Saturday, February 20, 2021

1966 – Low Tank Costly to Iowan

Daytona winner Jack Bowsher is joined by ARCA's John Marcum in victory lane. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 20, 1966) - Talk about Inflation - Ramo Stott stopped off to get a couple of gallons of gas at Daytona’s International Speedway on Sunday, and it cost him $2,100.

Stott, from Keokuk, Iowa, had to settle for second place and $3,350 in the Automobile Racing Club of America 250-mile championship when his pit crew sent him onto the track with less than a full lank of gas in his 1965 Plymouth after his second pit stop.

He had to make a third stop and Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio - who made only two pit stops - drove his 1966 Ford to the championship and a prize of $5,450.

Bowsher beat Stott across the finish line by only 100 feet, and it was that third pit stop that made the difference. The stop lasted only five seconds - just enough to splash a couple of gallons in the tank, but the slowing down time let Bowsher get that 100-foot margin.

Bowsher’s speed was 164.053 miles an hour, the fastest 250 ever negotiated over the high-banked track. It beat the old ARCA record of 154.103 miles per hour set two years ago by Nelson Stacy driving a 1964 Ford and also topped the NASCAR 250-mile race record of 154.291, set by David Pearson July 4, 1961.

Two minor problems cost Bowsher a little extra pit time - an adjustment to his wedge, engine, and transmission trouble, He spent a total of 65 seconds at a dead stop. Stott had no mechanical delays; stopped only 27 seconds the first time and 15 seconds the second.

But with eight laps to go and leading about 25 seconds, he saw the fuel pressure bubbling. “When that bubbles, you know you don’t have enough gas to go more than two laps,” Stott said. “There was nothing to do but alert the pit crew the first time past and come in the next time.”

Bowsher said he could not go at top speed because of his bad transmission but he coaxed 168 miles an hour out of his car or, each of the last six laps and kept Stott from catching him.

There was not as much as a brush of fenders by the 33 contenders. The yellow caution flag was out for two laps when Phil Cronin of Houston, Tex., blew an engine, but it barely slowed the leaders as Cronin coasted into the pit.

Andy Hampton of Louisville, Ky., finished one lap back in third place in a 1965 Dodge and won $2,150. Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa was fourth in a 1966 Dodge for $1,125. Shad Wheeler of Fredericktown, Ohio was fifth in a 1961 Ford for $800.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. Ramo Stott
3. Andy Hampton
4. Ernie Derr
5. Shad Wheeler
6. Ralph Latham
7. Jack Purcell
8. Mel Gillett
9. Sal Tovella
10.Keith Ploughe
11.Clyde Parker
12.Harold Smith
13.Paul Wensink
14.Bob Coe
15.Hank Teeters
16.Wally Arkkelin
17.Ray Daniels
18.Kenny Benner
19.Jack Shanklin
20.Phil Cronin
21.Iggy Katona
22.Johnny Ditch
23.Homer Newland
24.Benny Parsons
25.Dick Dunlevy
26.Elmer Davis
27.Leon Van Atta
28.Daniel Warlick

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