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J. T. Putney
Born:
October 5, 1928      Died: April 11, 2001
Home: Arden, NC

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Putney Dies At Age 72

SCENE - APRIL 23, 2001 - BY DEB WILLIAMS

J.T. Putney, who competed on NASCAR's premier circuit from 1964-67, died April 11, 2001 in a Gainesville, Fla., hospital after a lengthy battle with heart problems. He was 72.

Putney's survivors include his wife, Joyce L. Putney of Alachua, Fla.; two daughters, Debbie Buckley of Powhatan, Va., and Dede Wasielewski of Loxahatchee, Fla.; two sons, Taylor Putney of Macon, Ga., and Lloyd "Sport" Putney of Blountville, Tenn.; a sister, Nell Casteen of Farmville, Va.; two brothers, W.W. Putney of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Blake Putney of Charleston, S.C.; five grandchildren and his surrogate grandchild, Tucker Smith.

Born in Farmville, Va., Putney competed in 125 NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) races while living in Arden, N.C., and working as a corporate pilot for American Enka Corp. Although he never scored a victory, Putney finished second twice, produced 16 top-five and 49-top 10 finishes, and placed in the top 10 in the point standings twice with his best year being 1965 when he was seventh.

Putney continued to fly after he retired from racing, and eventually moved from Arden to Bristol, Tenn., where he flew for Kingsport Press as well as other companies. He also acquired a Budget Rental Car Agency franchise and operated it for 11 years.

A heart attack in 1979 ended his flying career and that's when he decided to sell all of his businesses. In addition to the rental car agency, he also owned six Mason-Dixon tractor-trailers.

In 1981 when the air traffic controllers went on strike, Putney joined the FAA and became an air traffic controller for nine years, first in Memphis, Tenn., and later in Tampa, Fla.

When he retired from that position in 1990, Putney, who had now survived four heart attacks, and his wife moved to Alachua, where they resided until his death.

JT Putney Fast Facts:

  • Sad News: Former Grand National driver J.T. Putney, who loved to go fast -- on the ground or in the air -- passed away Wednesday in Gainesville, FL. Actively competing from 1964-1967, the Arden, NC, native entered 125 races and garnered 16 top-fives and 49 top-10s. He finished a career best of second twice in his career. Julian Taylor Putney is survived by his wife, Joyce. (4-11-2001)

  • J.T. Putney drove for Harold Beam in 1965, finishing second at Valdosta and seventh in the final standings. The next year, Putney was runner-up at Asheville, his best finish in 36 starts, and wound up eighth in the points. He would run seven more races in 1967.

  • Rookie of the Year Contenders for 1964: Doug Cooper J.T. Putney, Buddy Arrington
     

  • 1967 ARCA 250 Daytona Results

    Fin. pos / Car # / Driver / Car Model / Laps Completed

    1. - #29 - Ralph Latham - '66 Plymouth - 100 laps
    2. - #30 - Iggy Katona - '65 Dodge - 100 laps
    3. - #41 - Dorus Wisecarver - '66 Ford - 100 laps
    4. - #68 - Andy Hampton - '66 Ford - 100 laps
    5. - #69 - Bill Kimmel - '66 Plymouth - 99 laps
    6. - #12 - Gil Hearne - '64 Ford - 99 laps
    7. - #19 - J.T. Putney - '66 Chevrolet - 98 laps
    8. - #04 - Coo Coo Marlin - '65 Chevrolet - 98 laps
    9. - #4 - Shad Wheeler - '66 Ford - 98 laps
    10. - #38 - Rene Charland - '64 Dodge - 95 laps
     

A JT Car Owner Story

Herman "The Turtle" Beam   Born: 11 / 12 / 1929    Died: 27 / 8 / 1980

Herman Beam was a University of North Carolina graduate. Herman was a heavy set man who wore large horned rim glasses which made him look like a college professor. And true to his nickname 'The Turtle', Herman and his Ford Galaxy were slow, very slow. Herman had figured out that you could make a good living by building a decent car and then simply driving it around track at a safe pace on a line that no one else was using, to then collect a share of the purse after the race.

At the time there were a number of independents racing without factory support. Money was tight and the attrition rate was high, about 40% in most races. Since most races paid $100 or more for a top twenty finish, Herman realised that if he did not break down or have an accident he could make a pretty good living working on Sunday afternoons.

Thus Herman drove around the apron of the track avoiding accidents for three or four hours and then collected his winnings. He was so successful in his commercial strategy that during one five race stretch in 1961, he earned more money than Fireball Roberts.

In 1958, Beam ran 20 races, with a best of tenth at Weaverville. The following year, Beam was fourth in the final standings, with 12 top-10s in 30 events.

Beam dropped to 12th in the points in 1960, with a fourth at Hillsboro in 26 races. Beam was fourth at Spartanburg in 1961, then won the pole at Richmond in 1962 when rain forced drivers to draw for grid positions. On the pace lap, he pulled into the pits and waited for the pack to pass in order to avoid any risk of an accident when the green flag came out! In 1963, his last season, Beam ran 25 races, including the Daytona 500.

Between 1957 and 1963 Herman Beam started 194 races and earned $42,161. He had 3 top five finishes, due to higher than normal attrition, and 57 top ten.He never won and he was never famous, but everyone in the sport respected him, he never got in anyone's way, and never caused an accident.

He holds the record for the most consecutive races without a DNF with a tally of 84. He was also the first person every to be black flagged at Daytona. That was in 1960 in the qualifying races. Somehow Herman forgot to put on his helmet! It took 8 laps before the officials noticed and flagged him into the pits.

Herman tired of driving and during the 1963 season and put a young Cale Yarborough in the car for 14 races. Yarborough was 17th in the Southern 500 and posted three top-five finishes. Yarborough returned in 1964 to run 17 races for Beam but he left and Tiny Lund and Larry Thomas completed the season. Thomas was seventh in the Southern 500 and second at Hickory in 10 starts. But he was killed in an automobile accident in January of 1965. J.T. Putney drove for Beam in 1965, finishing second at Valdosta and seventh in the final standings.

He then sold up and retired.
 


JT's two passions: Race cars and Airplanes


66 Chevy


66 Chevy


In the Pits

 

"The 10 Stupidest Moments In NASCAR History"    By Steve Nash

The greatest events in NASCAR history can usually find their way onto columns fast. They are moments of greatness, superiority, luck, and above all talent. They define the sport; they make up the foundation for the competition that the sport is built on.

Unfortunately, the other moments never make it onto columns and lists. No, these aren't the good, the great, or the awesome moments. Yes, they are the dumbest moments. The total lack of judgment, and the stupidity that certain situations have produced. The brainless and above all wacky moments that most drivers tend to forget fast. And to celebrate NASCAR's growing success, I've come up with a list entitled: The Ten Stupidest Moments in Winston Cup History.

Now, before you start reading, keep in mind these are all driver-only events. NASCAR's decision to start this year's The Winston in the rain, or their tearing down Rusty Wallace's engine and placing it piece by piece in a little area for other competitors to take a look-see after his pole winning run at Sears Point last year won't make it. What will make it? Well, just take a look down below.

6. Graveyard Shift-J.T. Putney, Tiny Lund-Fonda Speedway, 1966-

Putney had started second, and quickly jumped to the front, leading the first 31 laps. However, on lap 32 he spun off of turn two. The tiny 1/2-mile dirt track didn't have an outside retaining wall on the turns, so he spun over the banking. Putney regathered his car into control on a service road that led from the Erie Canal to the backstretch. Oddly enough, the road went through a graveyard, which is where Putney drove through before returning to the track. But by returning to the track, he drove straight in the path of Tiny Lund, who t-boned Putney, and also took out Bobby Allison and Lyle Stetler. Putney not only took out four cars in his bonehead maneuver, but he was KO'd by a punch from Lund. Lund had approached Putney following the incident in the garage area, and knocked Putney unconscious with a right-cut to Putney's jaw. NASCAR officials fined Lund $100.

Race

FN

ST

#

Team - Owner

Car

Lap

$

Status
   65 Music City 200 3 6 19 Herman Beam '65 Chevrolet 199 400 running
   65 Nashville 400 4 11 19 Herman Beam '65 Chevrolet 381 500 running
   66 Nashville 400 20 11 19 J.T. Putney '66 Chevrolet 171 100 engine

Grand National Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1964 35 17 of 62 0 1 6 0 4216 0 7,295 23 19.0 13.6 3365.2
1965 36 40 of 55 0 10 24 0 7932 0 22,329 7 15.2 11.8 5680.2
1966 37 39 of 49 0 4 9 0 7836 32 18,653 8 16.1 16.3 6459.8
1967 38 29 of 49 0 1 10 0 6110 0 15,686 18 20.6 17.7 4866.0
4 years 125 0 16 49 0 26094 32 63,963   17.2 14.8 20371.2

1966 Race Results

1

Augusta

30

11

26

19

Herman Beam

Chevrolet

102/300

engine

2

Riverside

44

44

18

61

Toy Bolton

Oldsmobile

150/185

running

4

Daytona

33

20

19

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

37/40

running

5

Daytona

50

37

14

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

184/198

running

6

Rockingham

44

13

11

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

440/500

lug bolt

7

Bristol

32

10

26

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

65/500

engine

8

Atlanta

44

31

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

309/334

running

9

Hickory

26

13

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

234/250

running

10

Columbia

24

2

4

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

198/200

running

11

Greenville

25

4

7

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

182/200

running

12

Winston-Salem

22

6

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

174/200

running

13

North Wilkesboro

37

12

31

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

89/400

engine

14

Martinsville

40

39

21

35

Ken Carpenter

Oldsmobile

419/500

running

15

Darlington

36

14

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

262/291

running

16

Hampton

22

7

9

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

226/250

running

18

Monroe

25

7

15

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

99/250

axle

19

Richmond

30

6

3

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

244/250

running

20

Charlotte

44

35

40

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

20/400

engine

21

Moyock

25

6

24

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

13/301

engine

22

Asheville

22

3

2

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

299/300

running

23

Spartanburg

22

4

14

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

89/200

crash

24

Maryville

26

26

25

45

Bill Seifert

Ford

6/200

engine

25

Weaverville

29

8

7

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

280/300

running

28

Daytona

40

31

37

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

20/160

valve

30

Bridgehampton

28

5

20

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

27/52

bad gas

31

Oxford

27

4

6

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

296/300

running

32

Fonda

31

2

26

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

32/200

crash

34

Bristol

36

27

15

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

445/500

oil leak

35

Maryville

29

2

3

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

199/200

running

36

Nashville

28

11

20

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

171/400

engine

37

Atlanta

42

29

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

241/267

running

39

Weaverville

30

10

21

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

254/500

brakes

42

Darlington

44

25

19

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

333/364

running

43

Hickory

21

14

14

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

203/250

running

44

Richmond

29

6

16

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

171/300

a frame

46

Martinsville

40

25

8

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

479/500

running

47

North Wilkesboro

35

12

32

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

60/400

differential

48

Charlotte

44

34

12

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

313/334

running

49

Rockingham

44

31

11

19

J.T. Putney

Chevrolet

471/500

running

 


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