Harman Patil (Editor)

1958 Wilkes 160

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Official name  Wilkes 160
1958 Wilkes 160
Date  October 19, 1958 (1958-October-19)
Location  North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Course  Permanent racing facility 0.625 mi (1.00 km)
Distance  160 laps, 100 mi (160 km)
Weather  Chilly with temperatures approaching 64 °F (18 °C); wind speeds up to 24.1 miles per hour (38.8 km/h)

The 1958 Wilkes 160 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on October 19, 1958, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.


The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.


Junior Johnson managed to defeat Glen Wood and 23 other American-born drivers after more than an hour (160 laps) of racing action. Wood would end up qualifying for the pole position with a then-rapid speed of 86.805 miles per hour (139.699 km/h). Clarence DeZalia ran out of gas while Barney Shore finished in last place on the 26th lap due to a problem with his radiator.

While the winner earned $800 in total prize winnings ($6,640.83 when adjusted for inflation), the last-place finisher walked away with a meager $50 paycheck ($415.05 when adjusted for inflation). Officials at North Wilkesboro Speedway approved a grand total of $3,885 in monetary winnings to be given out at this event ($32,249.53 when adjusted for inflation).

Most of the car owners for this race were individuals who had the money and the knowledge to guide their chosen drivers through a typical season of NASCAR Grand National Series racing. Petty Enterprises, Holman Moody and Wood Brothers Racing were the three multi-car teams that would go on to be successful in NASCAR during the subsequent decades. Richard Petty would never race using the #2 ever again after this race; he would eventually race in a single-digit number again by 1986. Every number that Richard would have from the remainder of 1958 to 1986 would be a variation on his father's No. 42.


  • Start of race: Glen Wood started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 26: The radiator on Barney Shore's vehicle acted up, forcing him to accept a last-place finish
  • Lap 35: Richard Petty overheated his vehicle, bringing his race weekend to an end
  • Lap 67: Problems with Johnny Gardner's fuel pump ended his chances of finishing the race
  • Lap 79: Troublesome pistons ended R.L. Combs' day on the track
  • Lap 112: Electrical problems forced Bobby Keck into the sidelines
  • Lap 136: Clarence DeZalia ran out of gas, forcing him off the track
  • Finish: Junior Johnson was officially declared the winner of the event
  • References

    1958 Wilkes 160 Wikipedia