Jim McElreath ... Born ... USAC/CART driver. He raced in the 1961-1983 seasons, with 178 combined career starts, including 15 in the Indianapolis 500 in 1962-1970, 1973-1974, and 1977-1980. He finished in the top ten 101 times, with five victories. In 1962, he was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, a result of his 6th place finish. McElreath was a 2002 inductee to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Jim's son, James Jr., was killed in a sprint car crash in 1977. Jim's daughter, Shirley, married Tony Bettenhausen, Jr., with whom she died when their private plane crashed in Kentucky in February, 2000.
"Stubby" Stubblefield won a 250 mile Stock Car race held on a 1.9 mile dirt road course at Mines Field (now the site of Los Angeles International Airport). Stubblefield averaged 62.3 mph in a Ford V8, leading a Ford sweep of the top 5.
Gary Congdon ... Born ... USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver. Congdon died in Terre Haute, Indiana in a crash in a midget car race (1967).
Johnnie Parsons won the 50 lap Pacific Coast AAA Sprint Car race at the Los Angeles Fairgrounds, Pomona, CA.
Pat O'Connor won the USAC Sprint Car race at the Medley Speedway, Miami, FL.
Scott Kalitta ... Born ... American drag racer and son to veteran NHRA driver and crew chief Connie Kalitta, and is cousin to teammate Doug Kalitta.
Fireball Roberts finished his domination of SpeedWeek by winning the Daytona 500. Roberts had earlier won the pole and a 100 mile qualifying race. Roberts drove his Smokey Yunick prepared Pontiac across the finish line 27 seconds ahead of Richard Petty's Plymouth. The race ran caution free, allowing Roberts to average 152.529 mph. The Petty crew protested that the Yunick crew had used too many men on pit stops, but the protest was denied.
Billy Vukovich , driving the Doug Caruthers #8, won the 100-lap USAC Midget race at the San Jose Speedway, San Jose, CA.
Richard Petty benefitted from a caution that put him back in contention and a quicker final pit stop to win the Daytona 500 for the 4th time. Petty's last stop came with 11 laps to go and was 2 seconds faster than leader Buddy Baker's stop. Polesitter Baker had led 157 laps before making his last stop with 10 laps left. When both were up to full speed, Petty led Baker by 4.2 seconds. Baker closed on Petty before retiring a smoking Krauskopf Dodge with 6 laps to go. Bobby Isaac drove a Bud Moore Ford using a smaller 351 c.i. motor to 2nd and Dick Brooks was 3rd in a Dodge. James Hylton left as points leader after finishing 7th.
Jimmy Caruthers , driving the Doug Caruthers #11, won the 50-lap USAC Midget race at the All American Speedway, Roseville, CA.
Jimmy Kite ... Born ... USAC midget, sprint, silver crown and Indy car driver.
Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough took each other out in a last lap wreck that allowed Richard Petty to win the Daytona 500 for the sixth time. Yarborough tried to slingshot past Allison on the backstretch, but Allison moved two lanes down, forcing Yarborough onto the grass and dirt. Yarborough never lifted and cranked his Olds into Allison's, locking the cars together, where they slid into the turn 3 wall before stopping in the infield. Petty's Olds was 15 seconds behind the lead duo when the collision occurred, and beat Darrell Waltrip to the yellow/checkered by a car length. Bobby Allison stopped at the wreck site on the cool down lap and shortly the Allison brothers and Yarborough were brawling.
Richie Evans won the ninth 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 Merv Treichler, Dave Nichols and Jay Hedgecock.
Derrike Cope wins the Daytona 500, Terry Labonte finished 2nd.
Dale Jarrett wins the Daytona 500 in his # 88 Quality Care/ Ford Credit Ford, Dale Earnhardt finished 2nd in his # 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet.
Dale Earnhardt, Sr.... Died ...Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500 victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black" and most famously, "The Intimidator." Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.
Kevin Harvick wins the Daytona 500, Mark Martin finished 2nd.