Fight overshadows Goldsmith victory

Sunday, April 28, 1957 – Paul Goldsmith won the season’s 13th race in the NASCAR premier series, held at Greensboro Agricultural Fairgrounds, but it was the altercation between Tiny Lund and the Petty family that is still talked about today. It was the first win of the year for Goldsmith, driving for owner Smokey Yunick, and the second of his career. He bested a field of 19 on the .333-mile dirt track.

Lund and the Pettys were involved in a fracas that didn’t end until Elizabeth Petty, wife of Lee Petty, began pummeling Lund with her purse, which reportedly held a .38 pistol.

There are minor differences in the story of the fight – some say it started before the race began during pre-race introductions while others say it occurred after the race while Lund and Petty were in line at the payout window. Regardless of when it began, all agree that Lund was fighting, and whipping, Lee as well as his sons Richard and Maurice Petty when pistol-packing Elizabeth Petty stepped in and began whacking Lund with her purse.

The race was the last before NASCAR officials outlawed what was considered high performance equipment (superchargers and fuel injection). It was hoped the move would level the field, which had been dominated by Ford and Chevrolet teams.

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