2-time Daytona 500 Winner Pete Hamilton Dies at 74
(AP) - Pete Hamilton, winner of consecutive Daytona 500s, died Wednesday. He was 74.
Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR both announced Hamilton's death.
Hamilton won four career Cup races, including the Daytona 500 in 1970 and 1971. He also won twice at Talladega Superspeedway in 1971.
Hamilton's 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, and 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."
Hamilton had 26 top-five finishes in 64 career starts from 1968-73.