Bob Christie ... Born ... Christie raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1956-1963 seasons, with 15 career starts, including every Indianapolis 500 race in that span. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 3rd position in 1959 at Daytona.
Bud Tingelstad... Born ... USAC driver from 1957 to 1972 in the Midget, Sprint, Stock Car and Championship Car series. In the Championship Cars he raced in the 1960-1971 seasons with 120 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 in each year except 1961 and 1970. He finished in the top ten 56 times, with his one victory in 1966 at DuQuoin.
William Clifton France, "Bill Jr."... Born ... After serving as vice-president for six years, he became the head of NASCAR when his father Bill France, Sr. retired on January 10, 1972. The International Motorsports Hall of Fame describes the transition: "Other than the founding of NASCAR itself, Bill Jr.'s appointment to leadership is probably the most significant event in the history of the sanctioning body." NASCAR went from a Southern regional sport to a national sport during his tenure.
Dick Rathmann, despite blowing a tire with 2 laps to go, won the 100 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 5/8 mile dirt North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Rathmann's Hudson Hornet crossed the line on the rim, 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Herb Thomas.
Johnny Thomson , driving the Traylor #9, won the 30-lap AAA Eastern Sprint Car race on the 1/2 mile dirt Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Chet Fillip... Born ... A former driver in the CART Championship Car series. He raced in the 1982-1985 seasons, with 9 career starts, and started in the Indianapolis 500 in 1982 and 1983. His best CART finish was in 10th position in 1985 at Milwaukee. At the end of the 1985 season, he switched to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, where he continued racing through 1987, making 24 starts with a best finish of 15th. After NASCAR, Fillip raced several years in USAC sprint car, with 8 victories and also winning the prestigious Little 500 in 1999. The year 2006 saw the formation of a new racing series, the Premier Racing Association (PRA) utilizing the former pavement racing cars of the USAC Silver Crown Series which had switched to a different type of car more suitable for faster, larger tracks a mile or more in length. Chet Fillip won the first championship of this series driving a car of his own design and manufacture. Though he won no races he finished no lower than 6th in any event while always running near the front. After at least 28 years driving everything from sports cars to Indy cars to stock cars, he won his first series championship.
George Amick... Died ... AAA / USAC driver 1954 to 1959. He was killed in a crash in a USAC 100-mile Indy car race at Daytona International Speedway.
Jim Rathmann won the 100 mile USAC Championship race at Daytona International Speedway, averaging 170.261 mph. As Rathmann took the checkered, George Amick died in a crash on the backstretch, possibly from the nose of the car lifting off the track. USAC immediately cancelled a 300 mile race scheduled for July 4th due to safety concerns. Amick was the fastest qualifier with a speed of 176.887, a speed not exceeded by an Indy Car for another nine years. ( Click here for the race report. )
Buddy Baker made his first NASCAR GN start in a 100 mile race on the 1/2 mile dirt Columbia Speedway in Columbia, South Carolina. The race was won by Jack Smith, driving the Bud Moore Chevrolet, who edged rookie Ned Jarrett. Baker finished 14th after shock problems.
Jimmy Daywalt ... Died ... Jimmy drove AAA sprint cars and in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1950, 1953-1957, 1959, and 1961-1962 seasons with 20 starts. He finished in the top ten 3 times. His best finish was in the 1953 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 6th and was named Rookie of the Year.
Dan Gurney won the USAC Championship 'Golden Gate 150' at Sears Point International Raceway in Sears Point, California. Gurney took the lead from Mario Andretti on lap 3 and was never headed though John Cannon was rapidly running Gurney down until a bizarre incident during a yellow flag. The field was slowed so much by the pace car that the stock block engine in Cannon's car stalled going up one of the hills. Cannon alertly let the car roll back down the hill in an effort to use momentum to refire the engine, but it was to no avail. Andretti finished a second behind Gurney's Eagle. Gurney's 7th Indy Car win would also be the final one of his career.
A.J. Foyt dueled Richard Petty for many laps before taking the lead with 13 laps to go and driving to victory in the NASCAR GN 'Atlanta 500' at Atlanta International Raceway. Foyt, in the Wood Brothers Mercury, finished 1.8 seconds ahead of Petty's Plymouth. ( Click here for the race results. )
Gary Bettenhausen won the 40 lap USAC Sprint Car race at the Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, OH. Larry Dickson finished second followed by Karl Busson, Don Nordhorn and Larry Cannon. ( Click here for the race report. )
Armond Holley won the NEMA Midget race, Ed Flemke won the Small Block Modified race and Don MacLaren won the NESMRA Supermodified race at the Thompson International Speedway's "Icebreaker Triple Header" , Thompson, CT. ( Click here for the race report. )
Dale Earnhardt held off Cale Yarborough to win the NASCAR GN 'CRC Rebel 500' at Darlington Raceway by half a car length. Earnhardt, driving Bud Moore's Ford, ended a 39 race winless streak. Benny Parsons drove to 4th amid rumors he would soon be out at Ranier Racing and Tim Richmond, making his first start for J.D. Stacy, dropped a position when he forgot to complete his last lap (nearly a lap down, he saw the starter wave the checkered for the leaders).