H.C. Pritchard
Images below are of H. C. Pritchard, from Sumter, S. C., who raced in a span of
five decades, mainly in the Carolinas. He started his career at the old Bethel
facility near Sumter in 1956. The Bethel track was actually a cow pasture
converted into a dirt track. In addition to Pritchard, some well known drivers
started their careers there. Three-time Nextel Cup champion Cale Yarborough,
Grand American points runner-up Frank Sessoms, Late Model master Junior
Johnson and many others got their start in the pasture.
Pritchard (20) is shown kicking up dust in a converted cow pasture in
1956. He finished second that day. (Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
Pritchard (20) finds the going a little rough in a 1957 race at Ashwood
Speedway near Bishopville, S. C. (Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
Pritchard had switched to a Ford Coupe when this picture was made in
the late 50's at Sumter Speedway. (Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
The doors on some of the cars were "trimmed" so it made it easier for
the driver to get in and out. Note the license on top of the car. Since
the car was pulled on the road by another vehicle, it had to be
registered with the state of South Carolina and had to display a license
plate. (Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
In 1960, a program of racing consisted of one class of cars and these
cars ran two heats a consi and a main event. The total purse back then
was $500. Admission was $1.25 with military getting in for 99 cents.
(Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
This is what's left of one of the cars Pritchard drove. He was a driver
who took care of his equipment, so this was not a scene that people saw
very often. (Photo sent by Dargan Watts)
The senior Pritchard took a fancy to a Ford driver by the name of Fred
Lorenzen, so he switched his number from 20 to 28 in the mid 60's. His
son Harry, took the number as shown here in a race at the old
Hartsville Speedway in 1965. The younger Pritchard is still racing and
won two events at Sumter Speedway in 2005. He has captured
wins in five decades, just as his father did. (Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard changed numbers when he started running Late Models in
1964. He is shown here in an event at the Old Hartsville Speedway,
which was about 10 miles from the famed Darlington Raceway.
(Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard shown in 1967. (Dargan Watts Photo)
In 1967, Ramon Schwartz ran for the South Carolina House of
Representatives for the first time and was elected. He was later selected
as speaker of the House. Pritchard (Middle) and fellow Late Model
driver Robbie Hines posed in the newspaper ad. The ad read, "Meet
Ramon Schwartz, candidate for the House of Representatives....You
already know H. C. Pritchard and Robbie Hines." (Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard seems to be all ears during a drivers meeting at Sumter
Speedway in the 60's. To his right is his son "Little" Harry and to the
far left is his son-in-law, Al Barrineau. Pictured in the middle (with
glasses in front of "Little" Harry is Randy Hill, who now has two sons
and a nephew who race at Sumter. (Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard switched from white to red in this Late Model. (Dargan Watts
H. C. Pritchard (28) lines up for a 200-lap Late Model Sportsman
behind Joe Lane (21) before a standing-room-only crowd at Sumter
Speedway in 1968. (Dargan Watts Photo)
When Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Fayetteville switched to asphalt,
Pritchard went that route. He is shown here during an event at Myrtle
Beach Speedway. (Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard is shown here at Myrtle Beach Speedway where he picked up
a Grand National win in the late 70's. (Dargan Watts Photo)
Pritchard has now retired from driving, but he and his wife Annie can be
seen often on the highways in their motorhome. He still attends a race
from time to time as he did in 2004 when a car owned by his son-in-law
James Andrews and built by his grandson Kevin Andrews won the race.
The driver is Banjo Duke who won the Super Stock 4 championship at
Sumter Speedway in another Andrews owned and built car in 2005, Yet
another track championship for the Pritchard family and the number 28.
(Dargan Watts Photo)