Racing History Minute - 1973 Daytona 500

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
02/17/14 11:14:14PM
3,890 posts

I originally blogged about the 1973 Daytona 500 in 2012 - with a primary focus on its winner: King Richard.

http://bench-racing.blogspot.com/2012/02/february-18-this-day-in-petty-history.html

I'll repeat much of it here - but expand it more for the rest of the race and Speedweeks in general.

--------

February 18, 1973 - Richard Petty wins his fourth Daytona 500 to capture his 149th career Winston Cup / Grand National victory.

Race program from Motor Racing Programme Covers

Unlike some of his other Daytona wins, Petty didn't dominate the 1973 race. He led only 17 of 200 laps. Petty's teammate in 1971-72, Buddy Baker, moved to the K&K Insurance #71 Dodge in the fall of 1971. When the new season returned to Daytona, Baker won the pole and led over 150 laps of the race. - Richard Guido

In the ARCA Royal Triton 300, Charlie Blanton was the winner. Finishing 18th was N.D. Copley, father of RR member David Copley.

The feel good story of Speedweeks came in the qualifying twins. Pole-winner Baker also won his twin as expected. But in the second twin, long-time independent driver from Columbia TN, Coo Coo Marlin, brought his Cunningham-Kelly Chevrolet under the checkers in first place for the first and only time in his GN/Cup career. Unfortunately, he was two years too late for the win to count officially as a Winston Cup victory. Nonetheless, the win was a popular one for all. - Ray Lamm.

Just 3 years removed from his magical, unexpected win at Daytona, Pete Hamilton was back in the 500 but for the final time. As he had been in his previous starts at the speedway, Pete was FAST off the truck. He qualified second to Baker. Unfortunately, that's where his racing luck ended. He lost an engine in the 125 and finished 27th. He still made the 500 but finished 40th with a second blown engine after only 33 laps. Afterwards, he'd run just one more Cup race in his career. Here he is racing RR's Dave Marcis in Roger Penske's Matador.

1972 Daytona 500 winner, A.J. Foyt, returned to defend his title. Rather than race for the Wood Brothers who had latched onto a good 'un in David Pearson, Foyt entered his own car. Both he and Pearson had sponsorship from Purolator. Perhaps because he wasn't a NASCAR regular, Foyt's runs in the 500 were a bit overshadowed. Petty won the 500 twice in 3 years, but Foyt finished 3rd in 1971, 1st in 1972 and 4th in 1973. Not too shabby.

Another who had a pretty good 500 was Cotton Owens. In 1972, his car with driver Charlie Glotzbach finished 2nd on seven cylinders to Foyt. And in 1973, driver Dick Brooks finished 3rd behind Petty and 2nd place finisher Bobby Isaac.

Bill Dennis won the Permatex 300 Sportsman race for the second consecutive year.

Another entrant was modified star and future NASCAR Hall of Famer, Richie Evans. He didn't have a career day, however, as he finished 34th in the 40-car field. - Ron Wetzler

Yet Evans finished one spot ahead of another NASCAR Hall of Famer, Darrell Waltrip. DW readied two cars for the beach - a #95 Mercury for the 500 and his P.B. Crowell owned #48 Chevelle for the Sportsman race. He raced the same car to many wins on Saturday nights under the lights on Nashville's short-track. - Randy Binkley

In the Main Event, Baker dominated and led with 12 laps to go. King was second right behind him though he'd only led a handful of laps up until then. Under green, Petty made an aggressive run down pit road, locked the tires, hit his pit box perfectly, got fuel only, and headed back out in less than 10 seconds. A lap later, Baker made a more conservative trip down pit road, smoothly entered his pit, got his fuel, and drove away. But the approach and exit strategies made a difference as Petty then had the lead.

As Baker came back to speed, he started chopping into the 43's lead. With six laps to go and Petty's bumper in his crosshairs, Baker's Dodge puked a motor. His day was done, and Petty cruised the last five laps for his fourth 500 win. Baker needed another seven years before he could claim his only Daytona 500. My first 500 to see in person was the 1980 race in which Baker finally won the 500 in the #28 Harry Ranier-owned Oldsmobile.

Finishing 12th was rookie of the year candidate Waltrip. Yep, Ol' DW now known as the FOX announcer who annoys us with his Boogity, Boogity, Boogity bit made his debut Daytona 500 start in 1973. To notch his top 15 finish, Waltrip survived a near miss of a spin and wall-smack by another Daytona rookie - Marty Robbins. Ray Lamm

Another Cup rookie in 1973 - and the one who eventually claimed the season's Rookie Of The Year title, Lennie Pond - failed to even make it to Daytona much less race in it. As Dave Fulton posted here one year ago, Pond got caught in a snow storm and never even made it to Florida.

Hershel McGriff finished 5th in a #04 Plymouth. While fielded under the name of Beryl Jackson as the car's owner, the car was a second Petty Enterprises-prepared and crewed Plymouth.

A victory is always special - but a kiss from your sponsor Andy Granatelli? Ehh, not so much. - Richard Guido

But hoisting your daughter in victory lane. Now, that indeed is a memorable moment for both. - SMJ cover from Jerry Bushmire

And in what may be my favorite Daytona victory lane photo, Granatelli showed how truly larger than life he could be. He bear hugged Richard in victory lane, grabbed Lee Petty's beret and put it on his own head, hammed it up with the pretties for photos, shed his jacket, and almost lost his shirt as he raucously doused himself with champagne.

Bud Lindemann hosted a weekly 'magazine' racing show called Car & Track in the 1960s and 70s. The following is a recap of the race in a bit less than 5 minutes using coverage from one of C&T's episodes.


For about 10 minutes more coverage from the race, view these two clips from Bud's show.



NSSN cover from Russ Thompson, article from Jerry Bushmire.

Fin Driver Sponsor / Owner Car
1 Richard Petty STP (Petty Enterprises) '73 Dodge
2 Bobby Isaac Sta-Power Engine Conditioners (Bud Moore) '73 Ford
3 Dick Brooks John Naughton Insurance (Cotton Owens) '73 Dodge
4 A.J. Foyt Purolator (A.J. Foyt) '73 Chevrolet
5 Hershel McGriff K.D. Pauley (Beryl Jackson) '72 Plymouth
6 Buddy Baker K & K Insurance (Nord Krauskopf) '72 Dodge
7 James Hylton Hylton Engineering (James Hylton) '71 Mercury
8 Ramo Stott Truxmore Industries (Junie Donlavey) '71 Mercury
9 Buddy Arrington Arrington Racing (Buddy Arrington) '72 Dodge
10 Vic Parsons JetWay Products (Bill Seifert) '71 Mercury
11 David Sisco McGee Racing (Charlie McGee) '72 Chevrolet
12 Darrell Waltrip Terminal Transport (Darrell Waltrip) '71 Mercury
13 Joe Frasson Krager Motor Homes (Joe Frasson) '73 Dodge
14 Larry Smith Carling Black Label (Harley Smith) '71 Mercury
15 Jabe Thomas Robertson Racing (Don Robertson) '73 Dodge
16 Frank Warren Rossmeyer (Frank Warren) '73 Dodge
17 Ed Negre Negre Racing (Ed Negre) '71 Mercury
18 Ray Elder Olympia Beer (Fred Elder) '72 Dodge
19 Walter Ballard HeKimian Foreign Cars (Vic Ballard) '72 Chevrolet
20 Ron Keselowski Keselowski Racing (Roger Lubinski) '72 Dodge
21 Cecil Gordon Gordon Racing (Cecil Gordon) '72 Chevrolet
22 Cale Yarborough Kar-Kare (Richard Howard) '73 Chevrolet
23 Maynard Troyer Nagle Ford (Joe Nagle) '73 Ford
24 John Utsman G.C. Spencer '72 Dodge
25 Bobby Allison Coca-Cola (Bobby Allison) '73 Chevrolet
26 J.D. McDuffie McDuffie Racing (J.D. McDuffie) '71 Chevrolet
27 Dave Marcis AMC (Roger Penske) '73 Matador
28 Jim Vandiver Bradford Enterprises (O.L. Nixon) '72 Dodge
29 Coo Coo Marlin Cunningham-Kelley (H.B. Cunningham) '72 Chevrolet
30 Benny Parsons DeWitt Racing (L.G. DeWitt) '72 Chevrolet
31 John Sears J. Marvin Mills Heating & Air (J. Marvin Mills) '73 Dodge
32 Red Farmer Long-Lewis (Willie Humphries) '72 Ford
33 David Pearson Purolator (Wood Brothers) '71 Mercury
34 Marty Robbins Marty Robbins (Marty Robbins) '72 Dodge
35 Bill Dennis Emrick (H.J. Brooking) '72 Chevrolet
36 Tiny Lund Price Construction (Carl Price) '72 Chevrolet
37 Neil Castles Howard Furniture (Neil Castles) '72 Dodge
38 Gordon Johncock Ellington Racing (Hoss Ellington) '72 Chevrolet
39 Earl Ross Red Cap Ale (Allan Brooke) '73 Chevrolet
40 Pete Hamilton Housby Mack Inc. (Jack Housby) '72 Plymouth



--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 01/23/17 03:40:40PM
Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
02/18/14 09:23:14AM
3,119 posts

Great post Chase!!! Excellent History Minute as we get closer to the 2014 Daytona 500.

My memories of this race center mainly around how we (our group of Petty fans) had consigned ourselves to our guy finishing second. As so many times over the years, it was those late race incidents that changed everything. Where we were parked (near the Lake Lloyd fence), we could see Baker running down The King and we were trying to determine whether or not Buddy could catch Richard before the checkers. One of our group figured out that Baker would catch him with two to go. Don't ask me how he figured that but that's what he said. But, as the story states, Baker blew and Petty flew home with the win.

When we walked over to Victory Lane, we couldn't get near enough to see anything until Richard boosted his young daughter up on his shoulders and we could see her. It was absolute chaos around Victory Lane. We hung around a little and then hit the road back to Columbia.

1973 looked like it was going to be a good year for Richard and a good year for me. In December, 1972, a group of guys who owned a Ford racing team had asked me to drive for them in 1973. I would be paid for driving, get a split of the purse, and have the benefit of a large beach house one of them owned in Myrtle Beach (actually Surfside Beach). After my lackluster and limited schedule in 1972 I was looking forward to a banner 1973. Well, Richard went on to have a good year. On June 23, 1973, my career as a driver ended in a crash at Myrtle Beach Speedway that injured an infield spectator. I could not emotionally handle doing that much damage to another person.

Although my driving career ended and I finally realized I would never drive for Petty Enterprises, my love for racing never lessened. I found so many ways to be involved with the sport and those ways to be involved are culminated by this website. Although I have no ownership in racersreunion, nor am I a more than a small part of the existence, it is through things like these History Minutes that the accurate history of the great sport is recorded with stories, pictures, videos and newspaper articles with some really great contributors. I'm proud to be a part of RacersReunion.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
02/18/14 02:27:39PM
3,890 posts

Wondered if you might be in this photo Tim.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
02/18/14 02:32:24PM
9,070 posts

L.D. Ottinger of Newport, Tennessee - 38th place finisher in Daytona's 1973 Permatex 300 LMS event would make history in 1975 and 1976 winning back to back NASCAR National Championships in the Late Model Sportsman Division in his Black Diamond Coal car, owned by Kenny Childers - The Coal Miner.

However, in the 1973 Daytona Permatex 300, Nashville's Wayne Carden was sponsored by country singer, Loretta Lynn - the Coal Miner's Daughter. No proof of Childers and Lynn being related!!!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
02/18/14 02:39:25PM
3,890 posts

Harry Gant had sponsorship for a while from Black Diamond Coal too as I recall. At least I've got it stuck in my mind he did. Around 2003-2004 at Loudon after Harry retired, he still showed up anyway to sign autographs at the Skoal trailer. I told him my dad was always a big Gant and L.D. fan back in the Black Diamond Coal days. He smiled and said "Wow, I haven't heard anyone mention Black Diamond Coal in a long time. What's your dad's name?" and he customized an autograph on a pic for him. Daddy still has it.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
02/18/14 02:41:42PM
9,070 posts

The Daytona papers had extensive editorial and photo coverage of the second consecutive Permatex 300 LMS victory for Richmonders, Bill Dennis and Junie Donlavey. Here is just a sampling:




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
02/18/14 02:44:16PM
9,070 posts

Do you remember what movie happened to be playing in Daytona during 1973 SpeedWeeks?




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
02/18/14 02:56:22PM
9,070 posts

Another episode proving what a nice guy Harry is.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
02/18/15 01:01:43PM
3,890 posts

In 1973, NASCAR was celebrating its 25th anniversary. - this cover and several good articles about the first 25 years can still be read at the archives of [ Daytona Beach Morning Journal].

All video clips embedded in original post are now gone. Here is a condensed recap.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Sandeep Banerjee
@sandeep-banerjee
02/19/15 03:15:33AM
360 posts

Thanks Chase. I'm psyched up for the 500.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
02/17/17 12:14:52PM
3,890 posts

Bump




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.