1967 National 500 (lost footage of NASCAR Grand National Series race; 1967)

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1967national5001.jpg

Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1967 National 500 was the 47th race of the 1967 NASCAR Grand National Series. Occurring on 15th October at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by Buddy Baker in a 1967 Dodge, his first of 19 Cup Series victories.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1967 National 500 was the eighth running of the event, with the race lasting 500 miles.[1] It was one of two 1967 Grand National Series races conducted at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the other being the World 600,[2] which occurred on 28th May and was won by Kim Paschal in a 1967 Plymouth.[3] The race also has ties to the modern Bank of America Roval 400, having dropped the National name from 1983 onwards and reverting to 400 miles from 2018.[4][5]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Cale Yarborough winning the pole position in a 1967 Ford with a speed of 154.872 mph.[1] Directly behind him was A.J. Foyt in a 1967 Ford, with 1967 Plymouth driver Paul Goldsmith lining up third.[1] Buddy Baker qualified fourth out of 44 competitors,[1] and aimed to win his first Grand National Series victory.[6] He had an advantage where he started driving the most competitive cars since completing an apprenticeship under his father Buck in 1965.[6] Also of note was the large presence of Dodge and Ford competitors in the race, with the ambition seemingly to end Richard Petty's dominance of NASCAR events within the South at the time, The King having qualified fifth in a 1967 Plymouth.[6][1] Among notable drivers that failed to qualify included LeeRoy Yarbrough in a Ford, and future three-time Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart, who attempted to participate in a Dodge.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1967 National 500 commenced on 15th October.[1] Yarborough maintained his lead from the starting, holding it for 31 laps before dropping it to 1967 Dodge driver Darel Dieringer.[1] The two generally battled for the first position until lap 114, when Baker began to emerge as a contender, holding the lead until dropping it to Yarborough on lap 150.[1] Whereas the first position began to become an open competition during this time period, some contenders dropped out.[6] These included Petty, who retired after 268 laps due to an engine failure; and a crash after 197 laps eliminated the 1967 Fords of David Pearson, Jack Bowsher, and Mario Andretti, and the 1967 Plymouth of Jim Paschal.[6][1]

As the race reached its later stages, Baker began to dominate the race. He overtook fellow 1967 Dodge driver Bobby Isaac on lap 207, maintaining it for 47 laps.[1] Yarborough retook the first position on lap 254, but Baker achieved another lead change on lap 257.[1] Baker's main competition then ended after 301 laps, when Yarborough retired due to an engine failure.[1] This enabled Baker to control proceedings, leading the remaining laps of the 334-lap event to claim his first Grand National Series victory and $19,355 in prize money.[6][1] Isaac finished in second, a lap down from Baker, while Dick Hutcherson took third in a 1967 Ford.[1][6]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to NASCAR on TV, 45 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 21st October as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the National Hare and Hound Cross-County Championship.[7] The broadcast has yet to resurface however, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available. Nevertheless, a few photos of the event remain viewable online.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]