Racing History Minute - November 2, 1969

Tim Leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

November 2nd of any year is/was getting late in the racing season, but there were and are still races on which we can base a History Minute. Today, our travels take us to Jefferson, GA, to a track known as Jeffco Speedway. Jeffco was a half-mile paved track and the event on this date in 1969 was known as the "Jeffco 200". A great deal of imaginative marketing went into the naming of the event.

There were 27 entries in the 200 lap/100 mile event. David Pearson in his blue and gold number 17 Holman-Moody Ford would claim the pole with a speed of 89.565 mph. Bobby Isaac in the K&K Dodge, 71, would start second, Richard Petty, driving a Ford, 43, would roll off third LeeRoy Yarbrough in his Junior Johnson Ford fourth, and Neil Castles in his independent Dodge fifth.

Some 7,000 fans watched Pearson lead the first 62 laps before the red K&K Dodge driven by Bobby Isaac roared into the lead. Bobby would lead the remainder of the laps, fighting off repeated bids by Pearson to retake the lead. It was the 16th win of the year for Isaac out of the 52 races thus far run in the 1969 season. Bobby said after the race "Our Dodge has been running real good on the short tracks. If we stay out of trouble and steer away from mistakes, we usually win".

Second place finishing David Pearson would wrap up the season points championship at this race. This made him a 3 time champ. His remarks after the race left little doubt he would NOT defend the title. He said "It's quite a relief to win the championship a third time. It is demanding and nerve-wrecking (his word). I don't intend on going through this again."

Of the 27 starters, 21 finished. Isaac's winning average speed was 85.106, slowed only once by caution for 4 laps when James Hylton crashed on lap 98.

Finishing order:

1. Bobby Isaac, K&K Insurance Dodge, winning $1,350.00

2. David Pearson, Holman-Moody Ford, winning $950.00

3. Richard Petty, Petty Enterprises Ford, winning $500.00 (2 laps down)

4. LeeRoy Yarbrough, Junior Johnson Ford, winning $350.00 (4 laps down)

5. Neil Castles, Castles Dodge, winning $325.00 (9 laps down)

6. Elmo Langley

7. Friday Hassler

8. Bill Champion

9, Henley Gray

10. Jabe Thomas

11.E. J. Trivette

12. Cecil Gordon

13. J.D. McDuffie

14. Wendell Scott

15.Johnny Halford

16.Earl Brooks

17. Bill Seifert

18. Ben Arnold

19. Larry Baumel

20. John Sears

21. Pete Hazelwood

22. Dave Marcis

23. Frank Warren

24. James Hylton

25. Roy Tyner

26. Mack Sellers

27.James Cox

Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future.

updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
TMC Chase
5 years ago
3,980 posts

Brief AP wire report on the race. Found the same text in several papers.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,124 posts

The unknown to me driver name in this field is 26th finishing Mack Sellers, who Racing Reference lists as being born in Spartanburg and driving in just three career Grand National races - all in 1969 - at Jeffco; Thompson, Connecticut and Augusta, Georgia.

The same source lists 7 other drivers making 22 starts for Mack Sellers in 1969 and 1970. Those drivers were Roy Mayne, Roy Tyner, Dick Poling, George Davis, Buster Sexton, Bobby Boyles and John Jennings.

The photo below was posted by member, Guitarzan on the Randy Ayers Modeling site and purports to show John Jennings of Fayetteville, NC in the #82 Ford fielded by Mack Sellers at an unknown 1970 venue:

Anybody know anything about Mack Sellers and his brief fling at NASCAR Grand National racing 1969-1970 as a driver and car owner?

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
5 months ago
1 posts

So excited to see this picture of my Dad, John Jennings. He is celebrating his 76th birthday and I’ve been trying to gather pictures like this. He wasn’t well known and doesn’t have anything from his racing days. Thank you so much.