Tommy Milton , drove the Durant Special to victory in a 50 mile AAA Championship race on the 1.25 mile board Los Angeles Motor Speedway. Earlier, Milton, Pietro Bordino, Frank Elliott and Jimmy Murphy all won 25 mile races. All races counted for AAA points.
Jack Brabham... Born ... An Australian racing driver who was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He ran the Indy 500 four times with a best finish of 9th in 1961.
Henry Guerand... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's. He died in a horrifying accident witnessed by 6500 spectators during the third midget event of 1939 at Nutley Velodrome, NJ. At twenty-first lap of the feature race, while riding in sixth position, Guerand lost control of the car, which was owned by Ernie Gesell, and slammed against the outside guard rail. The body of the driver was thrown half way out of the cockpit and impacted against a steel support overhanging the track, which caused him horrible and not survivable injuries. The car, still carrying Guerand's lifeless body, continued its course around the turn colliding with Bill Schindler and finally came to a stop when it ran into a hay bale. Schindler received cuts about the face and nose. The race was halted with Johnny Ritter declared the winner. Henry Guerand, who was of French parentage, was a very popular sprint car (then known as big cars) driver and was one on the very first sprint car competitors to race midgets. He had started his racing career in 1933, in 1938 he obtained the fifth place in the East Coast sprint car standings and then started the 1939 season racing in the Hatkinson series at Tampa, FL. His remarkable results secured him a ride in the famous Gus Strupp's Miller, but unfortunately Guerand was killed before he had the chance to drive it.
Tim Flock scored his first career NASCAR Grand National win in a 150 mile race on the 3/4 mile dirt Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, NC. Driving the Lincoln that Harold Kite took to victory at Daytona, Tim passed Red Byron for the lead on lap 48 and went on to cross the line a half lap ahead of brother Bob Flock. Bob led the first 5 laps in the Frank Christian Olds before Byron moved his Olds out front. Clyde Minter finished 3 laps down in 3rd with Byron winding up 4th, 4 laps back.
Troy Ruttman won the 37 lap Pacific Coast AAA Sprint Car race at the Oakland Speedway, Oakland, CA. Race called due to fiery crash. Scheduled for 50 laps but halted when Bud Sennett caught fire.
Tommy Hinnershitz , driving the Comforth #1, won the 30-lap AAA Eastern Sprint Car race on the 1/2 mile dirt Reading Fairgrounds in Reading, PA.
Jimmy Reece , driving the #28 Brunn Offy, won the AAA Midget race at the Phoenix Speedway, Phoenix, AZ.
Davey Moses won the 50 lap USAC Midget race at the Ascot Stadium, Gardena, CA. Johnny Moorhouse was second followed by Chuck Booth, Billy Cantrell, Jimmie Davies, A.J. Foyt, Tommy Copp and Lloyd Ruby.
Fabrizio Barbazza... Born ... USAC / CART driver from the 1980's and 90's.
Cale Yarborough took the first superspeedway win of his career, driving the Wood Brothers Ford to an easy victory in the NASCAR GN 'Atlanta 500' at Atlanta International Raceway. Mario Andretti made a daring pass for the lead on lap 152, only to blow a tire and hit the wall 6 laps later. After a long pit stay, Andretti returned only to hit the wall again. Dick Hutcherson finished 2nd, a lap and half behind Yarborough.
Fred Lorenzen , the first stock car driver to win $100,000 in a single season, retired on this day.
Larry Dickson, in the George Nesler # 5, won the 30 lap USAC Sprint Car race at the Reading Fairgrounds Speedway, Reading, PA. Scratch Daniels was second followed by Rollie Beale, Bobby Unser and Karl Busson.
Alfred "Speedy" Thompson... Died ... A NASCAR pioneer and driver in the Grand National (now Cup ) series from 1950 to 1971, capturing 20 wins along the way. During a late model race on April 2, 1972 at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, where he started the race despite reporting he was not feeling well, Thompson suffered a suspected heart attack during the race and crashed his car, breaking his neck as well. He died on the way to the hospital, one day before his 46th birthday.
Rollie Beale won the 40 lap USAC Sprint Car race at the Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, OH. George Snider finished second followed by Joe Saldana, Gary Bettenhausen and Sammy Sessions.
Mark Light... Died ... Mark Light drove Sprint Cars, Stock Cars and Midgets at tracks mostly around Pennsylvania. He took 34 career wins but failed to qualify for the Indy 500 in his one attempt in 1950.