Earl Motter... Born ... AAA/USAC driver from1955 to 1959
Graham Hill... Born ... British racing driver and two-time Formula One World Champion. Graham Hill is the only driver to win the so-called Triple Crown of Motorsport, which is alternatively defined as winning either: the Indianapolis 500 (won by Hill in 1966), the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972) and the Monaco Grand Prix (1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969) or the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship (1962, 1968). Using either definition, Hill is still the only person ever to have accomplished this feat.
NASCAR , a week before the organization was officially incorporated, held its first race for modified stock cars on a 3.2 mile-course at Daytona Beach. In the 150-mile race that featured almost exclusively prewar Fords, Red Byron edged Marshall Teague to become NASCAR's first champion. Stock car racing would become a tradition at Daytona, but prewar Fords would not. By 1949 the Olds 88 had become NASCAR's dominant vehicle.
Bill Blair, Gaining the lead after race long leader Fonty Flock ran out of gas taking the white flag, won the 160 mile NASCAR GN race on the Daytona Beach and road course. Flock held a 65 second lead when the gas tank ran dry in his Olds 88. Teammate Slick Smith pushed Flock's disabled car back to the pits, where he took on fuel and peeled out to finish 26 seconds behind Blair's Olds. Chicago's Bob Pronger won the pole at 115.77 mph, but went sailing and rolling off the North turn on lap 1 while trying to beat Flock into the turn. He continued 4 more laps before retiring. Lee Petty missed the race due to illness and two-time defending race winner Marshall Teague had left for the AAA circuit.
Jimmy Spencer ... Born ... NASCAR driver and commentator. During his days racing modifieds, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement" for his sometimes aggressive racing style.
Art Chrisman broke the 180 mph barrier in a supercharged nitro dragster when his "Hustler" did 181.8 mph in the 1/4 mile.
Earl Motter won the 89 lap USAC Midget race at the Ascot Speedway, Gardena, CA.
Mel Kenyon won the 25-lap Midget race over Jimmy Florian and Jigger Sirois at the Memorial Stadium, Daytona Beach, FL.
Buddy Baker and Coo Coo Marlin won the twin 125 mile NASCAR GN qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.
Bobby Allen powered his Emrich Chevrolet to win the 30-lap Super Sprint car race at the Jacksonville Speedway, Jacksonville, Florida. Freddie Vance was second followed by Tom Jones, Bill Roynon, Larry Curtis, James McElreath, Chet Johnson, Bob Smith and Sheldon Kinser.
Ralph Parkinson won the midget race at the Memorial Stadium in Daytona Beach Florida. Dennis Cullick was second followed by Roger Branson, Rich Vogler, Ron Taylor, Larry Kirkpatrick and Jim Hettinger.
Wayne Shugart won the Southeastern Winternationals Late Model Stock Car race at the Volusia County Speedway, Barberville, FL.
Mark Donohue won the first International Race of Champions Final on the 3.81 mile Daytona International Speedway oval/road course.
David Pearson limped across the finish line following a tangle with Richard Petty to take the Daytona 500 victory. Petty had taken the lead with 13 laps to go, but Pearson used the draft to take the lead the last time down the backstretch. Petty bobbled while side by side coming towards the tri-oval and both cars spun and hit the wall. Both cars came to a stop on the grass, but Pearson kept his clutch engaged and rolled past the stalled Petty to take the checkered flag on the apron at about 20 mph. Petty was disqualified after his crew pushed his car the 100 feet to the line.
Sleepy Tripp won the 100-lap USAC Midget race at the San Jose Speedway, San Jose, CA.
Buddy Baker and Darrell Waltrip won the twin 125 mile NASCAR GN qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.
Richie Evans won the seventh night Modified feature of the World Series Of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at the New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, FL. Ronnie Bouchard was second followed by Mark Malcuit, George Kent and Moose Hewitt.
Richard Petty and crew gambled by not changing tires on the last pit stop and it paid off with Petty taking his 7th Daytona 500 win. Petty's Buick was in 5th with 25 laps left when crew chief Dale Inman made the call to only take on fuel. Petty came out of the stops with a 10 second advantage and held on to take the checkered 3.5 seconds ahead of Bobby Allison's Rainier Pontiac. Allison had dominated the race, leading 117 laps. It was the first win in GN competition for Buick since 1955.
Bill Elliott , taking the lead when Geoff Bodine ran out of gas with 3 laps to go, won his second Daytona 500. Elliott's Ford Thunderbird beat Benny Parsons' Hendrick Motorsports Chevy by 3 car lengths.
Chuck West won the 100 lap USAC Midget race at the Selland Arena, Fresno, CA.
Butch Miller won the Late Model Stock Car race and Reggie Ruggiero won the Modified Stock Car race at the New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, FL. ( Click here for the race report. )