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1968 World 600

The 1968 World 600, the ninth running of the event, was a NASCAR Grand National Series event that took place on May 26, 1968, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

1968 World 600
Race details[1]
Race 21 of 54 in the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Date May 26, 1968 (1968-May-26)
Official name World 600
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.414 km)
Distance 255 laps, 378 mi (442.89 km)
Scheduled Distance 400 laps, 600 mi (703 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures up to 68 °F (20 °C); wind speeds up to 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)
Average speed 104.207 miles per hour (167.705 km/h)
Attendance 60,000
Pole position
Driver Banjo Matthews
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker Ray Fox
Laps 98
Winner
No. 3 Buddy Baker Ray Fox
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; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) quad-oval track located in Concord, North Carolina, was the location for the race.[2] The track's turns were banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, was five degrees.[3] The back stretch, opposite of the front, also had a five degree banking.[3] During the 1968 season, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the NASCAR Grand National Series twice, with the other race being the National 500. The track opened for the inaugural World 600 in 1960, and was built by Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. An estimated 60,000 spectators were in attendance for the race.

SummaryEdit

This race was shortened to 255 laps due to rain after being able to race for three hours and four minutes in front of a live audience of 60,000 people. Buddy Baker would defeat Donnie Allison under the race's sixth (and final caution flag). Cale Yarborough would become the last-place finisher due to an automobile crash on lap 45. All the competitors (except for Canadian Frog Fagan) was born in the United States of America. Bobby Allison suffered an engine problem on the 229th lap of the race; forcing him to retire in a respectable 28th place.[4]

Donnie Allison won the pole position by driving speeds up to 159.223 miles per hour or 256.245 kilometres per hour during solo qualifying runs while actual race speeds would reach 104.207 miles per hour or 167.705 kilometres per hour. Both of Nord Krauskopf's teams would finish in the "top ten" during this race. The top ten finishers included Buddy Baker, Donny Allison, LeeRoy Yarbrough, David Pearson, Bobby Isaac, Charlie Glotzbach, Tiny Lund, James Hylton, Curtis Turner, and Sam McQuagg.[4]

Darel Dieringer would be a part of the race's second crash on lap 212; giving him a 32nd-place finish.[4] Earl Balmer, Paul Lewis, and Phil Wendt would retire from NASCAR after this racing event.[5] Prior to this race, Balmer was known as the winner of the 1966 Daytona 500 qualifying race.

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 27 Donnie Allison '68 Ford
2 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough '68 Mercury
3 21 Cale Yarborough '68 Mercury
4 17 David Pearson '68 Ford
5 29 Bobby Allison '68 Ford
6 43 Richard Petty '68 Plymouth
7 16 Tiny Lund '68 Mercury
8 14 Curtis Turner '68 Plymouth
9 22 Darel Dieringer '68 Plymouth
10 6 Charlie Glotzbach '68 Dodge
11 99 Paul Goldsmith '68 Dodge
12 3 Buddy Baker '68 Dodge
13 15 Jerry Grant '68 Plymouth
14 71 Bobby Isaac '68 Dodge
15 1 Bud Moore '68 Dodge

TimelineEdit

  • Start of race: Cale Yarborough officially started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 45: Cale Yarborough had a terminal crash, forcing him to retire from the race
  • Lap 48: Jerry Grant took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 49: Donnie Allison took over the lead from Jerry Grant
  • Lap 56: A troublesome valve forced G.C. Spencer off the track
  • Lap 59: Earl Balmer couldn't handle his vehicle in a normal manner, causing him to exit the race
  • Lap 70: LeeRoy Yarborough took over the lead from Donnie Allison
  • Lap 91: Paul Goldsmith managed to blow his vehicle's engine while he was racing
  • Lap 101: Buddy Baker took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarborough
  • Lap 143: LeeRoy Yarborough took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 153: An oil leak in Bob Cooper's car forced him to stop racing for the day, Donnie Allison took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 154: Richard Petty took over the lead from Donnie Allison
  • Lap 155: Bud Moore took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 161: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Bud Moore
  • Lap 163: Bud Moore took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 181: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Bud Moore
  • Lap 182: Transmission problems forced Bud Moore to abandon the race
  • Lap 186: A fault ignition ended Richard Petty's hopes of the winning the race
  • Lap 190: Transmission issues managed to knock out Sonny Hutchins from the race
  • Lap 205: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 212: Darel Dieringer had a terminal crash, forcing him to retire from the race
  • Lap 218: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 226: Buddy Baker took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarborough
  • Lap 229: Buddy Allison managed to blow his vehicle's engine while he was racing
  • Finish: Buddy Baker was officially declared the winner of the event

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1968 World 600 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Charlotte Motor Speedway". Charlotte Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on April 28, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Racing information for the 1968 World 600 at Racing Reference
  5. ^ Retirements from NASCAR at Race Database
Preceded by
1968 Tidewater 250
NASCAR Grand National Season
1968
Succeeded by
1968 Asheville 300
Preceded by
1967
World 600 races
1968
Succeeded by
1969