Racing History Minute - March 17, 1962

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

Happy St. Patrick's Day to those of you claiming Irish heritage. Come to think of it, seems as though everyone claims that family heritage on March 17th. Although "Smith" is not an Irish name, and I don't think I've ever hear the name "O'Smith", it was certainly the "luck of the Irish" that came through for Jack Smith on this date in 1962.

The "St. Patrick's Day 200" was set for the new one-half mile dirt track in Savannah, Georgia. Appropriately named "Savannah Speedway" the track drew 16 entries for the race. Rex White put the Louis Clements Chevrolet on the pole with Darel Dieringer in a Buck Baker Chrysler taking the outside front row. Joe Weatherly started Bud Moore's Pontiac third, Jack Smith in his own Pontiac fourth, and Buddy Baker in another Buck Baker Chrysler started fifth.

A crowd of 7,000 fans showed up to watch Joe Weatherly shove his Pontiac from its third place starting slot into the lead on lap one. Lil Joe would stay out front for 24 laps before Ned Jarrett, who had started sixth, moved his B.G. Holloway Chevrolet to the point. Ned would hold on until lap 117 when his Chevy began to lose oil pressure. Ned finally parked the car on lap 134 because the oil pan was compromised and he lost all oil pressure.

Cotton Owens, who had started ninth in his Pontiac, took over on lap 118 and stayed there until lap 152 before Jack Smith moved by to take over. Smith quickly opened a huge lead but with less than a hand full of laps to run, the Smith Pontiac began to leak oil to the point some folks compared it to a "gusher" coming in on an oil well site.

Smith was not "black flagged" for the oil leak as racing or dirt apparently did not present such a problem with leaking oil. But moreover, the track had so deteriorated that the dust was as thick as London fog on a spring morning. There were three caution flags in the race with the third one thrown to allow the track to be watered down as the drivers' visibility was zero as in barely able to see the hoods of their cars. Some fans reported that it would be months later before they were able to get all the dust out of their ears and hair and most just threw away what they were wearing that day rather than trying to wash out the dust.

Jack Smith took the checked flag almost 3/4 of a lap ahead of second place finisher Cotton Owens. The pole qualifying speed was 70.588 mph and the average speed for the race was 58.775 mph. Only eight of the sixteen starters were running at the finish. This was Jack Smith's second win in 8 races of the 1962 season.

Finishing order:

1. Jack Smith, Smith Pontiac, $1,000.00

2. Cotton Owens, Owens Pontiac, $600.00 (3/4 lap down)

3. Joe Weatherly, Bud Moore Pontiac, $400.00 (2 laps down)

4. Curtis Crider, Crider Mercury, $300.00 (10 laps down)

5. Rex White, Louis Clements Chevrolet, $275.00 (17 laps down)****

**** Rex actually broke an axle and was in the pits out of the race****

6. Tom Cox

7. Wendell Scott

8. Herman Beam

9. Buddy Baker

10. George Green

11. Jim Paschal

12.G. C. Spencer

13. Ned Jarrett

14. Richard Petty

15. Darel Dieringer

16. Ed Livingston

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


updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
3,912 posts

The start of the race with Rex White and Darel Dieringer on the front row.

AP wire race report as it ran in theLakeland Ledger




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Devin
@devin
3 years ago
606 posts

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,092 posts

Happy back to you, Devin!

For the record, long before GoGirl, the first green Grand National car I ever remember seeing was when Elmo Langley painted his cars green around '68-'69.

CSG photo




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
3,912 posts

Kyle Petty raced what seemed to be a St. Paddy's Day themed 7-Eleven car at Martinsville in 1983. But has always confused me because the race was held on April 24th - lonnnng after the green beer had been exhausted. - Jerry Bushmire pic




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
3,912 posts

And Earle Canavan's Dodge Magnum was sponsored by Irish Spring soap in the 1979 Texas 400 at Texas World Speedway. If only we could land a pic.




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,092 posts

That shamrock on Kyle's car was tied in to 7-Eleven's year long "Buy a Shamrock" fundraising effort to benefit Muscular Dystrophy. Southland Corporation subsidiaries CITGO and Chief Auto Parts also participated.

For many years, 7-Eleven and Southland Corporation were the largest annual corporate contributor to the annual Labor Day weekend MDA / Jerry's Kids Telethon:




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,092 posts

NEWS/

Danica Patrick Says "Luck of the Irish" Was With Her After NASCAR Car Wreck

Danica PatrickCourtesy: Stewart-Haas Racing

Danica Patrick's weekend got off to a rough start at the NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday.

The 31-year-old crashed coming out of the second turn, which caused her to have to use her backup car for the remainder of the practice.

Needless to say, the wreck resulted in crucial time lost in practice and understandably rattled her nerves.

Patrick took to Twitter to address the crash with fans,saying, "Luck of the Irish was with me last night after getting wrecked early and only have 4th gear a lot of the race."

She then added, "Happy St. Patricks day!"

NEWS: Check out Danica Patrick flaunting her curves!

WARNING: JEFF GILDER SHOULD NOT CLICK ON LINK ABOVE!!!

Patrick came into the fourth race of the season No. 33 in the Spring Cup points standings.

Just last month, Patrick became thefirst NASCAR driverto get more than 1 million Twitter followers.

"It just shows what incredible and loyal fans I have," she said, perThe Detroit News. "It's pretty humbling that 1 million people are curious about what I have to say and what I'm doing. I really can't thank everyone enough for their passion and interest."

The feat is pretty spectacular considering that the winner of last month's Daytona 500,DaleEarnhardt Jr., has roughly half as many Twitter followers.




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
3,912 posts

OK, that makes sense. You still see those shamrocks (and other shapes) in stores where you can donate to some cause. Didn't put 2 and 2 together with the 83 Martinsville race and MDA. Still - kind of odd timing and location. Seems Southland would have wanted him to run it in the Southern 500 or an August race leading up to the telethon.




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
8 months ago
3,912 posts

Bump. Enjoy your 2017 St. Paddy's Day

1992 Michigan2 Hillin ryandaley19.jpg




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 03/17/17 09:14:16AM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
8 months ago
9,092 posts

Hope you're wearing your green!

Landover, Maryland's Elmo Langley sported sponsorship from nearby Beltsville (Md.) Speedway on his green '68 Ford Galaxie at the 1969 Daytona 500 to advertise the upcoming May 16, 1969 Beltsville 300.

elmogreen.jpg




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
8 months ago
3,912 posts

Y'all celebrate the luck of the Irish today. Jimmy Means has your back with his Turtle Wax car.

Jimmy Means Turtle Wax.png

But if you aren't careful with your consumption of green beer today, Means has you covered tomorrow morning as well.

Dennis Beck pic

1991 Martinsville fall Jimmy Means dennisbeck.jpg




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 03/17/17 12:36:36PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
8 months ago
9,092 posts

I always think of jolly Irishman, Tim Sullivan when St. Patrick's Day rolls around. Tim started out flagging (out on the track) at Richmond's Royall (Southside) Speedway in the late 40's and went on to a stellar motorsports career.. including founding Motor Racing Network, bringing live race telecasts to theaters and arenas via Teleprompter (no coincidence they also sponsored Richmond's Junie Donlavey and Bill Dennis at Daytona) and founding the automotive studies program at Daytona Beach Community College, all the while repping for Valvoline to the press corps. Tim never parted a group without invoking the Irish Blessing. In his "spare" time he always came back to Richmond and helped in our credentials office on race weekends.





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Crabber67 photo collection






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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 03/17/17 12:43:48PM