Rain helped the Peugeot team win the 2009 Petit Le Mans.
Rain helped the Peugeot team win the 2009 Petit Le Mans.

LOOKING BACK: Rain Rules The Petit Le Mans

SPEED SPORT has been reporting on and covering motorsports happenings from all over the world for 85 years, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back in the archives to see what happened 10, 25 and 50 years ago each week.

So check out what SPEED SPORT was covering 10, 25 and 50 years ago this week in Looking Back!

Sept. 30, 2009 (10 Years Ago): Mother Nature wrecked havoc on the running of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, forcing the event to be stopped late in the afternoon as torrential rains flooded the track. The Peugeot tandem of Stephane Sarrazin and Franck Montagny were the leaders at the time the red flag was displayed. Finally, at 8 p.m., American Le Mans Series officials made the call to cancel the remainder of the event and declared the Peugeot team as the winners.

Other Happenings: Rising IndyCar star Danica Patrick signed an exclusive contract with Andretti Green Racing according to team and industry sources; Dave Darland added another chapter to his USAC 4-Crown nationals history with a Silver Crown win at Eldora. Jerry Coons Jr. (Sprints) and Brad Sweet (Midgets) were also winners; Jimmie Johnson put together a dominant performance to win the AAA 400 at Dover Int’l Speedway.

Sept. 28, 1994 (25 Years Ago): Rusty Wallace prevailed in a battle of black cars, beating Dale Earnhardt to the checkered flag by three car lengths to win the Goody’s 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace dominated the race, leading 369 of 500 laps, but still had to beat Earnhardt to the checkers. Despite the win, Wallace continued to lose the war to Earnhardt in the battle for the title. Earnhardt maintained a 217-point lead over Wallace in the title hunt.

Other Happenings: Page Jones was seriously injured in a sprint car crash during Eldora Speedway’s 4-Crown Nationals; Jack Hewitt (Silver Crown) Kevin Doty (Sprints) Steve Knepper (Midgets) and Freddie Smith (Late Models) were all winners in the 4-Crown Nationals; Jac Haudenschild snapped a drought dating back to 1992 with a World of Outlaws win at Knoxville Raceway; Scott Bloomquist locked up the Hav-A-Tampa Championship.

Oct. 1, 1969 (50 Years Ago): Richard Petty earned his third-straight Old Dominion 500 victory at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway. Petty spun on the 17th lap and that sent him to the pits for fresh tires and dropped him two laps off the pace. It took him the entire race, but Petty eventually got back on the lead lap and put himself back in contention when a fan tossed a beer can onto the track, resulting in a caution flag with 36 laps left. He took the lead with 17 miles left in the race, leading the rest of the way. The win pushed him above the $100,000 winnings mark.

Other Happenings: Al Unser emerged from the shadow of his brother Bobby to win the Golden State 100-mile USAC National Championship race at the old California State fairgrounds in Sacramento; Independent driver Whitey Gerken won the USAC Stock Car race at Tri-County Speedway in Ohio aboard a Chevelle; Nolan Swift dominated the 200-lap Pocono Int’l Raceway National Open Championship; Stan Poloski outran a stellar field of modified stock car racers to win the rain-delayed Lebanon Valley 200 at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

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