Wednesday, March 27, 2024

1966 – Hurtubise Drives to Victory in Atlanta 500

Jim Hurtubise is surrounded by a bevy of beauties after winning the Atlanta 500.

Atlanta, Ga. (March 27, 1966) – Jim Hurtubise won the rich $77,000 Atlanta 500 on Sunday pushing his 1966 Plymouth to an average speed of 131.247 miles per hour before a record crowd of 71,000.

Hurtubise, of North Tonawanda, N.Y., finished a lap ahead of Fred Lorenzen who lost the lead when he herded his Ford into the pits on lap 277.

Hurtubise, who was critically burned in a fiery crash in Milwaukee in 1964, cheated death to come back for a rich payday of $17,920 at Atlanta International Raceway.

Lorenzen, of Elmhurst, Ill., a three-time winner at Atlanta, pocketed $8,290 for his runner-up efforts. Dick Hutcherson of Charlotte, N.C., driving a 1966 Ford, was third. Paul Goldsmith of Munster, Ind., piloted his 1966 Plymouth to fourth and Jim Pascal of High Point, N.C., was fifth in a 1966 Plymouth.

The lead changed hands 23 times in a see-saw race before Hurtubise took over for the final 57 laps. All told, he held the lead eight different times.

Other leaders included Lorenzen, Richard Petty of Randleman, N.C., Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, in a 1965 Dodge; Dave Pearson of Spartanburg, S.C., in a 1966 Dodge; Curtis Turner of Charlotte, N.C., in a 1966 Ford; Gordon Johncock of Hastings, Mich., in a 1965 Dodge and Lee Roy Yarbrough of Columbia, S.C., in a 1966 Dodge.

Petty, the pole-sitter, and pre-race favorite took his 1966 Plymouth out on lap 184 when it developed a leaky oil pan and blown engine.

“Today was the biggest race,” Hurtubise said joyfully following his victory. “I knew I was the fastest car in the race. I was only worried about (Richard) Petty.”

Results –

1. Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
2. Fred Lorenzen, Elmhurst, Ill.
3. Dick Hutcherson, Charlotte, N.C.
4. Paul Goldsmith, Munster, Ind.
5. Jim Paschal, High Point, N.C.
6. Cale Yarbrough, Timmonsville, S.C.
7. Sam McQuagg, Columbus, Ga.
8. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
9. Tiny Lund, Cross, S.C.
10.Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
11.Frank Warren, Augusta, Ga.
12.J.P. Putney, Arden, N.C.
13.Curtis Turner, Charlotte, N.C.
14.David Pearson, Spartanburg. S.C.
15.James Hylton, Inman, S.C.
16.Marvin Panch, Daytona, Fla.
17.Paul Lewis, Johnson City, Tenn.
18.Ned Jarrett, Camden, S.C.
19.Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
20.Clyde Lynn, Christiansburg, Va.

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