1966 Firecracker 400
|Race 28 of 49 in the 1966 NASCAR Grand National Series season|
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
|Date||July 4, 1966|
|Official name||Firecracker 400|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (4.023 km)
|Distance||160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 93 °F (34 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)|
|Average speed||153.813 miles per hour (247.538 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Sam McQuagg||Ray Nichels|
|No. 98||Sam McQuagg||Ray Nichels|
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; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.
From 1949 to 1972, Richard and Lee Petty were the most dominant drivers on any circuit in NASCAR. David Pearson was easily the third most dominant NASCAR driver. Buck Baker and Rex White were considered to be the middle-of-the road competitors in NASCAR from 1949 to 1972. Fonty and Tim Flock along with Herb Thomas, Joe Weatherly, Ned Jarrett and Bobby Isaac were considered to be below-average performers during the early years of NASCAR.
Forty-six thousand and two hundred stock car racing fans would watch this live event from the start until the finish. It took two hours and thirty-six minutes to completely finish the race. Four cautions were given out for twenty-three laps. The average speed of the race was 153.813 miles per hour (247.538 km/h). Sam McQuagg would beat Darel Dieringer by racing the entire duration of the race exactly one minute and six seconds faster than Darel.
This was the first time that a rear spoiler would be used in any NASCAR Cup Series race. On the day of the race, the factory engineers at Dodge would install this new invention on McQuagg's car (which would eventually cause him to go several miles per hour faster than his opponents).
Individual winnings for this event ranged from the winner's share of $13,600 ($102,578.87 when considering inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $350 ($2,639.90 when considering inflation). A grand total of $55,105 was handed out to every qualifying driver who participated in this racing event ($415,632.99 when considering inflation).
|1||12||LeeRoy Yarbrough||'66 Dodge||Jon Thorne|
|2||43||Richard Petty||'64 Plymouth||Petty Enterprises|
|3||13||Curtis Turner||'66 Chevrolet||Smokey Yunick|
|4||98||Sam McQuagg||'66 Dodge||Ray Nichels|
|5||99||Paul Goldsmith||'66 Plymouth||Ray Nichels|
|6||56||Jim Hurtubise||'66 Plymouth||Norm Nelson|
|7||31||Don White||'66 Dodge||Ray Nichels|
|8||5||Mario Andretti||'66 Dodge||Cotton Owens|
|9||3||Buddy Baker||'65 Dodge||Ray Fox|
|10||71||Earl Balmer||'65 Dodge||Nord Krauskopf|
- Sam McQuagg† (No. 98)
- Darel Dieringer† (No. 16)
- Jim Paschal† (No. 14)
- Curtis Turner† (No. 13)
- Jim Hurtubise† (No. 56)
- Don White (No. 31)
- Marvin Panch (No. 04)
- Tiny Lund† (No. 24)
- James Hylton (No. 48)
- John Sears† (No. 4)
- Buddy Baker*† (No. 3)
- Frank Warren (No. 79)
- Elmo Langley† (No.64)
- Bobby Allison (No. 2)
- David Pearson (No. 6)
- Harold Smith (No. 55)
- Larry Hess (No. 44)
- Eddie MacDonald (No. 89)
- Wendell Scott† (No. 34)
- Blackie Watt (No. 93)
- J.D. McDuffie† (No.70)
- Jack Lawrence (No. 06)
- Henley Gray (No. 97)
- LeeRoy Yarbrough*† (No. 12)
- Roy Mayne (No. 00)
- Jimmy Helms* (No. 53)
- Paul Goldsmith* (No. 99)
- Doug Cooper* (No. 02)
- Richard Petty* (No. 43)
- Earl Balmer* (No. 71)
- Mario Andretti* (No. 5)
- Wayne Smith* (No. 38)
- Buck Baker*† (No. 86)
- Bunkie Blackburn*† (No. 39)
- G.C. Spencer*† (No. 49)
- Buddy Arrington* (No. 69)
- J.T. Putney*† (No. 19)
- Bobby Johns* (No. 7)
- Jabe Thomas*† (No. 25)
- Joel Davis* (No. 33)
† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race
- "1966 Firecracker 400 weather information". Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "1966 Firecracker 400 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "NASCAR Driver of the Day: Sam McQuagg". NASCAR Driver of the Day. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- "1966 Firecracker 400 winnings information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
1966 Pickens 200
|NASCAR Grand National races
1966 untitled race at Old Dominion Speedway
|Firecracker 400 races