Pete Hamiltonís rise to the top was a
fast one. He started driving a street division racer in 1962 at the
Norwood Arena. He went on to be the Thompson World Series Twin 50ís
champion in 1965, and won the NASCAR National Sportsman championship
in 1967 driving the Worcester Sand & gravel #69.
Hamiltonís star really began to
shine when he moved South at the end of the 67 season. He was the
1968 Grand National Rookie of the Year and went on to win 12 of 26
Grand American Division (pony cars, camaroís mustangs etc.) in 69.
Pete made 64 Grand National (now
Winston Cup) starts with impressive results. He scored 33 top ten
finishes, 26 top fives, and 4 wins along with 3 poles.
But unquestionably, Pete
Hamiltonís greatest victory came in 1970 when he won the Daytona 500
in the Petty Enterprises #40 Superbird. He won twice more at both
Talladega races in 1970 and got his fourth and final super speedway
win at the July race at Daytona driving for Cotton Owens. He also
won a Daytona 125 qualifier in 1971.
He was the first driver to win
$100,000 on a super speedway in a single season. He retired later in
1971 at the height of his career because of a recurring neck injury
suffered in a 1969 Grand American race. Hamilton went on to be a
very successful car builder.