Yarborough collects first NASCAR victory

Sunday, June 27, 1965 – Cale Yarborough finally joined the ranks of the winners on NASCAR’s premier circuit when he picked up the victory in the rain-delayed 200-lap race at Valdosta (Ga.) 75 Speedway. Yarborough, 26, was making his 78th career start in the series and his fourth for car owner Kenny Myler.

J.T. Putney, G.C. Spencer, Stick Elliott and Harvey Jones rounded out the top five at the end of the 100-mile race.

Yarborough, who started fifth in the No. 06 Ford, finished three laps ahead of runner-up Putney. He took the lead at lap 183 and led the final 18 circuits.

The race, No. 28 of 55 contested that season, had originally been scheduled for Saturday, June 26 but was halted after just 12 laps due to rain. Polesitter Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa was leading when the race was halted.

Had it not been for the rain delay, Yarborough would not have competed in the event. The rain kept the Timmonsville, S.C. resident from flying from Charlotte, N.C. to Valdosta and another driver, Sam McQuagg, qualified the entry and started the race. When officials postponed the race until Sunday, Yarborough reportedly drove all night to get to Valdosta, arriving at the track some four hours before the race resumed. Rather than pick up the race at lap 13, officials re-started the race to be run in its entirety. Had it been resumed instead, McQuagg would have gotten credit for the victory since he was the driver of record when the race began on Saturday.

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