Sunday 23rd October 1955
Buck Baker steamed from the pole position to prevail in the Wilkes 160, leading every lap at North Wilkesboro (North Carolina) Speedway. Baker, a 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, wound up five seconds ahead of runner-up Lee Petty at the checkered flag, collecting $1,100 for his 12th win in NASCAR’s premier series. Gwyn Staley, Joe Weatherly and Tim Flock rounded out the top five.
Ten thousand people attended this autumn race. This race would produce Joe Weatherly’s first finish in the top five. Most of the drivers in this racing event were driver-owners who owned their own racing vehicle and drove their vehicle directly to the races instead of towing it from hundreds of miles away.
All the drivers in this event were racing for a prize purse that totalled $4,285 ($39,145.20 when adjusted for inflation). Only 20 of the 28 competing drivers would gain financially from this race; with individual earnings that ranged from $1,110 ($10,140.30 when adjusted for inflation) to a paltry $50 for the NASCAR drivers who finished in 13th place through 20th place ($456.77 when adjusted for inflation). No financial compensation was given to the participants who finished in the bottom 9 due to NASCAR’s limited budget for prize winnings in an era prior to “big money” sponsors like Sprint Nextel and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Carl Kiekhaefer was one of the notable crew chiefs on attendance for this race; he helped to service Tim Flock’s racing vehicle.