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Pete Hamilton, who won four NASCAR Cup races, dies at 74

Pete Hamilton, who won four NASCAR Cup races including the 1970 Daytona 500, died Wednesday. He was 74.

A popular racer in the Northeast, Hamilton made 64 starts in his Cup career before retiring with a neck injury.

He won twice at Daytona and twice at Talladega. Three of those wins, including the 1970 Daytona 500, came while driving for Petty Enterprises.

"Hamilton's career may seem relatively brief at first glance, but a careful study of the gentleman racer makes it abundantly clear that Hamilton achieved excellence during his extraordinary tenure in NASCAR," NASCAR said in a statement.

Hamilton earned 1968 rookie honors, the year after he won the NASCAR national sportsman championship.

"He will be remembered most fondly for his stirring victory in the 1970 Daytona 500 while driving for the iconic Petty Enterprises race team," NASCAR said. "And for that, his legend will live forever."