DIAMOND STATE 250
Dover Downs International Speedway
Sunday, May 2, 1971
Race of the 1971 season brought the Grand American Challenge Series to Dover, Delaware for the Diamond State 250. Despite the earlier announcement of the newly created International Sedan Manufactures Championship which included the Vega, Pinto, Colt, Gremlin, Hornet, Datsun, Toyota, BMW and Renault that would compete separately yet together with the Grand American cars there were no ISMC cars entered in the Dover race.
Veteran Buck Baker averaged a speed of 128.844 mph to earn the pole position with H.B. Bailey along side to make it an all Pontiac Firebird front row for the second race in a row. Jim Paschal started third in a Javelin with Wayne Andrews in a Mustang fourth. Sonny Hutchins in a Camaro and Gary Myers in a Mustang rounded out the top six.
At the drop of the green flag the leaders quickly caught the tail end of the field with Paschal moving to the front as Tiny Lund charged thru the pack into 5 th when on lap 16 Billy Hagan spun in turn 2 setting off a chain reaction that collected Andrews, Lund, Joe Huss and Coy Blue. Though reported at the time as a wrenched knee, Tiny broke a leg in the crash when Hagan came down the banking and hit Lund in the right front. When the race resumed Paschal ran off and hid from the field, adding several laps to his lead by half way. By now James Raimey had crashed out soon to be followed by Bud Olson. Both were uninjured. Another caution came out on lap 160 when E. J. Trivette wrecked on the front straight away while trying to make a pass. He suffered cracked ribs in the crash. On lap 222 Paschal took himself out when he crashed into the wall in turn 4 with a 5 lap lead on the field. The public address announcer informed the crowd that the Camaro that was running second driven by Kruger Johnston was now the new leader. Out front for the last 28 laps he took the checkered flag with a 10 lap lead over second place finisher Jimmy Capps. When the driver that climbed from the car in victory circle was wearing a Tiny Lund uniform but was obviously not Lund he had to answer as to whom he was. Frank Bradley repeated the announcer. No, Frank Brantley, the winner informed him. The school bus driver from Savannah, Ga. was also in the car at Daytona in February but the record book list the car owner, Kruger Johnston, as the driver. Brantley said they went out early at Daytona with a broken gearbox so no one noticed. Well they should notice now even as a lot of news reports still got he name wrong, they called him Brantsley. The popular late model driver that had been making a name for himself from Columbia to Jacksonville was now a NASCAR touring division winner.
Brantley collected $3,750 of the $23,500 purse. There were 4 cautions for a total of 50 laps which brought the average speed way down from last year. Only 10 of the 34 starters were running at the finish.
Tiny Lund started from the 21 position right behind Ron Trout.
The Firebirds of Buck Baker and H.B. Bailey lead the parade laps.
updated by @dennis-andrews: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM