9,114 posts

Wilson County Speedway... home of the one-time (and maybe still) world record stock car jump!

Kenny Powers Set a car Jump Record at Wilson County Speedway in 1975

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
7 months ago
3,939 posts

Powers' run and "jump" in Ken Carter's Lincoln Continental rocket car remains one of the craziest and ill-conceived stunts of all time.


Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 09/07/17 10:55:37AM