Sunday, June 2, 2013

1963 – Lorenzen Wins 600 with Gas Tank Empty

Charlotte, N.C. (June 2, 1963) - Fred Lorenzen nursed his out-of-gas Ford for three laps around the Charlotte Motor Speedway and glided across the finish line at 30 miles per hour Sunday to win the World 600 late model stock car race and $26,250.

The lead-footed North Carolina native, who now lives in Elmhurst, Ill., combined cagey strategy and a lot of luck to set a blistering mark of 132.417 miles per hour and boost his total earnings this season to well over $75,000.

He purposely relinquished the lead to Junior Johnson at the 320th lap and trailed the Chevrolet jockey. By "dragging" behind Johnson he conserved fuel.

But this still wouldn't have been enough. It took a stroke of luck to turn the tide. Johnson blew a tire three laps before the finish and Lorenzen's scat-back Ford whizzed past.

For the next three laps, he rocked his car to feed the last drops of gasoline in the tanks into his engine.

Johnson finished second despite the blowout and won $11,410 in prize money and $6,050 for leading the race for 291 laps.

About 60,000 persons witnessed the accident-free race, marred for a short time by a slow drizzle. Despite the rain, Lorenzen's time was about 10 miles an hour faster than the previous track record.

Finishing in third place was another Chevrolet, piloted by Rex White of Spartanburg, S.C., who won $8,290.

Joe Weatherly of Norfolk, Va., last year's NASCAR champion, piloted his Pontiac to fourth place and $5,675; David Pearson of Spartanburg, S.C., finished fifth in a Dodge for $4,425; and Nelson Stacy and Marvin Panch, both from Daytona Beach and driving Fords, finished in sixth and seventh places.

Results –

1.      Fred Lorenzen

2.      Junior Johnson

3.      Rex White

4.      Joe Weatherly

5.      David Pearson

6.      Nelson Stacy

7.      Marvin Panch

8.      Darel Dieringer

9.      G.C. Spencer

10.  Fireball Roberts

11.  Bobby Isaac

12.  Tiny Lund

13.  Jimmy Pardue

14.  Larry Thomas

15.  Bob Cooper

16.  Emanuel Zervakis

17.  Banjo Matthews

18.  Stick Elliot

19.  Larry Manning

20.  Wendell Scott

21.  Worth McMillion

22.  Possum Jones

23.  Cale Yarborough

24.  Billy Wade

25.  Larry Frank

26.  E.J. Trivette

27.  T.C. Hunt

28.  Bobby Johns

29.  Bob Welborn

30.  Ned Jarrett

31.  Neil Castles

32.  Bunkie Blackburn

33.  Lee Roy Yarborough

34.  Bob James

35.  Paul Clark

36.  Richard Petty

37.  Ed Livingston

38.  Buddy Baker

39.  Ralph Earnhardt

40.  Johnny Allen

41.  Jack Smith

42.  Jim Paschal

43.  Buck Baker

44.  Curtis Crider

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