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The 1968 Beltsville 300 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on May 17, 1968, at Beltsville Speedway in Beltsville, Maryland.

1968 Beltsville 300
Race details[1][2]
Race 16 of 49 in the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Date May 17, 1968; 51 years ago (1968-05-17)
Official name Beltsville 300
Location Beltsville Speedway, Beltsville, Maryland
Course Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.836 km)
Distance 300 laps, 150.0 mi (225.0 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures of 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds of 19 miles per hour (31 km/h)
Average speed 74.844 miles per hour (120.450 km/h)
Attendance 8,700
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 158
Winner
No. 17 David Pearson Holman-Moody
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.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Beltsville Speedway was specially designed with banked turns for stock car racing. Originally known as the "Baltimore-Washington Speedway", this track received its final name in its 19th month of operation.[3] The track hosted modified stock car racing vehicles alongside the other NASCAR series.[3] Wednesday nights were the original night for racing but the schedule eventually added Friday night racing.[3] Ten Grand National races were raced there including the popular Beltsville 300 series of races.[4]

SummaryEdit

It took two hours for David Pearson (in his Holman-Moody owned '68 Ford Torino) to defeat Bobby Isaac (in his '67 Dodge Charger) by one lap and five seconds in front of 8,700 people.[2] The majority of the starting grid would be driving Ford vehicles while Dodge, Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile and Plymouth made up the minority of the racing vehicles.[5] Notable crew chiefs who participated in the event were Ray Hicks, Jake Elder, Frankie Scott, Dale Inman and Harry Hyde.[6]

Notable speeds were: 74.844 miles or 120.450 kilometres per hour as the average speed and 83.604 miles or 134.548 kilometres per hour as the pole position speed.[2] The track was a paved oval track spanning 0.500 miles or 0.805 kilometres.[2] Three hundred laps were raced on this track for a grand total of 150.0 miles or 241.4 kilometres.[2] There was one Canadian participant named Frog Fagan; he started in 20th place and finished the race in 22nd place.[2]

Total winnings for this race were $6,800 ($48,993 when considering inflation); David Pearson would receive $1,400 ($10,087 when considering inflation) while last-place finisher Wendell Scott would receive a meager $100 ($720 when considering inflation).[7] Tim Pistone was the start and park car for this race; he quit the race for reasons unknown.[2] Other notable racers who participated included Wendell Scott, Buck Baker, and J.D. McDuffie.[2]

QualifyingEdit

Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 43 Richard Petty '68 Plymouth Petty Enterprises
2 17 David Pearson '68 Ford Holman-Moody Racing
3 5 Pete Hamilton '68 Ford Rocky Hinton
4 10 Bill Champion '66 Ford Bill Champion
5 48 James Hylton '67 Dodge James Hylton
6 4 John Sears '67 Ford L.G. DeWitt
7 71 Bobby Isaac '67 Dodge Nord Krauskopf
8 3 Buddy Baker '67 Dodge Ray Fox
9 55 Tom Pistone '66 Ford Lyle Stelter
10 25 Jabe Thomas '67 Ford Don Robertson
11 07 George Davis '67 Chevrolet George Davis
12 20 Clyde Lynn '67 Mercury Clyde Lynn
13 64 Elmo Langley '66 Ford Elmo Langley / Henry Woodfield
14 70 J.D. McDuffie '67 Buick J.D. McDuffie
15 28 Earl Brooks '66 Ford Earl Brooks
16 8 Ed Negre '67 Ford Ed Negre
17 01 Paul Dean Holt '67 Ford Dennis Holt
18 34 Wendell Scott '66 Ford Wendell Scott
19 09 Roy Tyner '66 Chevrolet Roy Tyner
20 95 Frog Fagan '66 Ford Henley Gray
21 19 Henley Gray '66 Ford Henley Gray
22 88 Buck Baker '67 Oldsmobile Buck Baker
23 06 Neil Castles '67 Plymouth Neil Castles

Finishing orderEdit

Section reference:[2]

  1. David Pearson (No. 17)
  2. Bobby Isaac (No. 71)
  3. Buddy Baker (No. 3)
  4. James Hylton (No. 48)
  5. John Sears (No. 4)
  6. Jabe Thomas (No. 25)
  7. Neil Castles (No. 06)
  8. Roy Tyner (No. 09)
  9. Bill Champion (No. 10)
  10. Henley Gray (No. 19)
  11. Earl Brooks (No. 28)
  12. Paul Dean Holt (No. 01)
  13. Elmo Langley (No. 64)
  14. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  15. J.D. McDuffie (No. 70)
  16. Tom Pistone (No. 55)
  17. George Davis (No. 07)
  18. Ed Negre (No. 8)
  19. Pete Hamilton (No. 5)
  20. Buck Baker (No. 88)
  21. Clyde Lynn (No. 20)
  22. Frog Fagan (No. 95)
  23. Wendell Scott (No. 34)

TimelineEdit

Section reference:[2]

  • Start of race: Richard Petty starts the race with the pole position
  • Lap 3: Wendell Scott's bad oil pressure made him the last-place finisher
  • Lap 10: The head gasket on Frog Fagan's vehicle developed problems, forcing the Canadian to accept a 22nd-place finish
  • Lap 14: Clyde Lynn had a terminal crash; causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 82: Buck Baker's steering problem ended his day on the track
  • Lap 85: Pete Hamilton had a terminal crash, forcing him to leave the event
  • Lap 112: George Davis' rear end became a problem, forcing him to be pulled off for safety reasons
  • Lap 115: Tom Pistone left the race for reasons unknown
  • Lap 122: An oil leak ended J.D. McDuffie's hope of finishing the race
  • Lap 158: Richard Petty's engine acted up, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 159: David Pearson takes over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 171: Elmo Langley's engine became faulty, bringing his day to an end
  • Lap 231: Bobby Isaac takes over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 243: David Pearson takes over the lead from Bobby Isaac
  • Lap 282: Jabe Thomas' engine problems forced him out of the race
  • Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the event

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1968 Beltsville 300 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1968 Beltsville 300 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  3. ^ a b c Complete history of the Beltsville Speedway at The Vintage Racer
  4. ^ Beltsville Speedway event history Archived 2010-07-28 at the Wayback Machine at Everything Stock Car
  5. ^ "1968 Beltsville 300 information (makes and models of the cars". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
  6. ^ "1968 Beltsville 300 crew chief information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  7. ^ "1968 Beltsville 300 information (prize winnings)". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
Preceded by
1968 Rebel 400
NASCAR Grand National Season
1968
Succeeded by
1968 Tidewater 250