Dirt track racing
Dirt track racing is a type of auto racing performed on clay or dirt surfaced oval tracks. It became widespread during the 1920s and 1930s. Two different types of race cars dominated—open wheel racers in the Northeast and West and stock cars in the South. While open wheel race cars are purpose-built racing vehicles, stock cars can be either purpose-built race cars or street vehicles that have been modified to varying degrees. Dirt track racing is the single most common form of auto racing in the United States. There are hundreds of regional racetracks throughout the nation; the sport is popular in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The track surface may be composed of any soil; the curation of a racetrack requires hours of work. The machines for track curation include a grader, cultivator and water truck however this varies at different dirt tracks around the world; the track is graded and'dug up' after the racing is finished and it is watered with a water truck. It may be broken down with a cultivator or rolled.
These steps are repeated however many times necessary and do vary according to climate and soil composition. Nearly all tracks are less than 1-mile in length with most being 1/2 mile or less; the most common increments in the U. S. are ½ mile, ⅜ mile, ⅓ mile, ¼ mile, ⅛ mile. With the longer tracks, the race cars achieve higher speeds up to 160 mph and the intervals between cars increase; this decreases the chance of crashes but increases the damage and chance of injury when cars do crash. In Great Britain the oval tracks are on grass with lengths of 400 meters to 800 meters; the races consist of several four lap. There is a final race featuring the fastest competitors. In mainland Europe, long tracks can be grass, sand or cinder, can be up to 1-kilometer long. Dirt track racing in Australia has a history dating back to the 1930s. Most oval track speedways are similar to those in the USA for car racing such as sprint cars and sedans, with most tracks around ¼ mile to ⅓ mile in length. Most tracks have a clay surface, though some use dolomite and clay mix or sand and clay mix.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, a small number of tracks were paved with asphalt, though this phase only lasted about a decade and all tracks paved over reverted to their former surfaces. Each racetrack or sponsoring organization maintains a rule book outlining each class of race car which includes dimensions, engine size, equipment requirements and prohibitions; the requirements for each class are coordinated with multiple tracks to allow for the widest available venue for each type of car. This coordination allows the drivers to compete at many different racetracks, increase competitors' chances of winning, lets racing associations develop a series of race events that promote fan interest. Many tracks support two types of racing in open wheel cars and stock cars. Both types range from large and powerful V8 engines to small yet still powerful, four-cylinder engines; some of the smaller open wheel race cars have classes for single-cylinder engines. Depending on the class, the cars may have wings to aid in handling at higher speeds.
Open wheel cars are manufactured with tubular frames and a body purchased for that particular class. The wheels of these vehicles are not protected by fenders. Classes include: Dwarf Mod lite - 1000-1250cc motorcycle engines Kart Mini sprint- 600-1200cc motorcycle engines. Utilize a top wing. Winged sprint- 410ci, 360ci engine, or 305ci engines; the top wing helps these powerful racecars with downforce. Non-wing sprint car Silver crown Midget Three quarter midget Quarter midget 600 and 270 micro sprintsOpen wheel sanctioning bodies include: USAC - The United States Automobile Club World of Outlaws Sprint Cars All Star Circuit of Champions National Sprint League American Sprint Car Series United Sprint Car Series MOWA POWRi Popular chassis manufacturers around the country for winged sprint cars are Eagle, Maxim, J&J, Triple X, GF1. There are several engine builders that build both 410ci and 360ci engines for traveling sprint car teams. Speedway, Gaerte, Shaver, Don Ott Racing Engines, Fisher Racing Engines are the more popular engine builders.
Modified cars are a hybrid of open wheel cars and stock cars. This class of car has the racing characteristics of a stock car; the rear wheels are covered by fenders but the front wheels are left exposed. There are sanctioning bodies; each sanctioning body has their own set of guidelines provided in an annual rule book and their own registration fees. Sanctioning bodies include: Super DIRTcar Series IMCA UMP USRA USMTS WISSOTA TSMA (Tri-State
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Frederick "Fred" Lorenzen, Jr. nicknamed The Golden Boy, Fast Freddie, The Elmhurst Express and Fearless Freddy, is a former NASCAR driver from Elmhurst, Illinois. Active from 1958 to 1972, he won the 1965 Daytona 500. Fred Lorenzen was 15 years of age when he and his Elmhurst, Illinois friends competed in a contest to see who could flip a 1937 Plymouth over first by cranking it around in circles. Lorenzen claimed to be the victor of that confrontation. After graduating from high school, Lorenzen began racing modifieds and late models, made his NASCAR debut in 1956 at Langhorne Speedway, finishing 26th after suffering a broken fuel pump, winning $25, he moved to a USAC stock car, won the 1958 and 1959 championships driving his Talarico Bros. built Chevrolet. On Christmas Eve 1960, Lorenzen received a phone call from team owner Ralph Moody that would change his career. Moody asked Lorenzen about becoming his team's lead driver. A surprised Lorenzen accepted, albeit curious as to what he'd done to fulfill Moody's criteria to be part of his team.
In 1961, Lorenzen began winning races in. For five years from 1961 till 1966, Lorenzen dominated NASCAR like few other drivers would winning many major races and defeating the best drivers of his day. In his maiden season with Holman Moody, Lorenzen won: the Grand National 200 at Martinsville. There was no doubt that Lorenzen would challenge the all-time greats for the top prizes in NASCAR. In 1962, Lorenzen won a race at Augusta Speedway; the 1962 Ford was troubled at the start of the season by inferior aerodynamics, a serious problem, rectified with a more streamlined roof halfway into the season. In 1963, Lorenzen soared to the top and became the top money-winner and the first to break the $100,000 barrier in one season. In that amazing year, Lorenzen won: the Atlanta 500, the World 600. In 1964, Lorenzen won: the Southeastern 500 at Bristol. In 1965 Lorenzen won: the Daytona 500. In 1966 Lorenzen won: the American 500 at Rockingham, North Carolina. In 1967 Lorenzen won: the Daytona 500 Qualifier.
Lorenzen compiled an amazing record of wins that made him the dominant driver of NASCAR during a significant portion of its Golden Era. In one race in 1966 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he drove a Junior Johnson-owned No. 26 Ford due to the Ford boycott of NASCAR for much of the 1966 season, it is still one of the most talked about vehicles in NASCAR Grand National Competition to this day. The front end of the car was sloped downward, the roofline was lowered, the side windows were narrowed and the windshield was lowered in an aerodynamic position, the tail was kicked up. Several rival drivers referred to it as "The Yellow Banana," "Junior's Joke," and "The Magnafluxed Monster." Though it was against the rules NASCAR allowed the car to compete and Lorenzen crashed while leading the Dixie 500 on the 139th lap. One pit crew member said after the incident "No wonder" he said, "I ain't never seen anybody who could drive a banana at 150 mile an hour." NASCAR let this illegal car run in only one race, in an attempt to bring up attendance, which had suffered due to the Ford boycott.
He came back in 1970, driving a Dodge Daytona prepared by Ray Fox in the World 600, but dropped out while leading on lap 252 of 400 due to engine issues, running in a few more events that year, including substituting for LeeRoy Yarbrough in the Junior Johnson No. 98 Ford Torino Talladega in that year's Southern 500, as Yarbrough had a prior Indy car commitment. In 1971, he moved over to the Ray Nichels/Paul Goldsmith owned No. 99 Plymouth, sponsored by STP. He left that team part way through the season, was badly injured in a practice crash while trying to drive for the Wood Brothers prior to the Southern 500. In 1972, he hooked up with Hoss Ellington driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, to little success, his last start came at the 1972 Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Lorenzen now lives in assisted living in a suburb of Chicago surrounded by his family. In his heyday from 1962–65, Lorenzen was the top driver in NASCAR. On the super speedways, Lorenzen defeated all of his competition to compile an unprecedented streak of wins in major races.
Racing for money instead of points, Lorenzen never competed for the annual Sprint Cup, but he won the big races that made him the uncrowned King of NASCAR during its golden years. Lorenzen's countless fans waited for a long time for Lorenzen's brilliant career to be recognized with his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2015. "When NASCAR lost Fireball Roberts it was like Santa Claus doesn't exist at Christmas and it just took everything out of the race"—Thoughts on Fireball Roberts' death. Official website Fred Lorenzen driver statistics at Racing-Reference Fred Lorenzen Wins
Richard Lee Petty, nicknamed The King, is a former NASCAR driver who raced from 1958 to 1992 in the former NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Series. He was the first driver to win the NASCAR Cup Championship a record, seven times, winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times, winning a record 27 races in the 1967 season alone. Statistically, he is the most accomplished driver in the history of the sport and is one of the most respected figures in motorsports as a whole, he collected a record number of poles and over 700 Top 10 finishes in his record 1,184 starts, including 513 consecutive starts from 1971–1989. Petty was the only driver to win in his 500th race start, until Matt Kenseth joined him in 2013, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. Petty still is active day to day, as a NASCAR team owner in the Cup Series and owner of Petty's Garage in Level Cross, NC. Petty is a second generation driver, his father, Lee Petty, won the first Daytona 500 in 1959 and was a three-time NASCAR champion.
His son Kyle was a NASCAR driver. His grandson, was killed in a practice crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on May 12, 2000, five weeks after Lee's death. Adam's brother Austin works on day-to-day operations of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a Hole in the Wall Gang Camp established by the Pettys after Adam's death. Petty married Lynda Owens in 1958, she died on March 25, 2014 at her home in Level Cross, North Carolina at age 72, after a long battle with cancer. They had four children—Kyle Petty, Sharon Petty-Farlow, Lisa Petty-Luck, Rebecca Petty-Moffit; the family resides in Petty's home town of Level Cross, North Carolina and operates Richard Petty Motorsports. The Richard Petty Museum was in nearby Randleman, North Carolina but moved back to its original location in March 2014. Petty was born in Level Cross, North Carolina, the son of Elizabeth and Lee Arnold Petty a NASCAR driver, the older brother of NASCAR personality Maurice Petty, he began his NASCAR career on July 1958, 16 days after his 21st birthday.
His first race was held at CNE Stadium in Toronto, Canada. In 1959, he was named NASCAR Rookie of the Year, after he produced 9 top 10 finishes, including six Top 5 finishes. In Lakewood, Georgia in 1959, Petty won his first race, but his father Lee protested, complaining of a scoring error on the officials' part. Hours Lee was awarded the win. In 1960, he finished 2nd in the NASCAR Grand National Points Race, got his first career win at the Charlotte Fairgrounds Speedway. 1963 was his breakout year, winning at tracks like Bridgehampton. In 1964, driving a potent Plymouth with a new Hemi engine, Petty led 184 of the 200 laps to capture his first Daytona 500, en route to 9 victories, earning over $114,000 and his first Grand National championship. Joining in the Chrysler boycott of NASCAR due to the organizing body's ban of the Hemi engine, Petty spent much of 1965 competing as a drag racer. Petty Enterprises installed the Hemi in the new compact Barracuda and lettered "OUTLAWED" on the door, he crashed this car at Southeastern Dragway, in Dallas, Georgia, on February 28, 1965, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring seven others.
Petty, his father Lee, Chrysler Corporation faced lawsuits totaling more than $1 million, though Petty and his team came to settlements with the lawsuits within 1 month of the suits being filed. Afterwards, a second Hemi Barracuda was built, this time with an altered wheelbase and with Hilborn fuel injection; this car was lettered with a large "43 JR" on the door. The car was successful, winning its class at the Bristol Spring Nationals and competing in many match races against well known racers such as Ronnie Sox, Don Nicholson, Phil Bonner, Huston Platt, Hubert Platt and Dave Strickler. After returning to NASCAR once the Hemi was reinstated, Richard continued drag racing the 43 JR until early 1966. On February 27, 1966, Richard Petty overcame a 2-lap deficit to win his second Daytona 500 when the race was stopped on lap 198 of 200 because of a thunderstorm; this made him the first driver to win the event twice. 1967 was a milestone year. In that year, Petty won 27 of the 48 races, including a record 10 wins in a row.
He won his second Grand National Championship. One of the 27 victories was the Southern 500 at Darlington, which would be his only Southern 500 victory, his dominance in this season earned him the nickname "King Richard". He had been known as "the Randleman Rocket". In 1969, Petty switched brands to Ford, due to his belief the Plymouth was not competitive on super-speedways, he would finish second in points. Won back in 1970 by the sleek new Plymouth Superbird with shark nose and towel rack wing, Petty returned to Plymouth for the 1970 season; this is the car in which Petty is cast in the Pixar film Cars, in which Richard and Lynda Petty had voice roles. On February 14, 1971, Petty won his third Daytona 500, driving a brand-new Plymouth Road Runner and beating Buddy Baker, by little more than a car length en route to another historic year, making him the first driver to win the race 3 times, he won 20 more races and claimed
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company, best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title; the owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, Jim France has been CEO since August 6, 2018. The company's headquarters is in Florida. Internationally, its races are broadcast on television in over 150 countries. In the 1920s and 30s, Daytona Beach became known as the place to set world land speed records, supplanting France and Belgium as the preferred location for land speed records, with 8 consecutive world records set between 1927 and 1935.
After a historic race between Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton in 1903, the beach became a mecca for racing enthusiasts and 15 records were set on what became the Daytona Beach Road Course between 1905 and 1935. By the time the Bonneville Salt Flats became the premier location for pursuit of land speed records, Daytona Beach had become synonymous with fast cars in 1936. Drivers raced on a 4.1-mile course, consisting of a 1.5–2.0-mile stretch of beach as one straightaway, a narrow blacktop beachfront highway, State Road A1A, as the other. The two straights were connected by two tight rutted and sand covered turns at each end. Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, they used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads.
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine", this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations. The cars continued to improve, by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit; these races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, they are most associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced. Mechanic William France Sr. moved to Daytona Beach, from Washington, D. C. in 1935 to escape the Great Depression. He was familiar with the history of the area from the land speed record attempts. France entered the 1936 Daytona event, he took over running the course in 1938. He promoted a few races before World War II. France had the notion. Drivers were victimized by unscrupulous promoters who would leave events with all the money before drivers were paid.
In 1947, he decided this racing would not grow without a formal sanctioning organization, standardized rules, regular schedule, an organized championship. On December 14, 1947, France began talks with other influential racers and promoters at the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel at Daytona Beach, that ended with the formation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948; the first Commissioner of NASCAR was Erwin "Cannonball" Baker. A former stock car and open-wheel racer who competed in the Indianapolis 500 and set over one hundred land speed records. Baker earned most of his fame for his transcontinental speed runs and would prove a car's worth by driving it from New York to Los Angeles. After his death, the famous transcontinental race the'Cannonball Run' and the film, inspired by it were both named in his honor. Baker is enshrined in the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame; this level of honor and success in each diverse racing association earned Baker the title of "King of the Road".
In the early 1950s, the United States Navy stationed Bill France Jr. at the Moffett Federal Airfield in northern California. His father asked him to look up Bob Barkhimer in California. Barkhimer was a star of midget car racing from the World War II era, ran about 22 different speedways as the head of the California Stock Car Racing Association. Young Bill developed a relationship with his partner, Margo Burke, he went to events with them, stayed weekends with them and became familiar with racing on the west coast. "Barky", as he was called by his friends, met with Bill France Sr.. In the spring of 1954, NASCAR became a stock car sanctioning body on the Pacific Coast under Barky. Wendell Scott was the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR's highest level, he was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N. C. January 30, 2015. On March 8, 1936, a collection of drivers gathered at Florida; the drivers brought coupes, hardtops and sports cars to compete in an event to determine the fastest cars, best dr
1964 Indianapolis 500
The 48th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Saturday, May 30, 1964. It was won by A. J. Foyt, but is remembered for a fiery seven-car accident that resulted in the deaths of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald, it is the last race won by a front-engined "roadster", as all subsequent races have been won by rear-engined, formula-style cars. It was Foyt's second of four Indy 500 victories. Jim Clark, who finished second the previous year, won the pole position in the Lotus 34 quad-cam Ford V-8, he took the lead at the start, led for a total of 14 laps. However, a tire failure caused a broken suspension, he dropped out on lap 47. Team manager Colin Chapman had chosen special soft-compound Dunlop tires for qualifying, the rules dictated that the same type of tires be used for the race, where they suffered from a high wear rate. Clark's Lotus teammate Dan Gurney was pulled from the race after experiencing similar tire wear. Bobby Marshman led during the early stages of the race, at one point stretching his lead to as much as 90 seconds.
During his aggressive charge in front, he became uncharacteristically obsessed with putting A. J. Foyt a lap down. On lap 39, he went too low in turn one, bottoming out the car, dropped out with a broken transmission oil plug. Parnelli Jones dropped out after a pit fire. With Marshman and Jones all out of the race, A. J. Foyt cruised to victory, leading the final 146 laps. Race winner Foyt drove the whole 500 miles without changing tires. Goodyear participated only in practice. No cars used Goodyear tires during the race itself. Foyt's 1964 winning car remains the only car in the collection of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum on display, that has never been restored to pre race condition. Time trials were scheduled for four days. Saturday May 16 – Pole Day time trials Rodger Ward was the first to make headlines, as he set a one-lap record of 157.563 mph, a four-lap average of 156.406 mph. Bobby Marshman raised the record to 157.867 mph. Jim Clark took pole position with a record-setting run.
His second lap set the one-lap track record at 159.337 mph, his four-lap average was a record 158.828 mph. Clark became the first foreign-born pole-sitter since 1919; the following weekend, Clark won the Dutch Grand Prix. Sunday May 17 – Second day time trials Saturday May 23 – Third day time trials Sunday May 24 – Fourth day time trials Dave MacDonald was driving a car owned and designed by Mickey Thompson, the #83 Sears-Allstate Special, it was a rear-engined car that first raced in 1963, updated with a streamlined body for 1964. The car utilized Allstate tires, manufactured by Rubber Co.. Due to rule changes by USAC for 1964, the car was required to utilize 15 in tires; the wheels were most notably enclosed in the front and the rear by streamlined bodywork, intended to take advantage of aerodynamic effects to increase top speeds. However, it is believed that the wheel encasements, as well as the bodywork in general, made the car difficult to handle; the fuel tank was located in the left sidepod of the car, held 44–45 US gal of gasoline.
It was a single bladder, in a fiberglass shell supported by the fill neck and a moulded fibreglass body housing and a flat thin magnesium plate beneath the tank, braced by two steel straps hanging from the top rail of the frame. Following the crash, numerous erroneous accounts described the tank as oversized, some claiming it held upwards of 80 US gal. An urban legend circulated that Thompson was boasting plans to drive the entire 500 miles without a pit stop, using an oversized fuel tank, but this has been proven false; the crashworthiness of the car and the fuel cell was brought into question at the time. During practice, it was discovered that the car's handling was flawed. Masten Gregory complained. Gregory suffered a crash on May 6, quit the team due to what he believed was a terribly-handling car. Dave MacDonald managed to qualify his car without incident. Eddie Johnson qualified the second team car. On Carburetion Day, MacDonald tested the car, with conflicting accounts on whether he drove with a full load of fuel.
Other drivers in the paddock were known to be concerned about the car, at least one account claimed that 1963 pole winner and reigning Formula One World Champion Jim Clark advised MacDonald to get out of the car. Another Formula One driver and future Indy 500 winner Graham Hill had tested the car at the speedway in 1963 but had refused to drive it because of its bad handling. On the first lap, MacDonald passed at least five other cars; as he passed Johnny Rutherford and Sachs, Rutherford noticed MacDonald's car was handling poorly, zig-zagging, throwing grass and dirt up from the edge of the track. Rutherford said, watching the behavior of MacDonald's car, he thought, "he's either gonna win this thing or crash." Eyewitness accounts and film footage are inconsistent about the exact details of MacDonald's first two laps, but it is agreed he was attempting to pass many cars. On the second lap, MacDonald's car spun coming off turn four, as he was turning down below the groove to pass Jim Hurtubise and Walt Hansgen.
The car slid across the track and hit the inside wall, igniting the gasoline in the tank and resulting in a massive fire. His car slid back across the track, causing seven more cars to be involved. Ronnie Duman crashed, spun in flames and hit the pit lane wall, was burned. Bob
Talladega Superspeedway named Alabama International Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. A tri-oval, the track was constructed in 1969 by the International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family; the track hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Talladega is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66-mile-long like the Daytona International Speedway, 2.5-mile-long. The peak capacity of Talladega is at around 175,000 spectators, with the main grandstand capacity being at about 80,000. During the 1960s, William "Bill" France, Sr. wanted to build a track faster and longer than Daytona International Speedway. After failed attempts to reason with local government in Orange County, North Carolina with the Occoneechee Speedway, he attempted to find a new spot for a race track and make his idea a reality.
After failing to secure a location near the research triangle around Raleigh, France looked around between Atlanta and Birmingham along Interstate 20. He would end up breaking ground on an old airfield on May 23, 1968; the track opened on September 1969 at a cost of $4 million. The track was named the "Alabama International Motor Speedway"; the name would remain for twenty years until 1989 when the facility's name was changed to "Talladega Superspeedway". In the first race at the track, all the original drivers abandoned the track due to tire problems, which allowed France to hire substitute drivers with the winner being Richard Brickhouse. After the first race, Talladega hosted two Cup Series races a year, one of which would become part of the 10-race NASCAR Cup Series playoff format. Since its opening year, Talladega has been repaved four times. Talladega has had many first-time winners, such as Richard Brickhouse, Ron Bouchard, Bobby Hillin, Davey Allison, Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, and, in 2017, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
A 4-mile infield road course was in operation from the track's founding until 1983. In the 1970s, six IMSA GT Championship races were held at the speedway, including a 6-hour race in 1978; the International Motorsports Hall of Fame museum was opened in 1983. In May 2006, Talladega started to re-surface the apron. Construction started on May 1 and lasted until September 18; the first race on the resurfaced race track was a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on October 7. In December 2013, the ISC announced removal of the 18,000-seat Allison Grandstand on the backstretch, reducing the track's seating capacity to 80,000; the 4,000-ft backstraightaway was renamed the "Alabama Gang Superstretch" in time for the 2014 Aaron's 499 held in the spring. Speeds in excess of 200 mph are commonplace at Talladega. Talladega has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR vehicle on a closed oval course, with the record of 216.309 mph set by Rusty Wallace on June 9, 2004. Wallace circled the 2.66-mile trioval in 44.270 seconds, which surpassed the previous record held by Bill Elliott set in 1987, but did not replace the record because it was a radio test and not a NASCAR sanctioned event.
Buddy Baker was the first driver to run at a speed over 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap during "testing" on March 24, 1970. Bill France himself invited Chrysler to come on down to run a 200 lap for publicity for the April race; the car was NASCAR inspected and certified. NASCAR sanctioned the event and Bill Gazaway was there with the official timing equipment. Baker's 200 mph lap was set, it is undergoing restoration in Detroit, after being found in the late 1990s in Iowa. Benny Parsons was the first driver to qualify at over 200 mph, doing so in 1982 with a speed of 200.176 mph. In May 1987, Bobby Allison, after contacting debris from a blown engine, cut his right-rear tire while going through the tri-oval portion of the track; the car was vaulted airborne. His car did not enter the spectator area. NASCAR imposed rule changes to slow the cars after the incident, with a 1988 rule requiring cars running there and at Daytona to again use restrictor plates; the most cited reason is a fear that the increasing speeds were exceeding the capabilities of the tires available at the time, as high-speed tire failure had led to some terrific crashes at lower speeds.
The plates limit the amount of air and fuel entering the intake manifolds of the engine reducing the power of the cars and hence their speed. This has led to an competitive style of racing at Talladega and Daytona. Allison's crash was similar to Carl Edwards's airborne crash at the 2009 Aaron's 499; the reduced power affects not only the maximum speed reached by the cars but the time it takes them to achieve their full speed as well, which can be nearly one full circuit of the track. The racing seen at Talladega is tight. Breaking away from the pack is difficult as well; such close quarters, makes it difficult for a driver to avoid an incident as it is unfolding in front of them, the slightest mistake can lead to a multi-car accident – dubbed "the Big One" by fans and drivers. It is possible, to see 20 or more cars collected in the crashes. Cars go airborne and barrel-roll o