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Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton

Pete Hamilton after winning Daytona 500 on Feb.

Pete Hamilton after winning Daytona 500 on Feb. 23, 1970. Credit: AP

Pete Hamilton, who captured the Daytona 500 in 1970 and won twice at Talladega Superspeedway the next year, has died at 74.

His death Wednesday was announced by Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR.

Hamilton won four Cup races, including a Daytona 500 qualifying race in 1971. He had 26 top-five finishes in 64 starts from 1968 to 1973.

His 1970 Daytona victory was in the No. 40 Plymouth Superbird fielded by Petty Enterprises. His teammate was Hall of Famer Richard Petty.

“We ran two cars in 1970, and Plymouth helped introduce us to Pete,” Petty said in a statement. “They wanted us to run a second car with him on the bigger tracks.”

Hamilton was teamed with Hall of Fame mechanic Maurice Petty. Richard Petty said that tandem was the difference.

“Pete and ‘Chief’ won the race, and it was a big deal,” Petty said. “It was great to have Pete as part of the team. He was a great teammate.”

Maurice Petty said Hamilton was “as fast as anyone on the superspeedways in 1970.”

— AP


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