The North East Motor Sports Museum Remembers Racing Great Pete Hamilton
New England racer Pete Hamilton, who passed away on March 22, 2017, began racing in the early ‘60s at the Norwood Arena. Due to his skill behind the wheel and his winning personality he was hired to drive fast cars. He was a charismatic personality, he was a man people wanted to be near and support.
In 1967 he became NASCAR's National Sportsman Champion.
On the basis of that championship, in 1968 Pete moved south and began racing in a bright national spotlight. He competed in NASCAR's Grand American series, winning 12 of his 26 starts. He graduated to NASCAR's top level where he was named Rookie of The Year in 1968. In 1970, after having shown skill that proved he could win in NASCAR's top division, he was hired by Richard Petty to drive Petty Enterprises' second car. In it, Pete scored the biggest win of his racing career, the 1970 Daytona 500. He won a total of four races in NASCAR's top division. He is one of only four New England drivers to win in NASCAR's highest level.
After a neck injury, he retired as a full time racer in 1971. Pete returned to racing to win the prestigious 1974 Snowball Derby 300 lap super late model race in Florida.
He was involved in the Chrysler Corporation's development of a commercial race kit-car for local-level racing.
Pete was voted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in its first class in 1998.
The New England racing community mourns the loss of Pete Hamilton, a great racer and very special person.
- 1967 NASCAR Sportsman Division Champion
- 1968 Grand National Series Rookie of the Year
- 1970 Daytona 500 Winner
- 1974 Snowball Derby Winner
- New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame (1998)