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.

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