Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The 1990 Knoxville Nationals - Scruffy Sneaks By on the Low Side


Bobby Allen

By Lee Ackerman

Knoxville, Iowa - If you search the names of the winners of the world-famous Knoxville Nationals from the mid-80s through the mid-90’s in the middle of all the Nationals won by driver’s named Kinser or Wolfgang, you will find one of the most popular wins in Knoxville National history. It was the night that Bobby Allen (known affectionately as Scruffy) snuck by on the low side and claimed the biggest win in sprint car racing and a check for $35,000.

The 30th Annual Knoxville Nationals started off on Wednesday, August 15, 1990, pretty much as might expect. “The King of the Outlaws” Steve Kinser set fast time, won his heat, and then won his qualifying feature to earn a perfect score of 500 points to put himself on the pole for Saturday Night’s Knoxville National A Feature event.

On Thursday night things didn’t go quite as you might expect them too. Oh, Mark Kinser did his part as he also set fast time, won his heat and his qualifying feature to earn a perfect score of 500 and a starting spot on the outside of the front row of Saturday night’s A feature next to Steve.

But strange things were starting to happen. First, Hanover, Pennsylvania’s Bobby Allen, who never seemed to have much luck in his previous 22 appearances at the Nationals, set second quick time, won his heat, and finished fourth in the feature to earn a second row inside starting spot in the big dance by posting 492 points.

The bad news that happened on Thursday night was that defending Knoxville National Champion and five-time winner of the race, Doug Wolfgang, did not fare so well. In fact, his night was a total wipeout. After qualifying fourth in time trials, “Wolfie” collided with Rick Montgomery in the fourth heat and then slammed the front stretch wall total destroying is #8 Payless Hardware & Rockery Schnee and ending his night. Wolfgang did come back on Friday night, win his heat, finish well back in the A feature, and place fifth in the Race of States.

Doug Wolfgang


On Saturday night, Wolfgang had his work cut out to say the least. Starting in the D feature, “Wolfie” won the 12-lap affair. Tagging the back of the 15-lap C feature he charged up through the field to finish second to Pennsylvania’s Keith Kauffman, earning a starting spot at the tail of the 22-lap feature. “Wolfie” charged through the field to win that event and earn the 20th starting position in the feature. When the checkers waved in the 30-lap Knoxville Nationals, he finished fifth, successfully passing 62 cars in 79 laps.

When the green waved on the main event, most bets would have been on a driver named Kinser to win the contest, given that both Steve and Mark were starting on the front row and had been extremely fast all weekend. But first you have to finish to win and that’s where things began to happen.

Steve grabbed the lead, but on the backstretch, Mark took over the point when the magneto on Steve’s #11 mount started to malfunction. The engine lasted for 13 laps before the “King of Outlaws” night was over.

Meanwhile up front, Mark started pulling away from the field, opening up a half straightaway lead and by lap 10 was lapping back markers. But then on lap 23 the caution waved for Dave Blaney and Mark stopped on the backstretch with a broken rod, thus putting both Kinser’s and race favorites on the sidelines.

If you have ever watched Bobby Allen, chances are you didn’t find him up by the outside guard rail but more than likely much closer to the inside guardrail. Allen loves the bottom and has won races where it has taken the announcers and officials several laps to realize Allen is in the lead.

In this case, everybody knew “Scruffy” was in the lead, but he had a challenger, actually the TMC Stanton Challenger of Sammy Swindell, the 1983 Knoxville Nationals winner, who also had a bit of a history of bad luck at the Knoxville Nationals.

Swindell’s mount had started smoking and spitting oil midway through the 30-lap affair and he was fortunate to pick up some extra tear-offs during the caution. With six laps to go and smoke streaming from his engine Swindell was on the charge and determined to add a second Knoxville Nationals crown to his resume.

On lap 26, Swindell charged high by Allen to take the lead coming off the fourth turn but then a brush with the outside retaining wall caused his right rear tire to lose air pressure and slow him down. Allen regained the lead with a third turn pass as the two charged to the white flag and held of Swindell for the final one and quarter laps to win by three car lengths.

“Everything seemed to work my way tonight.” said Allen in victory lane. “The racetrack was perfect for me - they actually ran the top way up and some of the guys had trouble. I don’t care, I won and I’m happy.”

Knoxville Nationals winner Bobby Allen (center) is joined on the podium by runner-up Sammy Swindell (left) and third-place finisher Steve Smith Jr. (right). 


Allen picked up $35,000 for the win, Swindell $23,000 for second and Steve Smith, Jr. (who finished on seven cylinders) $15,000 for third. Danny Lasoski brought his overheating mount home fourth and Doug Wolfgang (who passed 57 cars during the nights activity brought him car in fifth.

Wolfgang was extremely gracious towards the man who replaced him as National’s champion. “Bob does it all and he has since about the 60’s,” Wolfgang said. “So, my hat’s off to him and I’m glad that if I couldn’t win it, I couldn’t figure out a better guy deserving to win.”

Allen remained at the victory platform signing autographs, for several hours after the awards ceremony was complete. 18,000 fans were on hand for Saturday night’s races.

Certainly, it was a well-deserved win for Allen and the crowd loved the exciting finish and the outcome. It certainly has to be listed as one of the most surprising wins in Knoxville National history. It also provided fans with the unexpected (both Kinser’s breaking), it provided them with Wolfgang’s amazing charge from the D feature to a top five in the A and for the drivers it was proof once again of the old saying from “Wide World of Sports”, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Bobby Allen was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1998.

Monday, February 26, 2024

1956 – Flock Snares 160-Miller at Daytona

Tim Flock shows off his trophy after winning at Daytona. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 26, 1956) – Tim Flock, the 31-year-old member of Atlanta’s high-speed Flock family, powered his 1956 Chrysler 300B over a rain-slickened beach and asphalt course on Sunday afternoon at an average speed of 89.156 miles per hour to capture the Grand National Championship Circuit Race.

Flock, who captured the 125-mile modified race here two days ago, took the lead from his pole position starting spot and stayed in front throughout the entire grind except for a few moments on the 23rd lap when he stopped to refuel.

He went back in front before the next lap was completed and closed out the race, 57 seconds ahead of Billy Meyers of Germantown, N.C., who was jockeying a 1956 Mercury.

The race took 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 24 seconds.

Trailing by one lap and 10 seconds in third place was courageous Ralph Moody of Dania, Fla., whose 1956 Ford rolled over completely on lap 26, only to end up on all four of its wheels. Moody finished the race with a smashed hood and the windshield knocked out.

The event was marked by a number of pileups at both ends of the 4.1-mile oval track and only 38 of the 79 starters were reported by race officials as to completing the race.

Flock picked up the winner’s trophy and collected $4,025 as the first-place purse.

Results –

1. Tim Flock, Atlanta, Ga.
2. Billy Meyers, Germantown, N.C.
3. Ralph Moody, Charlotte, N.C.
4. Jimmy Lewallen, High Point, N.C.
5. Jim Reed, Peekskill, N.Y.
6. Garvin Rendahl, Rio, Wis.
7. Bob Korf, Dayton, Ohio
8. Herb Thomas, Sanford, N.C.
9. Fonty Flock, Atlanta, Ga.
10.Gwyn Staley, North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

1966 – Goldsmith’s ‘Waiting Game’ Wins Daytona 100-Miler

Paul Goldsmith stands in victory lane with Miss Firebird, Winkie Louise (left), and Miss Hurst Golden Shifter, Linda Vaughn (second from right), after the Muncie, Ind., driver won the 100-mile qualifying race at Daytona.  

Daytona, Fla. (February 25, 1966) – Paul Goldsmith played the waiting game and it paid dividends - $1,000 worth.

The quiet, lanky Goldsmith vaulted off the fourth turn and squeezed between Richard Petty and Curtis Turner to win the first 100-miler Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

The victory earned Goldsmith the third starting position in Sunday’s Daytona 500 behind Petty and polesitter Petty. Goldsmith and Petty waged a close duel from lap 2 until the very finish.

Goldsmith, running second in his 1965 Plymouth, waited until the fourth turn on the last lap to make his move. Using the draft, he slipped by Petty and nipped the “Randleman Rocket” by the length of a car hood.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1965 Dodge, finished third with hometown favorite Marvin Panch and Fred Lorenzen of Elmhurst, Ill., both driving 1966 Ford’s, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Goldsmith said afterwards he thought he had waited too long before making his move and “was going to run in second.”

“I saw that we were going to run into traffic, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get by using the draft and get by Richard. I started to go by him on the backstretch but then I figured then he’d be able to slingshot by me when we got to the fourth turn, so I just waited and decided to take my chances on the front stretch.”

Petty and Goldsmith were racing by three other drivers including Turner, who was a lap back, when Goldsmith made his move.

“I didn’t know if there was going to be enough room to get by. I just hoped there would be – and there was.”

Results –

1. Paul Goldsmith
2. Richard Petty
3. Don White
4. Marvin Panch
5. Fred Lorenzen
6. Sam McQuagg
7. Gordon Johncock
8. Darel Dieringer
9. Larry Frank
10.Cale Yarbrough
11.Curtis Turner
12.James Hylton
13.Roy Mayne
14.Calvin Kelly
15.Ned Setzer
16.Henley Gray
17.Wayne Smith
18.Bob Derrington
19.Buddy Baker
20.Larry Hess
21.Johnny Allen
22.Gene Petro
23.Johnny Rutherford
24.Ronnie Chumley
25.Tiny Lund

Saturday, February 24, 2024

1967 – Lorenzen Gas Gamble Pays Off with Daytona Win


Fred Lorenzen gives a wave from victory lane after winning the 100-mile qualifying race at Daytona. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 24, 1967) – Fred Lorenzen gambled on gas mileage Friday and drove 100 miles without a pit stop to win the second of a pair of races leading up to Sunday’s Daytona 500 for late model stock cars.

Lorenzen, of Elmhurst, Ill., ran out of gas just before he completed the 40 laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in his 1967 Ford but coasted across the finish line with a record speed of 174.583 miles per hour.

Darel Dieringer of Charlotte, N.C., was second, Cale Yarborough of Timmonsville, S.C., was third, Dick Hutcherson of Camden, S.C., was fourth, all in Fords. Richard Petty of Randleman, N.C., was fifth in a 1967 Plymouth.

Lorenzen’s record broke the old mark of 170.777 set by Junior Johnson in 1964.

Results –

1. Fred Lorenzen
2. Darel Dieringer
3. Cale Yarborough
4. Dick Hutcherson
5. Richard Petty
6. Mario Andretti
7. Don White
8. Paul Lewis
9. Sonny Hutchins
10.Innes Ireland

Friday, February 23, 2024

1969- Yarbrough Wins Daytona 500

Lee Roy Yarbrough is joined by his wife Gloria after winning the Daytona 500.

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 23, 1969) - Sheer determination and skill brought Lee Roy Yarbrough his biggest payoff in eight years of big-time stock car racing. But pit crews will debate for a long time whether a tire change might have made the difference between the winner and second-place Charlie Glotzbach in the Daytona 500 Sunday.

In the background of the mechanical controversy were two former champion drivers – Junior Johnson, who prepared Yarbrough’s 1969 Ford Talladega, and Cotton Owens, who did the same with Glotzbach’s 1969 Dodge Charger 500.

Yarbrough, who was runner-up in both the Daytona 500 and Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway last year, passed Glotzbach one mile from home and finished a car length in front.

“I was going flat out, and I couldn't slingshot past him off the fourth turn,” Glotzbach said.

Yarbrough, giving his account of the final laps, said, “I actually caught him on the lap before but decided to wait till the last lap, where he could not gain enough momentum to pass me back.”

They waged a two-car duel through the last 100 miles after Donnie Allison - who led 87 of the 200 laps around the 2.5-mile high-banked track - brushed the wall and lost some of his speed.

The crucial tire change came 50 miles before the finish. Yarbrough pitted 21 seconds. In addition to fueling, the changed the left rear tire. Glotzbach was in the pit only 18 seconds, just for fuel.

When both cars went into the final laps, it appeared the three-second difference had won the race for Glotzbach, the comparative newcomer from Georgetown, Ind. But Yarbrough steadily closed in.

After he got past a dangerous situation just before passing, Glotzbach, he had the tiny speed margin that brought him $38,950 in prize money compared to $18,425 for Glotzbach.

That dangerous situation cropped up when the two cars overtook a slower one on the backstretch.

“I went past him on one side and Charlie on the other side,” Yarbrough recalled. "I just hoped he was experienced enough to look in his rear view mirror and wouldn’t just move over the other way when he saw the first car come by.”

He was…

Aerodynamic design of the Talladega model was credited for faster speeds, and Yarbrough actually set a race record of 157.950 miles per hour. It wiped out the 154.334 mark set by Richard Petty in 1966.

Ford took the next two places behind Glotzbach. Donnie Allison of Hueytown, Ala., finished third, one lap back, and collected $13,275. A.J. Foyt of Houston was fourth and got $5,800. Buddy Baker of Charlotte, N.C., who started a Dodge on the pole, came home fifth for $10,050.

Results –

1. Lee Roy Yarbrough
2. Charlie Glotzbach
3. Donnie Allison
4. A.J. Foyt
5. Buddy Baker
6. David Pearson
7. Benny Parsons
8. Richard Petty
9. Andy Hampton
10.Ray Elder
11.Vic Elford
12.Richard Brickhouse
13.Friday Hassler
14.Jabe Thomas
15.James Hylton
16.Neil Castles
17.Dave Marcis
18.Bill Seifert
19.Frank Warren
20.Elmo Langley
21.George Bauer
22.Dub Simpson
23.Bill Champion
24.Henley Gray
25.Don Tarr
26.E.J. Trivette
27.Cecil Gordon
28.Buddy Arrington
29.Wendell Scott
30.Bobby Isaacs
31.Wayne Smith
32.Richard Brooks
33.Ramo Stott
34.Ben Arnold
35.Earl Brooks
36.Swede Savage
37.Dick Johnson
38.Cale Yarborough
39.J.D. McDuffie
40.Bobby Johns

Thursday, February 22, 2024

1959 – Beauchamp Wins Torrid Daytona 500-Miler

Johnny Beauchamp is joined by speed queen Scotty McCormick after the Harlan, Iowa, speedster won the Daytona 500-mile race.

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 22, 1959) – Out of Harlan, Iowa, by way of racetracks all over the Midwest, 35-year-old Johnny Beauchamp came to Daytona Beach and drove a beautiful 1959 white Ford Thunderbird in a photo finish victory over Lee Petty of Randleman, N.C., in one of the closest auto races of all time -the 500-mile sweepstakes.

More than six hours after the race ended, Bill France, president of the speedway and the National Association of Stock Car Racers (NASCAR), said results would be ruled unofficial pending examination of photographs and movies of the finish.

Ten minutes after the race ended, the public address system and the electric scoreboard both announced to the 47,000 spectators that Beauchamp was the official winner.

Trailing by inches on the way past the grandstand, the tall, boyish-looking Iowan took advantage of the slope of the track as he pulled towards the infield. The added momentum put the nose of his car into the lead of Petty’s 1959 Oldsmobile at the finish line.

Officials first announced an average speed 135.735 miles per hour for the race, but it was later corrected to 135.521 miles per hour.

It was strictly a two-man race for the last 15 circuits with Charlie Griffith of Chattanooga, Tenn., finishing far behind in third place in a 1957 Pontiac. Cotton Owens of Spartanburg, S.C., was fourth in a 1958 Pontiac.

Only 32 of the 58 cars were on the track at the finish.

Fireball Roberts of Daytona Beach, driving a 1959 Pontiac and starting far back in post position 43, took the lead as expected after he weaved his way through heavy traffic, and set a sizzling pace. At the end of 40 laps, his average speed was 143.08 miles per hour.

The pace eventually killed off his own car. He lost 15 laps in the pits with a broken piston, and although he eventually returned to the race, he failed to finish.

The lead was held alternately by others until Beauchamp and Petty decided to make it a two-car affair.

Tom Pistone of Chicago, in a 1957 Thunderbird, at one time led the field as did Jack Smith of Atlanta in a 1959 Chevrolet.

A variety of mechanical ailments sent cars to the pit area. Bob Welborn of Greensboro, N.C., blew two pistons and was out for the day.

Beauchamp’s car is owned by Roy Burdick of Omaha, Neb., who also served as Beauchamp’s chief mechanic.

The victory was worth $20,000 to Beauchamp. He won $18,400, including a $5,000 bonus for driving a 1959 model car. Lap money and other awards boosted his total materially.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Lee Petty, Randleman, N.C.
3. Charlie Griffith, Chattanooga, Tenn.
4. Cotton Owens, Spartanburg, S.C.
5. Joe Weatherly, Norfolk, Va.
6. Jim Reed, Peekskill, N.Y.
7. Jack Smith, Atlanta
8. Tom Pistone, Chicago
9. Tim Flock, Atlanta
10.Speedy Thompson, Charlotte, N.C.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

1972 - Foyt Whizzes to Win at Daytona

A.J. Foyt basks in the glory of his Daytona 500 victory. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 20, 1972) - Like the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl by 50 points, like the Pirates winning the seventh game of the Series by 21 runs, Sunday’s Daytona 500 was a humdrum parade.

Things came up horseshoes for A.J. Foyt and horselaughs for everybody else.

The largest crowd ever estimated at Daytona International Speedway - 98,600 - saw probably the most boring race in the 14-year history of the speed plants.

Richard Petty, last of Foyt’s competition, went behind the wall on lap 80. From that point on the Texan rode tall in the saddle, never relinquishing the lead and making shambles of the rest of the field.

Charlie Glotzbach, not fast enough to run with the Wood Brothers’ Mercury, finished second in a Dodge, one lap back of the leader. Jim Vandiver in another Dodge was third. Benny Parsons in a Mercury was fourth and James Hylton in a Ford rounded out the top five. Former 500 winner Cale Yarborough was sixth in a Ray Fox Plymouth, 12 laps behind.

Foyt, who led 167 of the 200 laps, averaged 161.550 miles per hour over the 2.5-mile tri-oval and collected $38,400 for his Sunday afternoon cruise. His winnings included $4,900 in lap money.

There were only two other leaders in the race. Petty, who was leading at the time when a broken valve spring sidelined him, was in command for 31 laps, and Bobby Allison, who finished 16th, led two laps.

There were only 13 lead charges among the three leaders. Three caution flags slowed the stock car classic for a total of 16 laps.

There was one spectacular crash and it occurred on lap 20 when Walter Ballard chopped Buddy Baker coming off the fourth turn, bringing out the first yellow. Baker and Petty, who started 31st and 32nd, respectively, in the 40-car field, had moved to the front and were running down Foyt. Petty was second and Baker third, bumper to bumper.

Coming off four, Ballard was in the lower lane of traffic and began moving up to the wall. Petty slipped by, but the door closed on Baker. They rammed the wall at about the entrance to pit road. Baker spun onto the infield grass after Ballard’s car had flipped on its top. After flipping, Ballard’s machine slid on its top to a halt ending the skid with a violent cartwheel as the car slid from asphalt to grass, flipping over again on the inside apron.

Baker and Petty wasted little time in coming to the front. By lap 10 the two were running third and fourth with Foyt and Allison just ahead.

On the restart Foyt and Petty were bumper to bumper and swapping the lead. On lap 47 the lead car zipped by the third place car which was Jim Vandiver.

The two were engaged in the only real racing of the day. On lap 54 Foyt pitted for a 19-second stop. On lap 57 Petty pitted and was in for 28 seconds. This separated the two until Foyt pitted again on lap 74 for outside tires. Petty moved into the lead but shut it off and pulled behind the wall on lap 81.

“I think my car was handling a little better, but Foyt was a little stronger down the straightaways,” remarked Petty. “I was just cruising down the backstretch when the engine started skipping I knew that was all. It could have been an interesting finish had nothing happened.”

Pole winner Bobby Isaac completed only 19 laps. He was sidelined with ignition problems and finished 33rd.

Of the six competitive cars in the field, only three were running at the finish – Foyt, Glotzbach and Allison – and Allison had overheating problems after the first few laps.

The second caution of the day came on lap 97 when a car stalled on the track, and the third and final yellow flag rippled the breeze on lap 115 when Jim Hurtubise’s Chevy engine exploded in the second turn, giving Foyt his only close call of the day.

Some of the rated independents also had their problems, along with Mark Donohue, driving the only openly factory backed car in the field—an American Motors Matador.

Donohue’s machine went out with a broken push rod on lap 13 Dave Marcis was sidelined with engine failure on lap 57. Coo Coo Marlin’s Chevy went out on lap 81 with a broken valve.

Only Foyt was blessed with luck. It was his third win here at Daytona. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner came home first here in the July 4th races twice.

Results –

1. A.J. Foyt
2. Charlie Glotzbach
3. Jim Vandiver
4. Benny Parsons
5. James Hylton
6. Cale Yarborough
7. David Sisco
8. Jabe Thomas
9. John Sears
10.Vic Elford
11.Tom Gale
12.Elmo Langley
13.Richard Brown
14.Henley Gray
15.George Altheide
16.Bobby Allison
17.Ben Arnold
18.Frank Warren
19.David Boggs
20.Ed Hessert
21.Larry Dickson
22.Jim Hurtubise
23.Bill Dennis
24.J.D. McDuffie
25.Coo Coo Marlin
26.Richard Petty
27.Dave Marcis
28.Ron Keselowski
29.Bill Seifert
30.Red Farmer
31.Jimmy Finger
32.Buddy Arrington
33.Bobby Isaac
34.Buddy Baker
35.Mark Donohue
36.Walter Ballard
37.Ramo Stott
38.Bill Champion
39.Cecil Gordon
40.Ray Williams

Monday, February 19, 2024

1970 – Death Mars Daytona Qualifiers

Charlie Glotzbach (left) and Cale Yarborough hold checkered flags after winning their respective 125-mile qualifiers at Daytona. The racing action was marred by the death of Talmadge Prince. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 19, 1970) – Cale Yarborough and Charlie Glotzbach zipped to storybook victories in a pair of 125-mile sprint races in preparation for Sunday’s $205,000 Daytona 500.

But the qualifying action was marred by the death of Talmadge Prince of Dublin, Ga., making his first Grand National appearance.

The 32-year-old driver died instantly when his car was struck broadside at 190 miles per hour on Daytona’s high-banked first turn. His neck was broken, and spinal cord crushed in the race won by Glotzbach.

Bill Seifert of Skyland, N.C., was lucky. The spectre of death which always hangs over high-speed racing missed him when his 1969 Ford crammed straight into the driver’s side of Prince’s spinning 1969 Dodge. Seifert was listed in good condition at local hospital with a bruised heart and concussion.

Until announcement of Prince’s death in his first appearance ever on the speedway, Yarborough and Glotzbach had been the talk of the day.

Yarborough ran the fastest race in history in the first 125-miler. He averaged 183.295 miles per hour in his Mercury Cyclone to break the old record of 174.583 miles per hour set by Fred Lorenzen in a 100-mile race in 1967. Bobby Isaac finished second and Lee Roy Yarbrough was third.

Yarborough, who earlier had won the pole position and is the favorite for Sunday’s 500-miler before an anticipated 105,000 race fans, said he expects his biggest competition will come from Glotzbach.

Glotzbach won the second race in a 1969 Dodge Daytona at a much slower pace than Yarborough because of the caution flag that waved for Prince’s accident. Most of the 18,000 fans who watched the preliminaries had gone home by the time Prince’s relatives were notified in Georgia and the announcement had been made here.

It was a minor miracle that Glotzbach even ran the race. He was shot three times by a disgruntled former employee of his trucking firm back in late November and spent a week in the hospital. Doctor had said it would be a long time before he climbed behind the wheel of a racecar.

Glotzbach, who beat Buddy Baker of Charlotte, N.C., in a duel of Dodges, will start right behind Baker on the outside row of Sunday’s race.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Cale Yarborough, Timmonsville, S.C.
2. Bobby Isaac, Catawba, S.C.
3. Lee Roy Yarbrough, Columbia, S.C.
4. Donnie Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
5. Pete Hamilton, Dedham, Mass.
6. Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C.
7. Dick Brooks, Porterville, Calif.
8. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
9. Jim Vandiver, Charlotte, N.C.
10.Jabe Thomas, Christiansburg, Va.

Feature #2 –

1. Charlie Glotzbach, Georgetown, Ind.
2. Buddy Baker, Charlotte, N.C.
3. Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
4. Dewayne Lund, Cross, S.C.
5. Richard Brickhouse, Rocky Point, N.C.
6. Ray Elder, Caruthers, Calif.
7. Benny Parsons, Detroit, Mich.
8. Friday Hassler, Chattanooga, Tenn.
9. Ron Grana, Farmington, Mich.
10.Paul Feldner, Colgate, Wis.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

1968 – Hampton a ARCA Winner

Andy Hampton won the ARCA-sanctioned 300-miler at Daytona. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 18, 1968) - Lucky Andy Hampton of Louisville, Ky., moved from the winner's circle in Automobile Racing Club of America ranks into faster company today as he joined dozens of other stock car drivers in qualifying runs toward the $200,000 Daytona 500 next Sunday.

Hampton collected $5,300 for victory in the ARCA 300-mile winter championships Sunday in a 1967 Dodge Charger. The winner of the Daytona 500 will get upward of $35,000.

Hampton will drive the same smooth-running Dodge in the faster competition.

“I won’t outrun all of them, but I'll hang in there,” he said.

The car gave him a trouble-free two-hour spin at an average speed of 148.372 miles an hour and put him home one lap in front of second-place Jesse Baird of Louisville in a 1965 Dodge.

“I made only three stops,” Hampton said. “We took on gas all three times and changed tires on the right side once.”

Each of the past three years, the chunky 39-year-old veteran driver ran into bad luck in the organization’s annual event in Daytona Speed Weeks.

He finished second, third and fourth and was beginning to think the high banked 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway was a jinx to him.

“Last year, Les Snow blew an engine right in front of me on the second lap and I had to pit to clean the oil off the windshield,” he recalled.

That cost him a minute and possibly the race. He finished fourth in a pack with the first three cars.

“But this year I had only one bad moment,” Hampton said. “I ran through oil just after someone's engine blew and got sideways. I almost brushed the wall, but this time I was lucky. I didn't get into it.”

He was far from other troubles that brought out five caution flags for 18 laps, including one for a two-car collision that put the last six laps under yellow and saw the winner come home in a slow parade behind the pace car.

In the accident, Bobby Mausgrover of Keokuk, Iowa, and Jerry Wolland of Peoria, Ill., tangled in a rolling-tumbling wreck on the second turn.

Mausgrover, with a hip injury, and Wolland, with a neck injury and multiple face cuts, were checked over at a hospital.

Results –

1. Andy Hampton
2. Jesse Baird
3. Iggy Katona
4. Chuck McWilliams
5. John Sommerville
6. Jack Shanklin
7. Bill Clemons
8. Jim Scott
9. Bob Cooper
10.Homer Newland
11.Clyde Parker
12.Gene Crittenden
13.Earl Smith
14.Bobby Mausgrover
15.Jerry Wolland
16.Jim Clarke
17.Bill Kimmel
18.Don Gregory
19.Paul Wensink
20.Dorus Wisecarver

Friday, February 16, 2024

Daytona 500 - Looking Back

Benny Parsons - 1976

Bobby Allison - 1970

Buddy Baker - 1971

Donnie Allison - 1974

Frank Warren - 1975

Mark Donahue - 1972

Richard Brooks - 1975

Tim Richmond - 1982

Tommy Ellis - 1986

Janet Guthrie - 1977

Thursday, February 15, 2024

1975 – Ingram Survives; Wins Permatex 300

Jack Ingram

Daytona, Fla. (February 15, 1975) – National sportsman champion Jack Ingram of Asheville, N.C., survived two minor crashes Saturday and drove to a comfortable victory in the 300-mile NASCAR sportsman race at Daytona International Speedway.

Ingram’s windshield was severely cracked in one skirmish and his car was nudged in an eight-car spectacular wreck on the 31-degree banking of the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

But he avoided more serious accidents that sent former winner Red Farmer of Hueytown, Ala., to a hospital and caused minor injuries to three other drivers in a wild race which saw only 15 of 40 starters finish.

Ingram whipped his Chevrolet across the finish line 2.5-seconds ahead of Joe Millikan of Randleman, N.C., a member of Richard Petty’s pit crew, who drove a Dodge.

Ingram collected $9,700 for his victory, averaging 138.107 miles per hour in a race that was slowed by six caution flags. Eight drivers exchanged the lead 14 times in a thrilling race run before an estimated crowd of 70,000.

“A piece of rubber from a tire punched a hole in the right side of my windshield but we taped it up and I could see okay,” Ingram explained. “In the wreck, I scraped the the wall to avoid a spinning car. I think my keeping cool and my experience pulled me through.”

Harry Gant of Taylorsville, N.C., was third in a Chevrolet, Ivan Baldwin of Highland, Calif., took fourth in a Chevrolet, and Paul Radford of Ferrum, Va., took fifth in a Chevrolet.

Results –

1. Jack Ingram, Asheville, N.C.
2. Joe Millikan, Randleman, N.C.
3. Harry Gant, Taylorsville, N.C.
4. Ivan Baldwin, Highland, N.C.
5. Paul Radford, Ferrum, Va.
6. Morgan Shephard, Conover, N.C.
7. Darrell Bryant, Thomasville, N.C.
8. Neil Bonnett, Hueytown, Ala.
9. Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
10.Ron Bouchard, Fitchburg, Mass.
11.Jerry Schild, Houston, Tex.
12.Frank Choura, Harmony, Penn.
13.Buddy Howard, Greenville, S.C.
14.Ron Esau, San Diego, Calif.
15.Tiny Lund, Cross, S.C.
16.John Allen, Greenville, S.C.
17.Wayne Shugart, St. Augustine, Fla.
18.Jack Bland, Riverdale, Md.
19.Francis Affleck, St. Lambert, Que.
20.Jimmy Lee Cappa, Elkton, Fla.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

1965 - Lorenzen Wheels to Daytona 500 Victory

Fred Lorenzen waves to his fans after winning the 1965 Daytona 500. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 14, 1965) – Fred Lorenzen, who quit a carpenter’s job to become a stock car racer, because there was more money in it, will bank another $28,600 to prove his point.

Lorenzen won the money with a first-place finish in Sunday’s Daytona 500, shortened to 332 miles by rain.

In 1963, the husky blond from Elmhurst, Ill., won $113,570, an all-time record for stock car drivers.

Using an economy gear ratio to save gas. Lorenzen said his car was about five miles an hour slower than the early leaders in the race, but he drafted - allowed himself to be towed along in the wake of the other cars - thus both conserving his fuel and increasing his speed.

Lorenzen took the lead in the 119th lap when front-runner Marvin Panch of Daytona Beach made a pit stop and was a lap ahead when caution flags came out on the 127th lap. The flags were displayed after it began to rain and Panch’s car, trying to catch up, spun off the track.

A crowd estimated at 84,200 saw the caution flag remain on until the 133rd lap, when the cars were brought to a stop in single file in front of the grandstand because of the rain. Drivers left them and track officials waited an hour and 40 minutes for the rain to cease. It didn’t, and they announced the race was over.

Darel Dieringer of Charlotte, N.C., finished second, a lap behind Lorenzen, and was followed in order by Bobby Johns of Miami, Earl Balmer of Floyds Knobs, Ind., and Ned Jarrett of Camden, S.C.

Dieringer and Balmer drove Mercuries while Jarrett and Johns piloted Fords. Fords and Mercuries dominated the race, taking the first 11 places.

The victory over the 2.5-mile oval was a sweet one for Lorenzen, who had won at every other major NASCAR speedway except Daytona.

“This was the one I always wanted,” he said. “I would like to have run for it and got the checkered flag.”

The fastest lap of the day was turned in by early leader, Junior Johnson of Ronda, N. C., at 171.775 miles per hour. Johnson, who started on the front row next to Dieringer, took the lead in the first lap and held it until the 27th. when his car struck the wall on the first turn. It slid along the wall for several hundred feet before spinning off the track into the infield. Johnson was cut over the eye. not seriously, and Panch took the lead.

Results –

1. Fred Lorenzen
2. Darel Dieringer
3. Bobby Johns
4. Earl Balmer
5. Ned Jarrett
6. Marvin Panch
7. Dick Hutcherson
8. Sam McQuagg
9. Cale Yarborough
10.G.C. Spencer
11.Bobby Allison
12.H.B. Bailey
13.Doug Cooper
14.J.T. Putney
15.Donald Tucker
16.Jerry Grant
17.Neil Castle
18.Bob Derrington
19.Larry Hess
20.Wendell Scott
21.Elmo Langley
22.Don Tiller
23.Johnny Allen
24.Herb Shannon
25.Earl Strickler
26.Reb Wickersham
27.Bunkie Blackburn
28.Junior Johnson
29.Tiny Lund
30.Roy Marne
31.Jack Anderson
32.Jim Bray
33.Jeff Hawkins
34.Ned Seizer
35.Earl Brooks
36.Red Farmer
37.Pete Stewart
38.Jimmy Helms
39.Tom Pistone
40.Buddy Baker

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

1971 – Farmer Sheds Bridesmaid Role; Wins Permatex 300

Red Farmer gives his trophy a smooch after winning the Permatex 300 at Daytona. 

Daytona, Fla. (February 13, 1971) – Old timer Red Farmer bulled a smoking Ford through 50 mile per hour wind gusts and several wrecks to win the Permatex 300 late model sportsman race on Saturday.

“I’ve been coming down here for the last 17 years,” said Farmer, “and I thought it was about my time. Always been a bridesmaid and now I’m a bride.”

The 38-year-old Hueytown, Ala., driver averaged 140.936 miles per hour at breeze-battered Daytona International Speedway and took home the top prize of $11,025.

“My mother’s birthday is today,” said Farmer, “and it’s her first trip to Daytona. This will be a nice present for her.”

The severe wind caused the late model sportsman cars some handling issues coming out of turn four and Farmer said, “You had to keep your mind on your business.”

Blown engines and wrecks eliminated a battery of contenders beginning with top qualifier DeWayne “Tiny” Lund, who departed after 130 miles with a blown engine that threw him and his car into the wall.

Seventeen of the 40 starters were still around to finish the 120—lapper, the final preliminary to the Daytona 500.

Sam Sommers, starting 30th in the field, slipped his 1968 Ford through the dwindling pack and finished a distant second to Farmer before a crowd of 51,300.

Veteran but relative unknown campaigner Rod Eulenfield of Jacksonville, Fla., finished third in a 1968 Ford while Joe Holley of Prairieville, La., was fourth in a 1965 Chevrolet. Lee Osborne of Daytona Beach wound up fifth in a 1965 Dodge.

Results –

1. Red Farmer, Hueytown, Ala.
2. Sam Sommers, Savannah, Ga.
3. Rod Eulenfield, Jacksonville, Fla.
4. Joe Holley, Prairieville, La.
5. Lee Osborne, Daytona Beach
6. Gene Glover, Kingsport, Tenn.
7. Chuck Green, Battle Creek, Mich.
8. Alton Jones, Pleasant Grove, Ala.
9. Ivan Baldwin, Highland, Calif.
10.Wayne Niedecken, Pensacola, Fla.

Monday, February 12, 2024

1978 – Sauter Surges to ARCA Victory

Jim Sauter celebrates in victory lane after winning the ARCA 200-miler at Daytona. 

Daytona Beach, Fla (February 12, 1978) — Jim Sauter was successful on a sling-shot maneuver past Bruce Hill a quarter mile from the finish line Sunday to win the ARCA 200-mile race at the Daytona International Speedway.

Sauter had held the lead from the 64th lap until the third turn of the 80th and final lap when Hill went under him to grab the lead briefly.

On the fourth turn, Sauter returned the compliment and went underneath Hill, who crashed into the wall trying to keep his momentum.

As Sauter went around for his victory lap, Hill, parked near the entry way of pit row and shook his fist at the winner in anger.

This was Sauter’s first victory at Daytona and he accomplished the job with an average speed of 130.766 miles per hour in his Dodge.

Hill, the pole sitter in a Chevy, finished a lap behind the winner. Earl Ross, a Canadian driver, also was a lap back in a Ford; Delmar Clark was fourth, two laps back; and James Hurlbert also was two laps back.

The only casualty in the race occurred when Paul Dean of Sweetwater, Tenn., lost control of his Ford and it smacked into the wall on the second lap.

Results –

1. Jim Sauter
2. Bruce Hill
3. Earl Ross
4. Delmar Clark
5. Jim Hurlbert
6. Sandy Satullo
7. David Sosebee
8. Bill Clemons
9. Garry Sharp
10.John Haver
11.Mike Riley
12.Ralph Jones
13.Phil Finney
14.Brad Malcuit
15.Joe Millikan
16.Wayne Trinkle
17.Moose Myers
18.Grant Adcox
19.Bob Slawinski
20.Gary Wroan

Saturday, February 10, 2024

1974 - Grandpa Iggy Takes Daytona ARCA 200

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 10, 1974) - Like good wine, Iggy Katona gets better with age.

The 58-year-old veteran from Willis, Mich., fought off Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, and Canadian Earl Ross in a race-long battle Sunday and won the 200-mile event for short track drivers from the Midwest-based Auto Racing Club of America.

The stocky, booted Katona, a grandfather several times over, had started the 80-lap race at Daytona International Speedway from the front row pole position after qualifying at 180.404 miles an hour. He poked his orange and red Dodge in front several times before taking the lead for good with four laps remaining then held off the 30-year-old Hutcherson to clear the barrier about five car lengths ahead.

Following Katona and Hutcherson across the line was the 31-year-old Ross, from Ailsa Craig, Ontario, making only his second big speedway start. Hutcherson drove a Mercury and Ross piloted a Chevrolet.

Paul Feldner of Richfield, Wis., finished fourth in a Dodge while fifth place went to Jim Tobin of Hudson, Ill., also in a Dodge. Tobin might have done better had he not spun off the course in avoiding Tom Maier, who had lost control directly ahead of him.

There were 21 lead changes in the hotly contested race, with Hutcherson and Ross sharing equal billing in that department with Katona, who now has won three ARCA features at Daytona.

Results –

1. Iggy Katona
2. Ron Hutcherson
3. Earl Ross
4. Paul Feldner
5. Jim Tobin
6. Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
7. Terry Link
8. Gary Wroan
9. Jack Shanklin
10.Jerry Hufflin
11.Wayne Trinkle
12.Delmar Clark
13.Blackie Wangerin
14.Wayne Watercutter
15.Leroy Austin
16.Bill Clemons
17.Tom Culbertson
18.Jim Osgar
19.Bobby Watson
20.Ralph Young
21.Mickey Flora
22.Len Blanchard
23.A. Arnold
24.Red Farmer
25.Tony Schiller
26.Ralph Jones
27.Tom Maier
28.Dave Dayton

Iggy Katona drove Buddy Ward's Dodge to victory at Daytona. - Howard O'Reilly Photo

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

1982 - Ruttman wins Daytona ARCA 200

Joe Ruttman enjoys the spoils of victory after winning the ARCA 200-lapper at Daytona International Speedway. 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 7, 1982) – Joe Ruttman of Upland, Calif., won the 19th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon.

Ruttman, who started on the outside of the front row, held off polesitter Billie Harvey of Armuchee, Ga., for the win. Harvey was 3.6 seconds behind Ruttman at the finish. Third was Scott Stovall of Fort Wayne, Ind., who was passed by Harvey on the last lap.

Two Iowans started the race with rookie Phil Barkdoll of Garrison, Iowa, finishing 11th and 1981 ARCA rookie of the year Gordy Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, ending up 35th after suffering mechanical problems early on in the event.

The 80-lap race was slowed by four cautions periods that lasted a total of 20 laps. The worst accident of the event happened when Delmar Clark of Gnadenhutten, Ohio, hit the inside retaining wall coming into the tri-oval. Clark was attempting to miss Dennis Crowder of Ft. Smith, Ark., when he lost control of his car. Crowder had spun, hit the wall and stopped in the middle of the racetrack.

Clark’s car became airborne after hitting the retaining barrier and he flipped wildly several times. Clark was not seriously injured in the mishap.

Ruttman and Harvey pulled away from the rest of the field early in thee race and hooked up in a draft. Harvey led the race for the first 13 circuits, Crowder was in front on laps 14 and 15, and Rick Roland took over from lap 16 to 20. Ruttman led for the first time from laps 21 to 27 and Larry Moyer of Fort Wayne, Ind., was on top the next time around. Stuart Huffman led two laps, but after that it was all Ruttman and Harvey.

Harvey led laps 31 to 35, Ruttman was on top for laps 35 to 55, Harvey led the 56th go-round and Ruttman led the rest of the way.

Average speed for the race was held down to 145.719 miles per hour due to the 20 laps under caution.

Results –

1. Joe Ruttman
2. Billie Harvey
3. Scott Stovall
4. Stuart Huffman
5. Bill Green
6. Jerry Churchill
7. Jerry Bowman
8. Woody Fisher
9. Jim Vaughn Jr.
10.Joel Stowe
11.Phil Barkdoll
12.Jim Hurlburt
13.L.T. Wechtel Jr.
14.Roger Neshem
15.Larry Smith
16.Bill Rasinen
17.Larry Moyer
18.Davey Allison
19.Mike Riley
20.John Anderson
21.Ferrell Harris
22.Bill Venturini
23.Bob Brevak
24.Terry Stineman
25.Rick Roland
26.Mike Porter
27.Dennis Crowder
28.Delmar Clark
29.Lee Raymond
30.Bill Meazell
31.Curtis Payne
32.Bob Dotter
33.Mark Gibson
34.Rick Hanley
35.Gordon Blankenship
36.Glenn Walker