I originally blogged about the 1974 Daytona 500 in 2012 - with a primary focus on its winner: King Richard.
I'll repeat much of it here - but expand it more for the rest of the race and Speedweeks in general.
February 17, 1974 - Starting on the outside of the front row, Richard Petty wins his fifth Daytona 500. Even though he went on to win the race two more times in 1979 and 1981, his fifth win set a record that still stands as of today. - from Jerry Bushmire
In a visible and symbolic support of the nation's energy crisis, NASCAR agreed to cut its 1974 races by 10 percent. The first 20 'laps' of the race were counted but no driver was credited with leading them. The race then took the green at lap 21, and the Daytona 450 was on!
Right before the 1974 season began, a group of West Virginia businessmen put together a sponsorship package for ageless driver, Hershel McGriff. Petty Enterprises fielded a second Dodge Charger for him. - Jerry Bushmire
Bobby Isaac snagged the pole for the 500, and Petty timed 2nd quickest. Their times also locked up the front row for the qualifying twins. In the twins, two Chevy drivers bagged the two wins - Isaac with Banjo Matthews and Cale Yarborough with Junior Johnson. Isaac's return to Daytona AND the win were a bit surprising considering he'd withdrawn from the previous summer's Talladega 500 after claiming he'd "heard voices" during the event.
Starting line-up for the 2nd twin with the 2nd fastest overall qualifier Petty on the pole and the 4th overall quickest McGriff outside of the 43:
Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach returned in 1974 for what turned out to be a 3 race deal with Hoss Ellington before switching over to Junie Donlavey's Ford team. But as was often the case with Charlie AND with Hoss, the combo was hot off the trailer. He had the 3rd quickest time in qualifying, and he finished sixth in his qualifying twin. He lost a windshield of all things in the 500, and he took home a 36th place finish. - Danny Quick
For the second year in a row, Petty captured lightning in a bottle to get the trophy, cash, and kisses. In 1973, the King was aided in the closing laps by Buddy Baker's bad fortune. In 1974, it was Donnie Allison's turn to be heartbroken. With about 20 laps to go, the 43 cut a tire. Catching a break, Richard cut the tire coming out of turn 4 and was able to dive quickly to pit road. When he returned to the track, however, he was in second place and trailed Allison by over 30 seconds. Then with 11 laps to go, Bob Burcham blew an engine and dropped parts on the track. Allison ran through the debris and cut his tires. Unlike Petty's situation, Allison cut his tire after passing the entrance to pit road. Without good tires, Allison ended up spinning down into the infield grass. His clock-strikes-midnight moment handed the race lead back to Ol' Blue who drove on to the win.
Petty led the most laps with 74 of 200 though he didn't completly dominate the race. Fourteen other drivers led at least one lap of the race.
A recap of the race is captured in the following video. (McGriff's wreck begins at 1:18.) Legendary TV race announcer Ken Squier was the primary 'play-by-play' voice on Motor Racing Network back then. Barney Hall who later took over from Squier as the key voice on MRN Radio and remains so today was a corner commentator in 1974. Another corner commentator was Dave Despain who went on to host shows such as TBS' Motorweek Illustrated and Speed's Wind Tunnel.
|Fin||Driver||Sponsor / Owner||Car|
|1||Richard Petty||STP (Petty Enterprises)||'74 Dodge|
|2||Cale Yarborough||Kar-Kare (Richard Howard)||'74 Chevrolet|
|3||Ramo Stott||Smithville Farms (Norris Reed)||'74 Chevrolet|
|4||Coo Coo Marlin||Cunningham-Kelley (H.B. Cunningham)||'73 Chevrolet|
|5||A.J. Foyt||Purolator (A.J. Foyt)||'74 Chevrolet|
|6||Donnie Allison||DiGard Racing (DiGard)||'74 Chevrolet|
|7||Darrell Waltrip||Terminal Transport (Darrell Waltrip)||'73 Chevrolet|
|8||Bobby Isaac||Thundercraft Boats (Banjo Matthews)||'74 Chevrolet|
|9||Dick Brooks||Simoniz (Dick Brooks)||'74 Dodge|
|10||Walter Ballard||Ballard Racing (Vic Ballard)||'74 Chevrolet|
|11||Earl Ross||Carling (Allan Brooke)||'72 Chevrolet|
|12||Gary Bettenhausen||AMC (Roger Penske)||'74 Matador|
|13||Cecil Gordon||Gordon Racing (Cecil Gordon)||'72 Chevrolet|
|14||Dave Marcis||Deppe Enterprises (Dave Marcis)||'73 Dodge|
|15||David Sisco||Reliable Plumbing & Heating (David Sisco)||'74 Chevrolet|
|16||James Hylton||Bob Stott Chevrolet (James Hylton)||'73 Chevrolet|
|17||Bob Burcham||Precision Specialties (Jack White)||'74 Chevrolet|
|18||Richie Panch||Panch Go-Club (Roy Thornley)||'72 Ford|
|19||Jimmy Crawford||World Wide Tapes (Crawford Brothers)||'72 Plymouth|
|20||George Follmer||R.C. Cola (Bud Moore)||'73 Ford|
|21||Bill Dennis||Truxmore Industries (Junie Donlavey)||'72 Ford|
|22||Benny Parsons||King Row Fireplaces (L.G. DeWitt)||'74 Chevrolet|
|23||Lennie Pond||Master Chevy Sales (Ronnie Elder)||'74 Chevrolet|
|24||Johnny Rutherford||B & B Racing (Don Bierschwale)||'74 Chevrolet|
|25||Jim Hurtubise||Moran (Dan Bray)||'72 Chevrolet|
|26||Joe Frasson||Frasson Cement (Joe Frasson)||'73 Dodge|
|27||Jim Vandiver||Rossmeyer Dodge (O.L. Nixon)||'72 Dodge|
|28||J.D. McDuffie||Socar Inc. (J.D. McDuffie)||'72 Chevrolet|
|29||L.D. Ottinger||Lonesome Pine Raceway (Russell Large)||'74 Chevrolet|
|30||Bobby Allison||Coca-Cola (Bobby Allison)||'74 Chevrolet|
|31||Dick Simon||TraveLodge (Doc Faustina)||'73 Dodge|
|32||Jackie Rogers||Rogers Racing (Ray Frederick)||'74 Chevrolet|
|33||Tony Bettenhausen Jr||Vita Fresh Orange Juice (Gordon Van Liew)||'72 Chevrolet|
|34||Frank Warren||Hinson Construction (Frank Warren)||'74 Dodge|
|35||David Pearson||Purolator (Wood Brothers)||'73 Mercury|
|36||Charlie Glotzbach||Ellington Racing (Hoss Ellington)||'74 Chevrolet|
|37||Joe Mihalic||Lou Viglione||'74 Chevrolet|
|38||Dan Daughtry||Davis Racing (Morris Davis)||'72 Ford|
|39||Hershel McGriff||Almost Heaven, WV (Petty Enterprises)||'74 Dodge|
|40||Richard Childress||Garn Racing (Tom Garn)||'73 Chevrolet|
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
updated by @tmc-chase: 02/17/17 12:11:12PM