Plymouth's Last Win In Nascar!

William CorleyCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10:  (L-R) Former NASCAR champion Richard Petty and Dale Inman attend an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Former and current drivers and crew chiefs were presented with commemorative bricks that will be displayed at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)


Everyone knows that Richard Petty won more races for Plymouth in the famous car #43 painted Petty blue than any other driver.

What most Nascar fan's don't know is that Petty did NOT get Plymouth's last Nascar win.

Surprisingly, in what some say is the biggest upset in Nascar history, the win came on August 12, 1973 at the then named "Alabama International Motor Speedway".

Dick Brooks won the race driving for the Crawford Bros. race team owned by Jimmy and Peter Crawford out of College Park, GA.

Nascar didn't think that Jimmy had enough experience to handle the 200 plus miles per hour speeds being run at Alabama International Motor Speedway, so Jimmy hired Brooks to drive the Yunick like Black and Gold #22 in the 1973 Winston 500.

The Winston 500 had an UNHEARD of starting field of SIXTY cars in a race that included what is now known as "THE BIG ONE", that eliminated over 20 cars in a wreck on the backstretch.

Brooks led five laps and retired with engine problems regulating him to a 16th place finish. David Pearson went on to win the race.

The brothers, with Brooks again driving, returned for the Talladega 500 held at the "SPOOKY" track in Alabama.

Weird things began happening even before the race started as Dick could not get the #22 Plymouth engine started. It was eventually fired up and Brooks regained his starting spot in the field.

On lap number 9, Larry Smith, who was the reining Nascar Rookie of The Year, spun and crashed into the guard rail.

In a crash simular to the late Great Dale Earnhart, Smith's crew was running back to the garage area to repair the car when word came that Smith had died in the wreck!

Word is that Smith had removed some of the padding in his helmet to accommodate his long hair.

Smith's death was the first ever at Alabama International Motor Speedway!

Another crazy incident happened when driver Bobby Isaac pulled his car into the garage area and climbed out saying he had heard voices in his head to get out of the race.

Dick Brooks went on to win this "Wild and Crazy" 1973 Talladega 500 which turned out to be his only Nascar win and sadly, Jimmy Crawford passed away in 2007 of heart failure.

James Hylton, winner of the 1972 Winston 500, said it best. "Drivers either love or hate this place and when they get out of their cars after a race, you can see the stress in their eyes".

Bill Corley