1965 Rebel 300 (partially found footage of NASCAR Grand National Series race; 1965)

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Program for the race.

Status: Partially Found

The 1965 Rebel 300 was the 15th race of the 1965 NASCAR Grand National Series. Occurring on 8th May at the Darlington Raceway, the race would ultimately be won by Junior Johnson in a 1965 Ford, but not before a protest was filed claiming his vehicle was serviced illegally during a pit stop.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1965 Rebel 300 was the 9th running of the event, with the annual race typically lasting around 300 miles in length.[1] Its name is a reference to the race typically being held near Confederate Memorial Day,[2] with Confederate flags often being featured on race programs and within the stands.[3] It was one of two 1965 Grand National Series races conducted at Darlington Raceway, the other being the Southern 500,[4] which in 1965 occurred on 6th September and was won by Ned Jarrett in a 1965 Ford.[5] After the two Darlington races were merged into one 400 mile race for 2005,[6] the Rebel 400's legacy would continue in 2020 under the current name of the Goodyear 400.[7]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Fred Lorenzen winning the pole position in a 1965 Ford with a speed of 138.133 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Marvin Panch in a 1965 Ford, with Johnson qualifying third.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1965 Rebel 300 commenced on 8th May.[1] Lorenzen held onto the lead for the first lap, only for Johnson to take it in the second. Throughout much of the race, Johnson proved dominant,[8] leading from lap 2 to 42.[1] While Panch and 1964 Ford driver Cale Yarborough were able to lead briefly, Johnson again took over to lead another 40 laps.[1] Dick Hutcherson also challenged in a 1965 Ford, but only held onto the lead for one lap before Johnson yet again moved back into the first position, this time for 49 laps.[1] Elsewhere, Lorenzen and Yarborough retired, Lorenzen on lap 56 because of a ignition failure, while Yarborough crashed out on lap 82.[1] On lap 125, 1964 Ford driver Bub Strickler experienced a major accident, with his car being inverted.[1] He was able to escape the wreck uninjured.

As the race reached its final stages, it appeared only Panch and 1964 Mercury driver Dieringer could challenge Johnson for the win.[8] With 18 laps to go, Panch retired following a spectacular crash,[1] caused by a tyre blowout while negotiating turn 1 that led to a loss of control.[8] Dieringer remained competitive however, and overtook Johnson on lap 203.[1] He was able to defend it until lap 208, when Johnson made the final lead overtake, and powered ahead to claim victory and $10,940 in prize money.[8][1] However, Dieringer's race crew were unhappy, lodging a protest after believing that Johnson's car was serviced illegally during a pit stop.[8] Ultimately, the protest was dismissed, with Johnson officially being declared the winner, with Dieringer second and 1965 Ford driver Ned Jarrett taking third.[1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to NASCAR on TV, 30 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 22nd May 1965 as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the Miami-Nassau Power Boat Race and reports on boxing.[9] However, this broadcast has yet to fully resurface, although footage of Stickler's crash, as well as photos of the event, are publicly viewable.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Footage of Bub Strickler's crash.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]