Racing History Minute - March 7, 1965

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
8 years ago
3,119 posts

This date we go to the Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds in Richmond, VA, for the "Richmond 250". This race consisted of 250 laps on the half mile dirt track that has quite the history in NASCAR records and folklore. One interesting fact about the track was Junior Johnson's woeful record there. He had been running the track since 1955, a full ten years, and although he had led many laps in several races, he always came up short. It was as though Junior was jinxed by the Richmond dirt.

For this race, Junior would put his 1965 Ford on the pole with a qualifying speed of 67.847 mph. Doug Cooper, in an independent Ford would start second, Dick Hutcherson in a Holman-Moody factory Ford started third, G.C. Spencer in his independent Ford fourth, and Ned Jarrett in the Bondy Long Factory Ford fifth. The designation of "factory" and "independent" is used here to point out that Ford Motor Company had the season to themselves after successfully lobbying NASCAR to outlaw the Chrysler Corporation "Hemi" engine. There were Mopars entered in the race but all were the 426 Wedge engine from Chrysler which were not as powerful as the "Hemi" and therefore easier for Ford to beat. Even so, there were only three factory Fords entered, Johnson, Jarrett, and Hutcherson.

Junior Johnson led the first 55 laps before Hutcherson took over in his Ford. When pit stops began around lap 70, second place starter DougYates got a chance to put his independent Plymouth into first place. Yates would lead until lap 86 when Johnson went back out front. Ned Jarrett slipped his number 11 Ford out front on lap 97 and would stay there until lap 140 when his Ford began to slow. Finally, on lap 184 the differential in Ned's car locked up and that was it for the hopes of the Camden, SC driver.

With Ned behind the wall, and Dick Hutcherson having been taken out in a crash on lap 95 when he was dueling with Tiny Lund and went low into turn one side by side when Hutch slipped on the loose dirt and slid into the outside guard rail. The Ford flipped and slid on the roof to a stop. Hutcherson was ok and watched the remainder of the race from the infield.

Twenty-two cars started the event but the racing was mostly between the three factory Fords. The only car to finish on the lead lap with Johnson was Buck Baker who was driving a 426 wedge engine Dodge. Third place, J.T. Putney, driving the Herman Beam Chevrolet, finished third, 8 laps off the pace. If you are not familiar with Herman Beam, he drove himself for a number of years, always running several miles an hour slower that competitors and always staying out of the way, keeping the car clean and making money that way to keep racing. He got out of driving full time in 1963 and Cale Yarborough drove for him for a few races. This race it was J.T. Putney.

Of the 22 cars starting the race, only 10 finished, with Johnson averaging 61.416 mph before a crowd of 12,000. Johnson was 18 seconds ahead of second place, Buck Baker, but 104 laps ahead of 13th place finisher, Elmo Langley.

Finishing order:

1 Junior Johnson, Johnson Ford, $2,200.00

2 Buck Baker, Baker Dodge, $1,275.00 (18 seconds back)

3 J. T. Putney, Herman Beam Chevrolet, $900.00 (8 laps down)

4 Curtis Crider, Crider Mercury, $600.00 (12 laps down)

5 Bob Derrington, Derrington Ford, $450.00 (13 laps down)

6 Gene Hobby ****Huge RacersReunion supporter****

7 Doug Cooper

8 Neil Castles

9 Doug Yates

10 G. C. Spencer

11 Ned Jarrett

12 Doug Moore

13 Elmo Langley

14 Tiny Lund

15 Cale Yarborough

16 Dick Hutcherson

17 Bub Strickler

18 Larry Manning

19 Sonny Hutchins

20 Wendell Scott

21 Bob Cooper

22 Danny Byrd (Made 1 lap and parked for "handling". Start and park???)

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


updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
8 years ago
4,072 posts

Race report from Fredericksburg VA  Free Lance-Star

And another from the Spartanburg Herald which also included a race report of Rex White's win in the LMS race at Harris Speedway.




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 03/07/17 10:01:45AM
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
8 years ago
4,072 posts

Junior as he gets ready to take the win - Ray Lamm

And now its official - Dave Fulton




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
7 years ago
4,072 posts

Victory lane w/Herb Nab - Getty Images




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
7 years ago
9,134 posts

This Richmond race was broadcast tape delayed on ABC Wide World of Sports, becoming the first race to be televised nationally from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It would have made for pretty poor television with the short field and Chrysler boycott... EXCEPT, Dick Hutcherson's rollover down in turn 1 provided lots of action, especially when the cameras caught Dick running from the #29 car and trying to climb the old board fence to escape oncoming cars. Southern MotorSports Journal has a photo series of Dick running from his overturned car and scaling the fence if anyone has that 1965 issue.




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
7 years ago
9,134 posts

The late Richmond promoter, Paul Sawyer stands above in the 1/2-mile dirt Richmond infield before the start of the March 7, 1965 Richmond 250 won by Junior Johnson . That looks like two-time GN winner, Emanuel "The Golden Greek" Zervakis in the background. Below is Sawyer in the same infield 30 years later, in 1995, surrounded by drivers Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Dale Jarrett at his 3/4-mile Richmond International Raceway showplace.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
5 years ago
4,072 posts

Bump




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
9 months ago
9,134 posts

Bump




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"