Racing History Minute - 1974 Daytona 500

TMC Chase
02/19/14 12:28:05AM
3,890 posts

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

An unknown-at-the-time sad part of 1974's Speedweeks involved driver Mark Donohue. The accomplished Penske driver prepared to run his final competitive event as a driver in the IROC race. Afterwards, his plans were to become an executive for The Captain's racing organization. The bug stayed after him, however, and he continued racing for the next 18 months in Formula 1 until...August 1975. - from DBMJ

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 Isaac's return to Daytona AND the win were a bit surprising considering he'd withdrawn from the previous summer's Talladega 500 after claiming he'd "heard voices" during the event.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:

Two days before the 500, the modifieds ran the Permatex 200. Bobby Allison again won the event. But a good bit of attention was paid to a driver who really didn't want it - actor and driver Paul Newman. Cool Hand Luke lasted only 7 laps in the 47-lap event before losing a water pump. As it turned out though, the race was the only NASCAR-sanctioned event of Newman's driving career. [Click here ] for more information, pictures and dialog between Dave Fulton and myself about Newman's participation in that race.

McGriff's Dodge was designed similarly to Petty's 43 except with gold and dark blue colors rather than Petty blue and STP red. Unfortunately, McGriff completed only 23 laps, endured a pounding crash, ruined a beautiful race car, and finished 39th in the 40-car field. - Don Smyle / Smyle Media

Various denominations of the Christian faith define a sacrament as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us". I'm not ready to equate King Richard to the sacrament I receive a the Lord's table, but for decades I've never questioned Petty's character in terms of reaching out to others in need. - from DBMJ

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.

When it came to to celebrating in victory lane, it was much like father...

...and like son.

Race report from Jerry Bushmire

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
Tim Leeming
02/19/14 09:48:50AM
3,119 posts

The story here, for me, is more about getting TO and FROM the race than it was the race its self. Getting gas in Columbia was next to impossible most days because we were on the "even-odd" license plate number allocation of 10 gallons at a time. This is the point in time when it was a huge benefit to have an Uncle (Bobby) who drove the tanker truck for the local Union 76 supplier. Needless to say, I didn't wait in line on even or odd days for my gas. Even so, we knew it would be tricky getting to Daytona and back with the gas situation.

I hesitate to relate exactly how we ensured we would have sufficient gas for the trip because I'm sure carrying that many 5 gallon gas cans in the trunk of a car was not exactly that safe, especially with three of the five passengers (driver included) who smoked. After all, Winston was supporting racing. Nevertheless, it was done and we survived, although I doubt I would be so foolhardy in these later years.

Another exciting thing about the 1974 season was my access to press credentials. I was at a Christmas party in 1973 when a local well known broadcaster was talking with me about my love of racing and my "radio voice". At the same party was a sales manager for the local station that broadcast the races.She overheard that conversation and being a race fan herself, she wanted to talk with me further. We talked and things started to fall into place. I was to meet with the station management the following week to discuss the possibility of providing a racing show on the station. What was finally worked out is that I would call in qualifying results on whatever day qualifying should be, then call in from the track on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. to give late news from the track and weather conditions, etc. Then, on Monday mornings, a 10 minute live show from the studio at 7:30 a.m. In return, I ran the "racing reporting" for the station.

This was in the day before "hard cards" and all you really had to have was a letter requesting credentials. It was, at that time, easy to get two credentials which allowed access everywhere as well as four courtesy tickets. There was a "Press Parking Pass" included as well which allowed access to special parking either outside the track or in the infield, my choice. We set up the schedule where I would attend both races each year at Daytona, Darlington, Charlotte, Rockingham, Atlanta, Talladega, North Wilkesboro, and Martinsville.

This was the beginning of my adventures into covering races which actually lasted until the 1986 season. The only really hard part was getting in from Daytona or Talladega and sometimes Atlanta, in the early morning hours of Monday and then being at the studio for the 7:30 a.m. show. But I never missed one. lol. I was dedicated to racing and to the show.

Didn't mean to really get off on that tangent but it sort of gives a background of my deep involvement in the sport after I quit driving. My love for the sport was a deep as dedication to a non-human entity could be. Whatever it took to be close to the sport is what I did. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It was in 1975 that my parents bought their first motor home and things really changed for the way we went to races. Another story for another time.

What I remember about the '74 Daytona 500 was Richard's win, of course, and that, for the first time, I was legally in Victory Lane. Didn't have to sneak in that time. I also remember him blowing that tire and coming down pit road like a rocket to get it changed. I was actually standing behind his pits. We could do that back then. Things were so different in NASCAR. I think, at the time, anyone could have had the smallest radio station, or newspaper, and hooked up with press credentials, or may it was just that the station I was with actually carried the race broadcast. Who knows, but I stumbled into something that served me well for a number of years.

When we got back to Columbia, by the way, we still had two of the five gallon cans of gas full. We had used six cans. Thinking back to the price of gas then, when you could find it, those two cans would have increased in value to unthinkable amounts!

Thanks, Chase, for taking us back to another great win by Richard Petty. All these pictures and videos continue to impress me and even more make me feel as though what we do here to preserve the history really is worth the effort.

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

TMC Chase
02/19/14 11:35:15AM
3,890 posts

Terry Link raced in the 2nd qualifying twin, but he finished 18th and failed to transfer to the 500. Link eventually raced 3 times in Cup - all at Talladega. His final event was the 1975 Talladega 500 when he unfortunately was involved in the wreck that claimed the life of Tiny Lund. -Tom Knox

Darrell Waltrip returned in 1974 with another #95 car and finished 7th in the 500. This time, however, it was a Chevrolet vs. a Mercury. And it was painted the same color of Creamsicle orange he ran on his P.B. Crowell late model cars at Nashville and the color often seen on Robert Gee prepared cars.

Wayne Andrews qualified 4th for the Permatex 300 Sportsman race. He started alongside the Iron Man Jack Ingram and just in front of 6th place starter Bobby Allison. -Kevin Andrews

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
02/19/14 01:00:31PM
3,890 posts

A late uncle of mine sent me my first ever Petty postcard in 1975, and I still have it. It looks like this one with the traditional infield photo-op from 1975's Speedweeks. The inset is a victory lane shot from the 1974 500. Gone was Granatelli - present was then head of STP John Jay Hooker, a Nashville, grandstanding lawyer and perennial political flake.

John Jay managed to find other opportunities to embed himself in victory lane with the King in 1974 including...

the Talladega 500

and Music City 420 at Nashville.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
02/19/14 01:31:21PM
9,070 posts

Those even/odd gas lines in 1974 were awful, Tim. My father-in-law had a tank and old Amoco pump at his farm in Wilson County, NC. A few times we topped off from that gas supply for farm machinery.

The Sunday Daytona paper had as many stories about gas as about racing:

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
02/19/14 01:55:57PM
9,070 posts

On Saturday, Bill Dennis won his 3rd consecutive Permatex 300 Late Model Sportsman event for fellow Richmonder Junie Donlavey in the familiar Truxmore sponsored #90 Mercury - a record that wouldn't be equaled until Dale Earnhardt came along. Dennis beat fellow Virginian, Lennie Pond in a rare appearance driving Richmonder Emanuel Zervakis' powder blue #01 Chevy. RR member, Wayne Andrews of Siler City, NC finished third in the #00 Thomas Brothers entry.

Permatex 300

NASCARLate Model Sportsmanrace
Daytona International Speedway,Daytona Beach,FL
February 16, 1974
108laps on 2.5 mile paved oval;270 miles

Fin St Driver # Owner Car Laps Money Status Laps Led
1 8 BillDennis 90 1969 Mercury 108 8,525 running
2 5 LenniePond 01 1970 Chevrolet 108 4,450 running
3 4 WayneAndrews 00 1969 Chevrolet 108 2,750 running
4 3 JackIngram 11 1968 Chevrolet 107 1,975 running
5 11 JohnnyAllen 94 1968 Chevrolet 107 1,775 running
6 21 RichieEvans 61 1969 Mercury 106 1,100 running
7 32 RonnieChumley 45 1970 Mercury 105 1,000 running
8 1 DonnieAllison 81 1970 Chevrolet 104 1,000 running
9 14 JerryCook 38 1966 Chevrolet 104 800 running
10 34 NeilBonnett 28 1966 Chevrolet 104 725 running
11 23 JamesHam 40 1966 Chevrolet 103 675 running
12 15 FreddieSmith 88 1971 Mercury 103 625 running
13 40 GeneGlover 82 1969 Mercury 103 575 running
14 43 TinyLund 55 1969 Chevrolet 102 550 running
15 30 RonEsau 1 1966 Chevrolet 102 525 running
16 26 Jimmy LeeCapps 22 1968 Chevrolet 101 500 running
17 2 L.D.Ottinger 2 1969 Chevrolet 100 565 running
18 24 CarlHorton 37 1970 Chevrolet 100 485 running
19 22 PhilGibson 23 1968 Chevrolet 100 480 running
20 6 BobbyAllison 12 1966 Chevrolet 99 475 running
21 31 TomGale 03 1971 Mercury 99 470 running
22 30 BeaverDragon 86 1971 Plymouth 99 465 running
23 10 IvanBaldwin 07 1966 Chevrolet 99 460 running
24 44 WayneShugart 15 1969 Chevrolet 99 455 engine
25 29 GaryMyers 41 1969 Chevrolet 98 450 running
26 41 RandyBethea 27 1968 Ford 96 445 running
27 28 BennyKerley 14 1968 Chevrolet 95 440 broken rod
28 9 EddieRoyster 51 1969 Chevrolet 95 435 running
29 37 DonMiller 69 1969 Chevrolet 95 430 running
30 42 RedFarmer 97 1968 Ford 91 425 engine
31 19 JoeyHolley 32 1965 Chevrolet 91 420 running
32 27 ChetWilliams 5 1971 Chevrolet 78 415 A-frame
33 25 FrancisAffleck 59 1971 Mercury 71 410 accident
34 13 HaskellWillingham 50 1968 Mercury 71 405 accident
35 35 ChuckBecker Jr. 67 1969 Chevrolet 63 400 overheating
36 12 MaynardTroyer 93 1971 Mercury 51 395 valve
37 20 BuddyHoward 24 1969 Mercury 51 390 engine
38 36 AlGrinnan 30 1971 Mercury 39 385 accident
39 38 Jean-PaulCabana 25 1969 Ford 16 380 engine
40 17 JohnRay 87 1970 Ford 15 375 running
41 18 DarrellBryant 08 1968 Chevrolet 12 375 accident
42 16 HarryGant 77 1970 Chevrolet 5 375 accident
43 7 JimmyMeans 92 1970 Chevrolet 4 375 accident
44 33 DarrellWaltrip 48 1971 Chevrolet 4 375 accident

Notes: The race was shortened from 300 miles to 270 because of the energy crisis.
Time of race: 01:55:20
Average Speed: 140.462 MPH
Pole Speed: 50.408 seconds
4 cautions for 22 laps

Ultimate Racing History

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
02/19/14 02:15:45PM
9,070 posts

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis Andrews
02/19/14 02:51:53PM
819 posts

Permatex 300 action

#90 Bill Dennis, #00 Wayne Andrews, #59 Francis Affleck, #23 Phil Gibson

Dave Fulton
02/19/14 02:54:41PM
9,070 posts

RR member, Ricky Poole, Jr. captured the photo below of Mark Donohue in his driver's uniform at Daytona in February 1974 talking with NASCAR's Lennie Pond. Donohue would go on to win IROC Round IV at Daytona on February 15 over Peter Revson. Pond would finish 2nd in the Saturday Permatex 300 and 23rd in the Sunday 500. Donohue and Pond are standing beside the Adcox-Kirby tow rig for driver Grant Adcox. Pond is the only one of the four drivers who survives. Donohue, Revson and Adcox would all lose their lives in racing crashes.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
02/19/14 03:03:29PM
3,890 posts

Its a shame Marion Cox's car ended up in yet another wreck in Daytona's sportsman race.

The 50 ended up on the hook (or worse) in:

  • 1971w/Willingham
  • 1974 w/Willingham
  • 1979 w/Joe Frasson

The car went from looking like this(Mike Cox) ...

...and this(Mike Cox) ... this (Mike Cox)

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Andy DeNardi
02/19/14 03:25:14PM
365 posts

Brad Keselowski reputedly is against NASCAR doing tests for concussion after an impact. He should be reminded that Donohue walked away from his accident with no apparent injuries. He went to the hospital several hours later because of a severe headache and died the next day. You can bet that Brad's boss, Roger Penske, is not going to let him weasel out of any testing.

TMC Chase
02/19/14 03:34:48PM
3,890 posts

Marion Cox strolls down pit road before the start of the Permatex 300. Near him are the cars of 90 Bill Dennis, 92 Jimmy Means, and the back end of Pond's light blue 01 car. -Mike Cox

Means, the 1974 Nashville late model champion, was making his first Daytona start. He spun in turn 3 and got drilled by the 1970 and 1973 Nashville late model champion, Darrell Waltrip. Means ended up in 43rd and DW finished 44th and last in the field.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
01/13/15 03:13:18PM
77 posts

Lennie coming in for a quick pit stop.

TMC Chase
02/17/17 12:13:01PM
3,890 posts


Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.