Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Martinsville Rubber Chicken Fight

Today's story is about Joe and his buddy Blast attending a race at Martinsville back in the good old days when The King was running his STP sponsorship and Cale Yarborough's car was sponsored by Holly Farms Chicken.

This story is about the "rubber chicken fight" during a race at Martinsville that I took a new friend to see, his name was Tony but I called him "Blast" because he always told me his wife was giving him a blast of s--- and it was all over nothing. Blast and I arrived at Martinsville took our top row seats on the front stretch under the covered grandstand and I proceeded to explain how races were run who was who and who to watch during the race. The two top short track drivers at the time were Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough and they were what this story is about. Cale was driving for Junior Johnson with Holly Farms as their sponsor and Petty was driving for his dad and had STP as a sponsor.

About five rows down to the right of us were two rows of Petty fans and behind them another row of Yarborough fans, before the race could get started they started arguing over who was the best so I told Blast to keep his eye on this bunch because before the race is over there was going to be fist city between these people especially since all of them were knocking back some heavy beer drinking.

The race started and about half way through I noticed one of the Cale fan's started waving a rubber chicken because Cale was all over Richard bumpin’ and bangin’ him every lap so I told blast it won't be long now. The races next caution flag came about fifty laps later and I looked down to see this Cale fan start rubbing the rubber chicken on one of the Richard fans head well the guy took it in a good natured way and the race restarted with Cale knocking Richard out of the way and driving away from him which happened often that year.

Next caution flag came out and the Cale fan's were all feeling no pain and the Petty group didn't have much to cheer about so the idiot with the rubber chicken started rubbing the chicken on the same guy's head and he stood up grabbed the chicken pulled out a pen knife cut the chickens head off threw it back at the Cale fan and tossed the rest of the chicken down to the fence.

So I told Blast here we go and the fists started flying with broken beer bottles included, by the time the hired off duty cops got there broke up the fight escorted all of both group's out of the stands and others to the rescue trucks this "Rubber Chicken Fight" was the highlight of the day. Cale won that day but his fan's didn't they received a free night's stay in the cross bar motel for their effort's along with the Petty bunch. I always wondered how Junior's car ran as fast as it did starting with Cale and with Darrell behind the wheel and after reading an interview with Junior he finally told how he was able to run an oversized engine even after being checked several times. If anyone who reads this story has read the same interview then you already know but for those of you that want to know let me know in the comments and I’ll pass it on. I know it put a smile on Smokey's face. Joe


  1. Mike, I really need to know. I don't remember reading Junior's interview.

  2. Wayne junior said they cut small grooves in the top of the spark plug holes so that when the compression was checked the air pumped from any of the holes would bleed and not give the actual compression reading which would show the engine as being oversized.If the inspectors had used a mechanics mirror they would have seen the grooves.when they raced the spark plugs had a metal gasket which sealed the grooves and they got full compression from the engine.they never caught this so who know's how long junior used this trick.Since they tear down engines now i doubt anyone would try this because it would be easy to see.