1963 Golden State 400

The 1963 Golden State 400 was a NASCAR Grand National Series event that was held on November 3, 1963, at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California.

1963 Golden State 400
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 55 of 55 in the 1963 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Riverside International Raceway
Layout of Riverside International Raceway
Date November 3, 1963 (1963-November-03)
Official name Golden State 400
Location Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California
Course Permanent racing facility
2.620 mi (4.216 km)
Distance 153 laps, 400.9 mi (645.1 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures of 66.9 °F (19.4 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 91.645 mph (147.488 km/h)
Attendance 20,000
Pole position
Driver Wood Brothers Racing
Time 96.190 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Dave MacDonald Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 92
No. 16 Darel Dieringer Bill Stroppe
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s.


Riverside International Raceway a race track or road course in Moreno Valley, California. The track was in operation from September 22, 1957, to July 2, 1989. The original course design proved to be dangerous, and it was partially reconfigured in 1969.

The track was built to accommodate several different configurations, depending on the type of car and race length. The three options on Riverside Raceway were the long course (3.27 miles (5.26 km)), the short course (2.5 miles (4.0 km)), and the NASCAR (2.62 miles (4.22 km)) course. The original racetrack had a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) backstretch from 1957 to 1968. When the track was redesigned in 1969, Turn 9 was reconfigured with a wider radius and a dogleg approach added to reduce strain on the cars' brakes.

Race reportEdit

This event took four hours and twenty-one seconds to resolve itself; Darel Dieringer defeated Dave MacDonald by at least one lap.[2] Dave MacDonald led most of this race until he lost 3rd gear.[2]

More than 32000 people would watch a 148-lap race on a road course spanning 2.700 miles (4.345 km) and speeds averaging 91.465 miles per hour (147.199 km/h).[2][3] Dan Gurney won the pole position driving at speeds of up to 101.050 miles per hour (162.624 km/h) but Marvin Panch substituted for him on the day of the race.[2] Only one caution was given out for the entire racing event.[2][3] Forty-one American-born races would qualify for this race and Bruce Worrell would finish in last place due to an engine problem on the first lap of the race. This would end up becoming the only 1963 race of 300 miles or more where a Holman-Moody Ford failed to secure a place in the top two.[4]

Fred Lorenzen only ran just over half the races, focusing on the super speedways, and finished third in points by a good margin over Ned Jarrett, who ran nearly all of them. Lorenzen had a pretty good run going early in this one as led 20 laps right at the start before the transmission failed in his signature #28 Ford.[5]

Ken Miles, a legendary sports car racer with the Ford GT40 program, makes his only NASCAR start and finishes just outside the top-10 despite obtaining a considerable amount of damage during the race.[2][3] Miles was a test driver for Carroll Shelby and he wasn't the only Shelby-connected competitor in this race as Pete Brock, the designer of the iconic Shelby Daytona Coupe, made his only NASCAR Cup start and brought home the #211 Kraco Safety Belts Mercury with a top-20 despite being sidelined by fuel problems.[2][3] The race purse would add up to $33,780 ($282,100 when adjusted for inflation); with the winner receiving $7,875 ($65,765 when adjusted for inflation) and the last place finisher receiving only $200 ($1,670 when adjusted for inflation).[6]

Joe Weatherly would go on to win the 1963 title over Richard Petty, who overshadowed Weatherly in nearly every statistical category that year.[7] The points were paid per the "importance" of each race. Superspeedway races were paid a certain higher amount. 250 mile major short track races were paid a lttle lower and short track races of less than 250 miles were paid the lowest amount.

Notable crew chiefs who actively participated in the race were Herb Nab, Bradley Denis, Mario Rossi, and Louis Clements.[8] Richard Petty attempted to drive five laps using automatic transmission but his transmission failed after only five laps into the race; proving that NASCAR may always be for vehicles with manual transmission. He would go on to become a replacement driver for Junior Johnson; although Johnson got credit for the fifth-place finish.


Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Qualifying time[9] Speed[9] Owner
1 121 Marvin Panch '63 Ford 1:36.190 101.050 Wood Brothers
2 22 Fireball Roberts '63 Ford 1:37.810 99.376 Holman-Moody
3 16 Darel Dieringer '63 Mercury 1:38.110 99.072 Bill Stroppe
4 28 Fred Lorenzen '63 Ford 1:38.160 99.022 Holman-Moody
5 4 Rex White '63 Mercury 1:38.210 98.971 Rex White
6 21 Dave MacDonald '63 Ford 1:38.400 98.780 Wood Brothers
7 11 Ned Jarrett '63 Ford 1:38.420 98.760 Charles Robinson
8 33 Clem Proctor '63 Pontiac 1:38.850 98.330 Clem Proctor
9 8 Joe Weatherly '63 Mercury 1:39.980 97.219 Bud Moore
10 281 Ken Miles '63 Ford 1:40.310 96.899 Holman-Moody

Failed to qualify: Danny Weinberg (#3), A. J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Rodger Ward, Roger Penske[9]
Driver change: Dan Gurney (#121)[9]

Top ten finishersEdit

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Winnings Laps led Time/Status
1 3 16 Darel Dieringer Mercury 148 $7,845 35 4:21:37
2 6 21 Dave MacDonald Ford 147 $4,655 92 +1 lap
3 1 121 Marvin Panch Ford 147 $2,860 1 +1 lap
4 2 22 Fireball Roberts Ford 147 $1,775 0 +1 lap
5 19 26 Junior Johnson Mercury 145 $1,300 0 +3 laps
6 15 47 Jack Smith Plymouth 144 $1,175 0 +4 laps
7 9 8 Joe Weatherly Mercury 143 $1,475 0 +5 laps
8 22 62 Bill Amick Mercury 142 $1,000 0 +6 laps
9 40 18 Bob Ross Mercury 140 $950 0 +8 laps
10 33 97 Ron Hornaday Ford 140 $850 0 +8 laps


Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Fred Lorenzen leaves the start/finish line as the lead driver
  • Lap 1: Rex White had a terminal crash, forcing him to retire from the race
  • Lap 22: Dave MacDonald takes over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
  • Lap 42: Paul Goldsmith had a terminal crash, forcing him out of the race
  • Lap 44: Bob Bondurant had a terminal crash, forcing him out of the race
  • Lap 67: Scotty Cain managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 74: Chuck Shove managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 77: Darel Dieringer takes over the lead from Dave MacDonald
  • Lap 80: Dave MacDonald takes over the lead from Darel Dieringer
  • Lap 116: Darel Dieringer takes over the lead from Dave MacDonald
  • Lap 117: Jimmy Pardue's vehicle had a major case of transmission issues
  • Lap 118: Dave MacDonald takes over the lead from Darel Dieringer
  • Lap 119: Darel Dieringer takes over the lead from Dave MacDonald
  • Lap 133: Jim Cook had a terminal crash, forcing himself to exit the race prematurely
  • Lap 134: Pete Brock managed to run out of fuel while racing
  • Finish: Darel Dieringer was officially declared the winner of the event


  1. ^ "1963 Golden State 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1963 Golden State 400 race information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c d e "1963 Golden State 400 race information (second reference)". Database Racing. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  4. ^ 1963 NASCAR Grand National Results at Racing Reference
  5. ^ Driver Fred Lorenzen Career Statistics at Racing Reference
  6. ^ "1963 Golden State 400 purse information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  7. ^ "NASCAR Grand National standings for 1963". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  8. ^ "1963 Golden State 400 crew chiefs information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  9. ^ a b c d "1963 Golden State 400 qualifying information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
Preceded by
1963 untitled race at Orange Speedway
NASCAR Grand National Races
Succeeded by
1964 Textile 250