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The Winner

As a hundred thousand fans watched, Richard Petty ended his 45-race losing streak and picked up stockcar racing’s biggest purse—$73,500. It all happened at the Daytona 500.

Petty’s win, however, was a complete surprise. Going into the last lap, he was running 30 seconds behind the two leaders. All at once the car in second place tried to pass the number one man on the final stretch. This caused the first car to drift inside and force the challenger onto the infield grass, and slightly out of control. What happened next was incredible. The offended driver pulled his car back onto the track, caught up with the leader, and forced him into the outside wall. Both vehicles came to a screeching halt. The two drivers jumped out and quickly got into an old-fashioned slugging match. In the meantime, third-place Petty cruised by for the win.

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