Racing History Minute - February 11, 1973

TMC Chase
02/10/16 11:15:08PM
3,890 posts

The 1973 Daytona 500 was held February 18th. Link to TMC Racing History Minute:

One of the preliminary events of 1973 Speedweeks was the ARCA Royal Triton 300 held on February 11, 1973. The race attracted some high profile drivers such as Red Farmer, Ron Hutcherson, Iggy Katona, and Andy Hampton.

Another driver entered was N.D. Copley, father of RR member David Copley.

Also entered was Jim Scott - son of RR member Jim Scott- in a very cool, Petty-bluish looking Plymouth Barracuda.

Ron Hutcherson won the pole - perhaps to the surprise of only a few. Hutcherson could always hustle a car around Daytona. Later, he built cars for A.J. Foyt who also got around Daytona and Talladega very fast.

One driver - Charlie Blanton - wasn't expected to have much of a say in the outcome of the race. Yet back home in Gaffney SC, the town sent the winning dirt track racer south to do the folks proud on the 2-1/2 mile superspeedway.

When I think of Gaffney, I think of the unmistakable big peach alongside the interstate - or as we frequently refer to it : The Big Ol' Butt.

But Gaffney loves it some peaches and was rightfully proud of Blanton headed for the big track. He and teammate Mike Humphries prepared matching Camaros for the 300.

Blanton didn't make much of a splash in qualifying. He could only muster the 18th best time out of 43 starters. And he was down enough after practice and qualifying, he thought about pulling a "start and park" and then just heading for home.

But he opted to stay, belted in, took the green, and pulled off pit road with the field to take the green. Hutcherson leveraged his top starting spot to take an early lead. He led the first 26 laps before exiting the race with an engine problem. Farmer, Katona and Dr. Don Tarr then mixed it up for the middle stages of the race.

The race had a couple of anxious moments with a rollover by Jeff Harr...

... and a wreck and fire by Tony Schiller's Chevelle.

Despite being slow in practice, Blanton began to settle in and work his way through traffic.

And by lap 94 of the 120-lap race, the scoreboard showed the results of Blanton's persistence. He was shown in P1 and leading second place Farmer.

Charlie Blanton held on the rest of the way and won the race by TWO LAPS over second place finisher Farmer. Upon being dragged out of the car by his excited crew, he declared winning the race was "more fun than picking cotton".

The Gaffney paper was excited about Blanton's win. And apparently the paper had a circulation small enough to know everyone. A full page of photos was run in the paper two days after Blanton's win - including some pictures of people captioned only with their first names.

Fin St Driver Car
1 18 Charlie Blanton 1973 Camaro
2 2 Red Farmer 1972 Ford
3 7 Kenny Reiter 1973 Dodge
4 13 Jim Tobin 1972 Dodge
5 14 Ralph Young 1971 Ford
6 4 Len Blanchard 1971 Mercury
7 23 Danny Byrd 1971 Ford
8 10 A. Arnold 1973 Camaro
9 34 Mike Humphreys 1973 Camaro
10 5 Verlin Eaker 1972 Chevelle
11 33 Wayne Trinkle 1972 Chevrolet Nova
12 30 Frank Sandlin 1972 Chevelle
13 11 Earl Ross 1973 Chevrolet
14 28 Tom Dooley 1972 Chevelle
15 6 Iggy Katona 1970 Dodge
16 22 Don Tarr 1970 Dodge
17 8 Harold Fair 1971 Ford
18 19 N.D. Copley 1972 Ford
19 25 Jim Scott 1973 Plymouth
20 21 Bobby Watson 1971 Mercury
21 36 Charlie Paxton 1971 Mercury
22 15 Jeff Haar 1973 Camaro
23 9 Tony Schiller 1972 Chevelle
24 3 Buck Newland 1971 Ford
25 29 Fred Lamp 1972 Camaro
26 1 Ron Hutcherson 1971 Mercury
27 17 Charlie Roberts 1971 Ford Thunderbird
28 42 Blackie Wangerin 1971 Ford
29 38 Hubert West 1972 Chevrolet
30 27 Dave Dayton 1973 Camaro
31 39 Bob Thomas 1973 Camaro
32 24 Delmar Clark 1972 Ford
33 16 Freddie Holbert 1971 Ford
34 12 Robert Wales 1972 Dodge
35 20 Andy Hampton 1972 Chevrolet
36 43 Bill Clemons 1973 AMC Javelin
37 40 Dick Maffett 1970 Plymouth
38 41 Dick Smith 1973 Camaro
39 35 David Sisco 1973 Chevrolet
40 31 Mickey Flora 1970 Dodge
41 26 Buddy Medlock 1971 Ford
42 32 Bill Shirey 1970 Plymouth
43 37 Tom Culbertson 1971 Ford

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 02/11/17 01:47:58PM
Dave Fulton
02/11/16 11:46:02AM
9,070 posts

Gaffney's Peachoid was built 8 years after Charlie Blanton's 1973 Daytona ARCA win.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
02/11/16 12:12:31PM
9,070 posts

Daytona Beach Morning Journal Ad

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
02/11/16 12:34:33PM
3,890 posts

The Peachoid under construction.

Almost fully skinned along with its ... ahem, unique ... peach-looking "dimples" (?)

The grannnnnd opening ... err, dedication event

And who wouldn't want to wear a Peachoid shirt?

With the Peachoid opening in 1981, I'm now left to wonder if the Big Ol' Butt may have influenced the Sunsphere structure at the Big Ol' Bust that was the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville TN.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Jeff Schafer
02/11/16 02:28:42PM
1 posts

Good afternoon Dave...I have a question for you. Do you mind emailing me at

Dave Fulton
02/11/16 03:23:10PM
9,070 posts


"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
johnny bowen
02/12/16 07:58:36AM
13 posts

johnny bowen
02/12/16 07:59:21AM
13 posts

TMC Chase
02/11/17 01:48:13PM
3,890 posts


Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.