- Jun 11, 2002
- Marietta, GA
January 23, 1972: Richard Petty starts the Winston Western 500 second to begin a phenomenal year of qualifying. (Actually, he has a phenomenal year overall, but we'll stick to qualifying.) In 31 races, Petty starts outside the top 10 once -- the Daytona 500, in which he starts 32nd. In the other 30 races, Petty starts in the top five 28 times, and 23 of those times in the top three. He wins three poles and has an average start of 4.1. Bobby Allison, by the way, wins a season-high 11 poles and starts all but two races in the top five (he has a 4.0 average start). Petty wins the championship; Allison is second.