Every so often, we here at Splash ‘n Go do a “Did You Know That?” Each post features three interesting tidbits or stories about NASCAR that you may have not heard before. Hopefully, you will find them interesting and will initiate conversation about other little-known facts about our favorite sport.

The three facts today come from “The Official NASCAR Trivia Book,” which was written by John C. Farrell and was published by Fenn / McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada.

FACT #1: DISPUTED WIN

Everyone knows that Richard Petty is the King of NASCAR with an unbreakable record of 200 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His win total would have actually been 201 if it wasn’t for the unlikeliest of protesters – his father, NASCAR driver Lee Petty. On June 14, 1959 – before the younger Petty had even won his first race in the series – Richard notched what he and NASCAR believed was his first career win at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Ga. However, the elder Petty, who finished the race second, protested the win. After NASCAR reviewed the scorecards, it was determined that Lee was indeed correct and was awarded the victory. Richard ended up doing pretty good okay for himself in the long run, capturing all those wins in addition to seven series championships.

 

FACT #2: RIDING SHIRTLESS

You may not be familiar with the driver Jimmy Florian of Cleveland, Ohio. And that’s okay; he only competed in 26 NASCAR premier series races between 1950 and 1954. His first year was by far the most productive as he entered 10 events and captured his only win of his career. But it’s how he won the race that he’ll be best remembered. On June 25, Florian won the 100-miler at Dayton (Ohio) Speedway without a shirt. The reason he gave for driving shirt was that it was unusually hot and there was nothing in the NASCAR rule book stating that drivers had to wear a shirt during a race. I’m pretty sure a rule was added shortly afterward.

 

FACT #3: RIDING SHOTGUN

Today, all race cars competing in any NASCAR-sanctioned events are built sans passenger seats. But that was not always the case. Joe Littlejohn, a former racer and racing pioneer, built a special seat in Herb Thomas’ No. 92 Hudson for qualifying for the July 4, 1954, 100-miler at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Weaverville, N.C. With Littlejohn as the co-pilot during qualifying, Thomas set a track qualifying record with a speed of 67.771 mph. Thomas started on the pole and went on to win the race, beating Jimmie Lewallen to the finish line.