Lee Petty won the season opening 100-mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1/2 mile dirt Palm Beach Speedway at Daytona Beach, Florida. Pole winner Dick Rathmann led the first 3 laps before a coil problem retired his Hudson Hornet. Herb Thomas then took over, leading through the 48th lap when his Hudson Hornet fell out because of universal joint failure. Petty took the lead and drove his short wheelbased Dodge Diplomat to the checkered over 2 laps ahead of runner-up Jimmie Lewallen, giving the Petty Engineering team a 1-2 finish as Lewallen was in a Petty Engineering Plymouth. Petty averaged 60.220 mph in taking the 7th win of his GN career.
Daytona Beach, Florida Cars took to the new Daytona International Speedway for the first time as a practice session took place. Curtis Turner and Fireball Roberts were among those making runs. Following the practice session, the track was closed to allow work on the guard rail to be finished.
Mike Dillon... Born ... NASCAR driver, retired in 2001
Richard Petty, making his first start in a Ford, won the twice delayed NASCAR Grand National 'Motor Trend 500' at Riverside International Raceway. The race was postponed by flood causing storms two straight Sundays and was run on a Saturday before 46,300 fans. Petty spun off track twice, but still led 103 of the 186 laps, finishing 25 seconds ahead of polesitter and early leader A.J. Foyt. 1968 GN champ David Pearson finished 3rd with relief help from Parnelli Jones, as Ford swept the top 3 positions. The event ran caution free with Petty averaging a record 105.498 mph in the race that took 4 hours, 45 minutes and 37 seconds to complete. Five time race winner Dan Gurney never led, spun twice and retired on lap 66 with engine failure.
Johnny Coy Sr. wins the TQ Midget feature at the indoor Atlantic City Convention Hall.
Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons drive their Penske prepared Lola T70 coupe to victory in the 24-Hours of Daytona.
Nick Fornoro Jr. wins the TQ Midget feature at the indoor Atlantic City Convention Hall.
Ray Crawford... Died ... AAA & USAC driver from the 1950's & 60's
Tony Stewart ,driving the George Snider # 11, won the USAC Silver Crown race at the Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, AZ.
Tony Stewart ,driving the Steve Lewis # 9x, won the USAC Midget race at the Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, AZ.
Dick Rathmann ... Died ... AAA & USAC driver from the 1940's, 50's & 60's
Jim McWithey ... Died ... He was a lifetime member of United States Auto Club and Indianapolis 100 Mile An Hour Club. He competed in the USAC Sprint and Midget Car Series and raced in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 16th (1959) and 33rd (1960). He raced from 1951-1955 in the Little 500 at Anderson Speedway.