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1968 Fireball 300

The 1968 Fireball 300 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on May 5, 1968, at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Weaverville, North Carolina.

1968 Fireball 300
Race details[1]
Race 14 of 49 in the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Date May 5, 1968; 49 years ago (1968-05-05)
Official name Fireball 300
Location Asheville-Weaverville Speedway, Weaverville, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.804 km)
Distance 300 laps, 150 mi (241 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures approaching 63 °F (17 °C); wind speeds up to 15.9 miles per hour (25.6 km/h)
Average speed 75.167 miles per hour (120.970 km/h)
Pole position
Driver
  • David Pearson
Holman-Moody
Most laps led
Driver David Pearson Holman-Moody
Laps 299
Winner
No. 17 David Pearson Holman-Moody
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

It had twenty-seven American competitors and one Canadian competitor (Frog Fagan). The entire race spanned a distance of 150 miles (240 km); the "300" portion of the race's name simply referred to the number of laps that were expected to be completed.

Contents

SummaryEdit

This event lasted one hour and fifty-nine minutes over a paved oval track spanning 0.500 miles (0.805 km).[2] David Pearson (winner), Bobby Isaac, Richard Petty, James Hylton, Elmo Langley, Clyde Lynn, Jabe Thomas, Frog Fagan, Henley Gray, and Stan Meserve were amongst the drivers who finished in the top ten.[2] There were six cautions for forty-five laps and the margin of victory was more than two laps.[2] The average speed of the race was 75.167 miles per hour (120.970 km/h) per hour while the pole speed was 89.708 miles per hour (144.371 km/h) per hour.[2]

A crowd of 7,800 people attended this racing event that took place on May 5, 1968, at the Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in the American community of Weaverville, North Carolina.[2] Out of twenty-eight competitors, only ten managed to finish all 300 laps of the event.[2] Total winnings for this racing event was $6,900 ($47,520.86 when adjusted for inflation). making him the dominant driver in the event.

A bumper crop of multi-car "corporate" teams participated in the race because racing expenses has started to become prohibitively expensive for individuals to burden during the late 1960s. Few of the remaining independent teams included Margo Hamm's team, Neil Castles' team and the driver-owner Gene Black; who tragically finished in last place on the fourth lap due to a problem with his stock car engine.[3] 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.

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 17 David Pearson '68 Ford
2 43 Richard Petty '68 Plymouth
3 12 Tom Pistone '68 Mercury
4 71 Bobby Isaac '67 Dodge
5 4 John Sears '67 Ford
6 49 G.C. Spencer '67 Plymouth
7 48 James Hylton '67 Dodge
8 75 Gene Black '66 Dodge
9 3 Buddy Baker '67 Dodge
10 76 Roy Tyner '66 Ford

Finishing orderEdit

  1. David Pearson (No. 17)
  2. Bobby Isaac† (No. 71)
  3. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  4. James Hylton (No. 48)
  5. Elmo Langley† (No. 64)
  6. Clyde Lynn† (No. 20)
  7. Jabe Thomas† (No. 25)
  8. Frog Fagan† (No. 95)
  9. Henley Gray (No. 19)
  10. Stan Meserve (No. 51)
  11. Roy Tyner*† (No. 76)
  12. Pete Hamilton* (No. 5)
  13. John Sears*† (No. 4)
  14. Neil Castles* (No. 06)
  15. Bill Seifert* (No. 45)
  16. Earl Brooks*† (No. 28)
  17. Max Ledbetter* (No. 46)
  18. Buddy Baker*† (No. 3)
  19. J.D. McDuffie*† (No. 70)
  20. Tom Pistone* (No. 12)
  21. Walson Gardener* (No. 93)
  22. Don Tarr* (No. 0)
  23. Wendell Scott*† (No. 34)
  24. Buck Baker*† (No. 88)
  25. Jack Ingram* (No. 08)
  26. Paul Dean Holt* (No. 01)
  27. G.C. Spencer*† (No. 49)
  28. Gene Black*† (No. 75)

* Driver failed to finish race
† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased

TimelineEdit

  • Start of race: David Pearson began the event with the pole position
  • Lap 4: Gene Black's vehicle developed a problematic engine
  • Lap 13: G.C. Spencer had to leave the race due to a faulty suspension system on his vehicle
  • Lap 15: Paul Dean Holt managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 25: Jack Ingram managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 51: Buck Baker would lose his vehicle's rear end, forcing his exit due to safety reasons
  • Lap 61: Wendell Scott's engine managed to blow while he was racing
  • Lap 63: Oil pressure issues forced Don Tarr out of the event
  • Lap 74: Walson Gardner would have to retire from the race due to nasty engine problems
  • Lap 81: Tom Pistone would never see the checkered flag due to having a worn-out engine
  • Lap 87: Buddy Baker took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 88: David Pearson took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the event
Preceded by
1968 Dixie 250
NASCAR Grand National Races
1968
Succeeded by
1968 Rebel 400
Preceded by
1967 Fireball 300
NASCAR Fireball 300 Races
1965-1969
Succeeded by
1969 Fireball 300

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1968 Fireball 300 racing information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "1968 Fireball 300 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  3. ^ "1968 Fireball 300 team information". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2014-04-16.