A first, and last, for Burdick

Sunday, March 26, 1961 – Bob Burdick, a 24-year-old youngster from Omaha, Neb., outlasted a field of racing’s top drivers to capture the Atlanta 500 for his first NASCAR premier series victory. Burdick, racing for his family-owned team, led 44 laps.

• Defending series champion Rex White finished second while Ralph Earnhardt placed third. Only 13 of the 46 drivers were running at the finish of the 334-lap race.

• Burdick made just 15 career starts at NASCAR’s top level, between 1959 and 1962. He called the Atlanta race a “must-win,” in order for his team to have the finances to continue to compete.

• Two years earlier Burdick had scored an impressive runner-up finish in the legendary Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

• Burdick made just four more starts following the Atlanta victory. His final start came in the 1962 Daytona 500 where he finished 35th, falling out due to a broken crankshaft.

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