TDIH: January 23, 1972


Richard Petty wins the opening event of 1972, the Winston Western 500 at Riverside. He took over the lead with 30 laps remaining, pulling out a 61.5s lead on Bobby Allison in taking the victory. Allison, the only other driver to finish on the lead lap, led 102 of the 149 laps before Petty passed him for the final time. Taking the flag in third, and 3 laps behind the #43 and #12, was Bobby Isaac. Polesitter AJ Foyt would end the race in a disappointing twenty-eighth, his Wood Bro.’s Mercury suffering a transmission failure after 107 laps. This race would also mark the first for sponsor STP, a name synonymous with Petty throughout his career. Between 1972 and 1992, Petty and STP would celebrate 36 victories, 23 poles, and 4 Winston Cup’s in 619 races.


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