Ralph Beardsley... Died ... AAA driver from the early 1900's
Andy Granatelli... Born ... The entrepreneur of STP oil and gasoline treatment products and along with his brothers Vince and Joe fielded Indy cars from the 1960's until 1991. He clad his pit crews in white coveralls with the oval STP logo scattered all over them, and once wore a suit jacket with the same STP-laden design. His cars became a significant presence at the Indianapolis 500. While he first gained notoriety by re-introducing the legendary Novi, his most famous entries were his turbine-powered cars in 1967 and 1968. In both years, he endured the excruciating frustration of seeing probable race-winners fail near the end; Joe Leonard's breakdown with 10 laps remaining in 1968 had been topped the previous year when Parnelli Jones, leading comfortably with just three laps to go, suffered the failure of an inexpensive transmission bearing and retired, handing a sure victory to A.J. Foyt. He was finally rewarded with an Indianapolis 500 winner in 1969. After his innovative Lotus 4-wheel-drive car was destroyed in practice after establishing itself as one of the most dominants cars to date, his driver Mario Andretti, nursing the burns from the Lotus crash, won at the wheel of a year-old backup car. Before Andretti could be traditionally kissed in 'Victory Lane' by the Queen of the "500 Festival," Granatelli got there first, and his joyful kiss on Andretti's cheek is one of the 500's most memorable images. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.
Mark Donohue... Born ... Known for his ability to set up his own race car and drive it consistently on the absolute limit. Donohue is probably best-known as the driver of the 1500+ bhp “Can-Am Killer” Porsche 917-30, and as winner of the 1972 Indianapolis 500. Ran USAC INDY cars from 1968 to 1973.
Rex White won the NASCAR Grand National Stock Car race at the 9/10 mile dirt Orange Speedway, Hillsboro, NC. Richard Petty was second followed by Jim Paschal, Jack Smith, Buddy Baker, Maurice Petty, Ralph Earnhardt, Tom Cox, Buck Baker and Ned Jarrett.
Bobby Unser led most of the way to win the 150 mile USAC Championship race at Phoenix International Raceway. Unser pulled away from Mario Andretti following a restart with 3 laps to go, crossing the line 4 seconds ahead of Andretti's Parnelli Jones Colt-Offy. In qualifying, Unser's new Eagle-Offy shattered the lap record with a speed of 141.966 mph, seven mph above the previous mark.
Bill Townley won the Late Model Modified-Sportsman race over Wayne Niedecken and Phil Wendt at the Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola, FL.
Dennis Rewis won the Late Model Sportsman race over Bob Sundman and Bob Brand at the Montgomery International Speedway, Montgomery, AL.
Bud Lunsford won the 50-lap Late Model Sportsman race over Leon Archer and NASCAR Grand National star Sam McQuagg at the East Alabama Motor Speedway, Phenix City, AL.
Wally Booth drove his AMC Hornet to victory over Jack Roush's Mustang in the Gatornationals Pro Stock finals. This was the first NHRA Pro Stock win for AMC.
Gordon Johncock won the USAC Championship 'Jimmy Bryan 150' at Phoenix International Raceway. Johncock and Danny Ongais dueled for the win until the clutch began slipping on Ongais' Interscope Parnelli/Cosworth. Pat Patrick's Wildcat/DGS entries finished 1-2 with Steve Krisiloff a career best second. Ongais won the pole with a 24.76 lap (145.396 mph). In the preliminary Mini Indy (Super Vee) race, future NASCAR star Tim Richmond won in his first start in the class.
Buddy Baker broke a long dry spell, winning the NASCAR Grand National 'Atlanta 500' in Harry Ranier's Olds. It was Baker's first GN win since May 2, 1976. Baker took the lead from a sputtering Bobby Allison with 24 laps left, taking the checkered 18 seconds ahead of Allison's Bud Moore Ford that had lost a cylinder. The race was marred by the death of Dennis Wade, jackman for rookie Dave Watson. Wade died when struck on pit road by Watson's out of control car. Watson was leading the race at the time of the accident. The Wisconsin short track ace withdrew immediately and never made another GN start.
Benny Parsons outdueled Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough to win the 500 mile NASCAR GN race at Atlanta International Raceway. It was Parsons first GN win in nearly 3 years, the 21st of his career, and would be the final of his career.
Brent Kaeding won the World of Outlaws Sprint Car race at the Big H Speedway, Houston, TX. Jack Hewitt finished second followed by Joe Gaerte, Jac Haudenschild, Ronnie Daniels, Danny Smith, Jeff Swindell and Cris Eash.
Dale Earnhardt wins the Motorcraft 500 over Morgan Shepherd at the Atlanta Motor Speedway , Atlanta, GA.
Ken Schrader wins the Motorcraft 500 over Bill Elliott at the Atlanta Motor Speedway , Atlanta, GA.
Dale Jarrett wins the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 over Steve Park at the Darlington Raceway , Darlington, SC.
Jimmie Johnson wins the Kobalt Tools 500 over Tony Stewart at the Atlanta Motor Speedway , Atlanta, GA.
Pat Cannon won the 358 Sprint Car race at the Williams Grove Speedway , Mechanicsburg, PA.
Jeff Strunk won the 358 Modified race at the Selingsgrove Speedway , Selingsgrove, PA. Jimmy Horton, Jr. was second followed by Duane Howard, Stewart Friesen, Danny Johnson, Pat Ward, Frank Cozze Jr. and Ryan Gowown.
Stevie Smith, driving the ZEMCO # 1, won the 410 Sprint Car race at the Williams Grove Speedway , Mechanicsburg, PA. Tyler Walker was second followed by Doug Esh, Lance Dewease, Cory Haas, Aaron Ott, Adam Wilt, Greg Hodnett, Brian Leppo and Steve Buckwalter.