Samiksha Jaiswal

1960 Gwyn Staley 160

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Official name  Gwyn Staley 160
1960 Gwyn Staley 160
Date  March 27, 1960 (1960-March-27)
Location  North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Course  Permanent racing facility 0.625 mi (1.005 km)
Distance  160 laps, 100 mi (80 km)
Weather  Mild with temperatures approaching 71.1 °F (21.7 °C); wind speeds up to 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)

The 1960 Gwyn Staley 160 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on March 27, 1960, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Contents

Paul Lewis, who would eventually be known as the Gentleman Teacher, would make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in this event. Burrhead Nantz would retire from NASCAR Cup Series action after the end of this event.

Summary

Glen Wood, Junior Johnson and Lee Petty would dominate the entire 120-minute racing event where more than 9,000 people would see Rex White defeated by the elder Petty by less than a lap. After qualifying in 20th place in a 1958 Chevrolet Impala, he would move up eight positions to finish in 12th place. This solid finish would guarantee him more time driving Chevrolet stock cars.

There were 22 American-born drivers who qualified for this 160-lap extravaganza. Joe Lee Johnson was forced to become the last-place finisher due to troubles with his oil pressure. Even Junior Johnson's start in the pole position was barely enough to give him a "top five" finisher. Johnson's top speed of 83.86 miles per hour (134.96 km/h) during solo qualifying runs would allow him to stand up to Wood, Johnson, and both of the Petty family members while participating in this racing event. Lee Petty's son, Richard, would finish a lowly 18th after qualifying in an incredible fourth place due to his youth and general lack of experience behind the wheel. E.J. Trivette would be the lowest-finishing driver to actually finish the event; although he was more than 20 laps behind the lead lap cars by the time the race had ended.

Individual event winnings ranged from the winner's share of $900 ($7,286.05 when considering inflation) to the last-place finishers' share of $50 ($404.78 when considering inflation). The total prize purse for the 1960 running of the Gwyn Staley 160 was a then-incredible $3,985 ($32,261.02 when considering inflation).

The transition to purposely-built racers began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.

Timeline

  • Start of race: Glen Wood started the race in the pole position
  • Lap 2: Junior Johnson takes over the lead from Glen Wood
  • Lap 9: Joe Lee Johnson's oil pressure became fault, causing him to become the last-place finisher
  • Lap 14: Neil Castles had a problem with his engine, forcing him out of the race
  • Lap 17: Burrhead Nantz' vehicle overheated, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 18: David Pearson had a terminal crash, causing him to withdraw from the event
  • Lap 125: Richard Petty had a problematic engine, forcing him to leave the race
  • Lap 127: Banjo Matthews had a terminal crash, forcing him to withdraw from the event
  • Lap 137: The rear end of Cotton Owens' vehicle fell off, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 144: Buck Baker had major engine issues, causing him to exit the race
  • Lap 147: Lee Petty takes over the lead from Junior Johnson
  • Finish: Lee Petty was officially declared the winner of the event
  • Finishing order

    * Driver failed to finish race
    † Driver is known to be deceased

    References

    1960 Gwyn Staley 160 Wikipedia


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