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The 1963 Old Dominion 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on September 22, 1963, at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.

1963 Old Dominion 500
Race details[1]
Race 48 of 55 in the 1963 NASCAR Grand National Series season
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
Date September 22, 1963 (1963-September-22)
Official name Old Dominion 500
Location Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Virginia
Course Permanent racing facility
0.525 mi (0.844 km)
Distance 500 laps, 262.5 mi (442.4 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds of 17.1 miles per hour (27.5 km/h)
Average speed 67.486 miles per hour (108.608 km/h)
Attendance 20,000
Pole position
Driver Fox Racing
Time 24.530 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody
Laps 421
Winner
No. 28 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

BackgroundEdit

Martinsville Speedway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races.[2] The standard track at Martinsville Speedway is a four-turn short track oval that is 0.526 miles (0.847 km) long.[3] The track's turns are banked at eleven degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at zero degrees. The back stretch also has a zero degree banking.[3]

Race reportEdit

The race was scheduled for 500 laps; taking three hours and forty-two minutes to complete.[4] Fred Lorenzen defeated Marvin Panch by a single lap and two seconds.[4] Twenty thousand people came to witness three lead changes and five cautions for eighteen laps.[4] Junior Johnson won the pole position for this race; driving speeds up to 73.379 miles per hour (118.092 km/h) in qualifying.[4] Speeds during the actual race managed to reach up to 67.486 miles per hour (108.608 km/h).[4]

Jimmy Massey became the last-place finisher after having to drop out prior to the race due to a terminal crash with Jimmy Pardue.[4] Jack Anderson pulled out of the race on lap 13 after dealing with a faulty head gasket in his vehicle.[4] An oil leak would take Bobby Keck out of the action on lap 26.[4] A faulty vehicle bearing forced Perk Brown out of the race on lap 43.[4] Problems with the vehicles' brakes would force Major Melton and Fred Harb to retire from the race.[4]

Perk Brown and Major Melton would end their NASCAR Grand National Series careers after the conclusion of this race.[4]

Most of the car owners that were involved in the race were independents and had no affiliation with a multi-car team.[5] This race still holds the record for the fewest leaders in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville along with the 1961 Old Dominion 500, the 1965 Old Dominion 500 and the 1976 Old Dominion 500.[6] Individual winnings for this race were as low as $100 ($818 when adjusted for inflation) and as high as $3,800 ($31,098 when adjusted for inflation).[7]

At least nine notable crew chiefs attended this race; including Ray Fox, Herman Beam, Glen Wood and Herb Nab.[8]

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.

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [4]

  • Start of race: Junior Johnson had the pole position to begin the event, two drivers would crash into each other before the first official lap
  • Lap 13: The head gasket on Jack Anderson's vehicle came off
  • Lap 26: An oil leak from Bobby Keck's vehicle forced him to leave to track as not to endanger his fellow drivers
  • Lap 41: A bearing came off Perk Brown's vehicle, forcing him to accept a 32nd-place finish
  • Lap 52: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Junior Johnson
  • Lap 53: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
  • Lap 81: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Junior Johnson
  • Lap 82: The hub on J.D. McDuffie's vehicle broke off, denying him yet another NASCAR Cup Series victory
  • Lap 101: The ball joint on Bill Widenhouse's vehicle became non-functional
  • Lap 130: The valve on Roy Tyner's vehicle somehow became problematic
  • Lap 183: Rex White had a terminal crash, causing him not to finish the race
  • Lap 211: Al White managed to overheat his vehicle from high speed stock car racing
  • Lap 296: Junior Johnson had a terminal crash, ending his race a bit too soon
  • Lap 300: Larry Frank's vehicle managed to overheat while racing
  • Lap 362: Ned Jarrett's engine became problematic, ending his race weekend early
  • Lap 430: Reb Wickersham had a terminal crash, forcing him to leave the race prematurely
  • Finish: Fred Lorenzen was officially declared the winner of the event

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Speed[9] Qualifying time[9] Owner
1 3 Junior Johnson '63 Chevrolet 73.379 24.530 Ray Fox
2 28 Fred Lorenzen '63 Ford 73.289 24.560 Holman-Moody
3 22 Fireball Roberts '63 Ford 72.845 24.710 Holman-Moody
4 4 Rex White '63 Mercury 72.144 24.950 Rex White
5 21 Marvin Panch '63 Ford 72.144 24.960 Wood Brothers
6 11 Ned Jarrett '63 Ford 71.884 25.040 Charles Robinson
7 8 Joe Weatherly '63 Mercury 71.827 25.060 Bud Moore
8 6 David Pearson '63 Dodge 71.770 25.080 Cotton Owens
9 41 Richard Petty '63 Plymouth 71.741 25.090 Petty Enterprises
10 5 Billy Wade '63 Dodge 71.400 25.210 Cotton Owens

Failed to qualify: Bobby Keck (#57), Possum Jones (#05)[9]

Top twenty finishersEdit

Pos[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Time/Status
1 28 Fred Lorenzen Ford 500 421 3:42:16
2 21 Marvin Panch Ford 499 0 +1 laps
3 8 Joe Weatherly Mercury 497 0 +2 laps
4 6 David Pearson Dodge 496 0 +4 laps
5 41 Richard Petty Plymouth 496 0 +4 laps
6 5 Billy Wade Dodge 495 0 +5 laps
7 22 Fireball Roberts Ford 489 0 +11 laps
8 29 Nelson Stacy Ford 488 0 +12 laps
9 47 Jack Smith Plymouth 488 0 +12 laps
10 87 Buck Baker Pontiac 477 0 +23 laps
11 36 Larry Thomas Dodge 477 0 +23 laps
12 19 Cale Yarborough Ford 474 0 +26 laps
13 62 Curtis Crider Mercury 461 0 +39 laps
14 60 Bud Harless Pontiac 461 0 +39 laps
15 09 Larry Manning Chevrolet 459 0 +41 laps
16 86 Worth McMillion Pontiac 447 0 +53 laps
17 67 Reb Wickersham Pontiac 430 0 Terminal vehicle damage
18 34 Wendell Scott Chevrolet 403 0 +97 laps
19 11 Ned Jarrett Ford 362 0 Engine problem
20 99 Larry Frank Ford 300 0 Vehicle overheated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1963 Old Dominion 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Martinsville Speedway". Martinsville Speedway. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Race information about the 1963 Old Dominion 500 at Racing Reference
  5. ^ Car ownership information Archived 2015-02-05 at the Wayback Machine at Driver Averages
  6. ^ List of fewest leaders at Martinsville Speedway at CBS Sports
  7. ^ Winnings information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  8. ^ 1963 Old Dominion 500 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  9. ^ a b c Qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1963 Capital City 300
NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1963
Succeeded by
1963 untitled race at Dog Track Speedway
Preceded by
1962
Old Dominion 500 races
1963
Succeeded by
1964