On this date, in 1966, there was a rash of yellow lights and caution flags at Bristol in the "Southeastern 500" but those were NOT caused by rain, a short in the circuits, or someone in the flag stand leaning on the over ride switch. In this race, 92 of the 500 laps were run under cautions that flew a total of 7 times. In fact, of the 10 factory backed cars entered, only two finished. Thirty-two cars started but only 7 would finish the 500 laps/250 miles on the banked, then asphalt, Bristol International Speedway.
David Pearson would qualify his Cotton Owens Dodge at a speed of 86.246 to capture the pole, while Fred Lorenzen would roll off second in his Holman-Moody Ford. Third place starter, Paul Goldsmith, was in a Nichels Engineering Plymouth and fourth place starter, Jim Paschal, subbing for Richard Petty was in the number 43. The Wood Brothers Ford started fifth with Marvin Panch behind the wheel.
David Pearson led the first 142 laps before yielding to Fred Lorenzen on a pit stop. Freddie led one lap before it was Pearson again from lap 144 to lap 242. Panch took over on lap 243 and stayed out front until lap 287 when Pearson took over once more. Hutcherson led from lap 332 to 337 before Pearson went out front yet again.
On lap 382 the quick Dodge number 6 began to slow and on lap 396 David was behind the wall and out of the race with timing chain issues. Dick Hutcherson, who had blown an engine in Friday practice and another engine in Saturday practice found himself four laps ahead of second place and slowed his pace to try and save the engine in his Ford. When Pearson parked his ride, Hutch had a seven lap lead. He slowed is pace so dramatically, that, at the end of the race, he was just four laps ahead of second place PAUL LEWIS who was driving his own Plymouth.
Bobby Isaac was involved in his third consecutive crash when he lost control of his Ford and tore down a section of guard rail on lap 203. Another interesting aside to this race was the Wood Brothers showing up with a "radical Ford" for Curtis Turner to pilot in the race. The Ford was called a "Fairlane" but clearly had a Galaxie front end. NASCAR rejected the entry.
There were 25,000 fans in attendance that day in 1966 who watched Hutcherson average 69.952 mph for the distance.
1. Dick Hutcherson, Holman-Moody Ford, $4,150.00
2. PAUL LEWIS, Lewis Plymouth, $1,825.00 (4 laps down)
3. James Hylton, Bud Hartje Dodge $1,550.00 (6 laps down)
4. Elmo Langley, Langley-Woodfield Ford, $1,120.00 (8 laps down)
5. Sam McQuagg, Nichels Engineering Dodge, $1,000.00 (11 laps down)
***** Hutcherson and McQuagg were the only two factory drivers to finish
6. Gene Black
7. Bill Seifert
***** Only those 7 cars were running at the finish with Seifert 42 laps down
8. Wendell Scott
9. Henley Gray
10. G. C. Spencer
11. Clyde Lynn
12. Gene Cline
13. Johnny Allen
17.J. D. McDuffie
18. Marvin Panch
20. Jim Paschal
21. Paul Goldsmith
22. Fred Lorenzen
23. Bobby Isaac
25. Johnny Steele
26. J. T. Putney
27. Buddy Arrington
28. Bobby Allison
29. Wayne Smith
30. John Sears
31. Sonny Lamphear
32. E. J. Trivette
Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future
updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM