History Blog: The King ruled College Station in the summer of ’73

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.



Richard “The King” Petty, driving well-known Dodge number 43 for STP, won NASCAR’s Alamo 500 at the Texas World Speedway just south of College Station on June 10, 1973. Darrell Waltrip, still a rising star in the sport, came in second in the Winston Cup race. 

This was the last NASCAR championship race at the four-year-old superspeedway until the 1979 Texas 400, which Waltrip won. The Wikipedia site for Texas World Speedway has great information on its history, and all of the track’s races are listed on the Ultimate Racing History website.

Richard_Petty[2]Petty was the second generation professional racer in a family that now includes four generations of racers. Almost any longtime sports fan who sees the logo on the right knows it’s Richard Petty.

I actually have a small, personal connection to this history item due to an uncle who was a travelling salesman for STP in the early 1970s. He lived near Graceland in Memphis, and we usually saw him only once a year — but that was enough to get a lifetime supply of STP logo items!  He would open his station wagon and enjoy watching us tweens rampage through the boxes, taking promotional items by the case. 

If anyone recalls my days in middle school, they’ll remember the STP t-shirts I wore and the multitude of STP stickers on my notebooks.

Here’s a scan of one of the stickers I still have handy:


This was from 1974, after Petty won his fifth Daytona 500. He won more than 200 races in his career, including a record seven Daytona titles and seven NASCAR championships.

Have a great week,

Henry Mayo
Henry Mayo
Surveyor and Historian | email

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