Throwback Thursday - November 3

Memorable racing moments on this date in history.


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- It’s hard to explain it but they did some strange things in NASCAR in the 1950s. On this day in 1957, the first points paying race of the 1958 season was run. Rex White led 5 laps of the 150 circuits at Champion Speedway in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Jack Smith led 117 laps, but crashed out late in the event. According to some research, the track closed at the end of the decade.

THE THIRD TURN: NASCAR Grand National Series at Champion Speedway

- In 1968, Gary Balough won the Florida Governor’s Cup 200 at Golden Gate Speedway (FL). Balough talked about the strength of the field in his book, as he led all 200 laps and beat Will Cagle and Billy Gill for the win. As good as Balough was in Florida, he never won this race again. He was a terror at New Smyrna Speedway (where the Florida Governor’s Cup was moved to) and his best finish was third in 1995.

THE THIRD TURN: 1968 Florida Governor's Cup 200 at Golden Gate Speedway

- A real page from the past shows that Cale Yarborough won at JefCo Speedway (GA) in the Peach State 200 back in 1968. Yarborough led 51 laps driving for the Wood Brothers and his '68 Mercury beat out Richard Petty’s '68 Plymouth. Bobby Isaac led 144 laps, but crashed out just nine laps from the finish. JefCo was later renamed Peach State Speedway and later Gresham Motorsports Park. The track is closed and no racing is expected at the venue.

THE THIRD TURN: 1968 Peach State 200 at JefCo Speedway

- 1985 was the year that Bill Elliott put himself on the map with 11 wins and the Winston Million win at Darlington Raceway (SC). On this day, he won Atlanta Motor Speedway (GA) for his 11th win of the season. Elliott would come up short for the championship to Darrell Waltrip that year, but in 1988 Elliott won the championship.

THE THIRD TURN: 1985 Atlanta Journal 500 at Atlanta International Raceway

- On this day in 2002 Johnny Benson, Jr. won his only NASCAR Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway (NC). Benson led 28 laps after starting 26th and beat Mark Martin for the win. Benson had some great runs in 2002 with a fourth at New Hampshire and a second at Martinsville a few weeks after that. Benson would go on to win 14 NASCAR Trucks Series races and the 2008 title in the Truck Series.

THE THIRD TURN: 2002 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway