Petty scores final win – for Panch

Sunday, May 22, 1966 – Richard Petty took the checkered flag but the victory went to Marvin Panch in the seventh annual running of the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Petty relieved Panch, who was ailing from a previous injury, less than 100 laps from the finish of the 400-lap race and finished with a two-lap advantage on runner-up G.C. Spencer.

It was the 17th and final premier series win for Panch, who made just seven more starts that season.

Panch had been a Ford factory driver for much of his career, however the automaker’s boycott of NASCAR due to a rule dispute that season had left him and several other notable drivers without rides.

Credit Charlotte promoter Richard Howard with brokering the deal that put Panch in a year-old Plymouth GTX owned by Petty Enterprises.

Petty won the pole but had fallen out on lap 236 of the race with engine issues.

The winning entry set a race record for average speed of 135.042 mph, breaking the previous record of 132.418 set by Fred Lorenzen in 1963.

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