1962 Dixie 400

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1962 Dixie 400
Race details[1]
Race 53 of 53 in the 1962 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Date October 28, 1962 (1962-October-28)
Official name Dixie 400
Location Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Course Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.400 km)
Distance 267 laps, 401 mi (645 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures of 68 °F (20 °C); wind speeds of 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)
Average speed 124.74 miles per hour (200.75 km/h)
Attendance 25,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Jim Stephens
Time 78.850 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Fireball Roberts Jim Stephens
Laps 144
Winner
No. 4 Rex White Rex White
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1962 Dixie 400 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on October 28, 1962, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.

The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.

This race wasn't originally scheduled to be the 53rd race of the 1962 NASCAR Grand National Series season. It was initially scheduled for October 21st at South Boston, Virginia but it was finally canceled due to lack of entries.

Background[edit]

Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate track to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway.[3] However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.

The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.[4]

Summary[edit]

All 44 drivers in this race were born in the United States of America.[2] The major sponsors in this race were Holman Moody, Rex White, and Fred Lovette.[2] H.B. Bailey would make his NASCAR debut here while Jimmy Thompson and Woodie Wilson would retire from NASCAR after this race.[5] 23 of these drivers would fail to finish the race.[2] Nine notable crew chiefs were participating in the event; including Ray Fox, Bud Moore, Herman Beam, Banjo Matthews and Lee Petty.[6]

Three cautions would slow down this 267-lap race that took place on paved oval track that spanned 1.500 miles (2.414 km).[2] The total distance of this race was approximately 401 miles or 645 kilometres.[7] Fireball Roberts would qualify for the pole position at the top speed of 124.74 miles per hour (200.75 km/h).[2] George Green would acquire the last-place finish due to an engine problem in his Chevrolet vehicle on the third lap.[2] Other notable drivers in this race would be Marvin Panch, Richard Petty, Fred Lorenzen, Buck Baker, and Elmo Langley.[2]

At the end of three hours and twelve minutes of racing, Rex White defeated Joe Weatherly by 12 seconds in his 1962 Chevrolet machine; becoming the final win in White's NASCAR Cup Series career.[2] David Pearson made a one-off start for owner Bud Moore. They wouldn't team up again until 1972, though each found plenty of success separately.[2] In order to acquire the win in the 1962 running of the Dixie 400, White had to receive assistance from Marvin Panch's vehicle in order to conserve fuel. Individual take-home earnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $10,315 ($85,436 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $250 ($2,071 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse in this event was $42,510 ($352,099 when adjusted for inflation).[7]

While the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis would somewhat overshadow this racing event, people still attended this live race. They also listened in on their transistor radios if they lived within a reasonable distance but could not attend; a prelude to the later days of televised NASCAR coverage on channels like FOX and ESPN. The tense 13-day confrontation did not prevent this or any other NASCAR Grand National Cup Series event from taking place.

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Qualifying time[8] Speed[8] Owner
1 22 Fireball Roberts '62 Pontiac 78.850 138.978 Jim Stephens
2 28 Fred Lorenzen '62 Ford 79.000 138.710 Holman-Moody
3 21 Marvin Panch '62 Ford 79.150 138.452 Wood Brothers
4 3 Junior Johnson '62 Pontiac 79.230 138.310 Ray Fox
5 4 Rex White '62 Chevrolet 79.390 138.019 Rex White
6 72 Bobby Johns '62 Pontiac 79.400 138.019 Shorty Johns
7 8 Joe Weatherly '62 Pontiac 79.440 137.939 Bud Moore
8 46 Johnny Allen '62 Pontiac 79.530 137.781 Fred Lovette
9 29 Nelson Stacy '62 Ford 79.710 137.474 Holman-Moody
10 08 David Pearson '62 Pontiac 79.860 137.221 Bud Moore

Failed to qualify: George Alsobrook (#63), Cotton Wallace (#9), Lee Reitzel (#93), Bruce Brantley (#96)[8]

Finishing order[edit]

Section reference:[2]

  1. Rex White (No. 4)
  2. Joe Weatherly (No. 8)
  3. Marvin Panch (No. 21)
  4. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  5. Fred Lorenzen (No. 28)
  6. Larry Frank (No. 77)
  7. Stick Elliott (No. 18)
  8. Buck Baker (No. 47)
  9. Jack Smith (No. 17)
  10. Fireball Roberts (No. 22)
  11. David Pearson (No. 08)
  12. Bob Welborn (No. 49)
  13. Elmo Langley (No. 66)
  14. Ralph Earnhardt (No. 91)
  15. Buddy Baker (No. 87)
  16. G.C. Spencer (No. 48)
  17. Jim Paschal (No. 42)
  18. Bunkie Blackburn (No. 83)
  19. Tiny Lund (No. 12)
  20. Johnny Allen (No. 46)
  21. Herman Beam (No. 19)
  22. Jimmy Thompson (No. 90)
  23. Darel Dieringer (No. 26)
  24. Bobby Johns (No. 72)
  25. Jimmy Pardue (No. 54)
  26. Sherman Utsman (No. 61)
  27. Emanuel Zervakis (No. 20)
  28. Tommy Irwin (No. 40)
  29. Larry Thomas (No. 36)
  30. H.B. Bailey (No. 24)
  31. H.G. Rosier (No. 5)
  32. Johnny Sudderth (No. 30)
  33. Cale Yarborough (No. 92)
  34. Doug Yates (No. 27)
  35. Nelson Stacy (No. 29)
  36. Junior Johnson (No. 3)
  37. LeeRoy Yarbrough (No. 81)
  38. Red Foote (No. 84)
  39. Paul Lewis (No. 97)
  40. Ned Jarrett (No. 11)
  41. Woodie Wilson (No. 38)
  42. Tom Cox (No. 86)
  43. Curtis Crider (No. 62)
  44. George Green (No. 1)

Timeline[edit]

Section reference:[2]

  • Start of race: Fireball Roberts had the pole position as the green flag was waved
  • Lap 3: George Green managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 4: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
  • Lap 6: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Junior Johnson
  • Lap 11: Oil pressure issues wiped out Tom Cox's chance of winning the race
  • Lap 12: Ned Jarrett managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 20: Paul Lewis managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 35: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
  • Lap 47: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Junior Johnson
  • Lap 53: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Bobby Johns
  • Lap 55: Red Foote managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 62: LeeRoy Yarbrough had a terminal crash
  • Lap 66: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Junior Johnson; Junior Johnson had a terminal crash
  • Lap 68: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Johns
  • Lap 71: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Richard Petty; Nelson Stacy had a terminal crash
  • Lap 75: Doug Yates managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 84: Cale Yarbrough managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 96: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
  • Lap 101: H.B. Bailey had a terminal crash
  • Lap 103: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
  • Lap 124: Tommy Irwin had a terminal crash
  • Lap 133: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Bobby Johns
  • Lap 135: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
  • Lap 145: Emanuel Zervakis managed to damage his vehicle's transmission beyond repair
  • Lap 148: Sherman Utsman managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 158: The head gasket managed to come loose off Jimmy Pardue's vehicle
  • Lap 188: Bobby Johns had a terminal crash
  • Lap 193: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
  • Lap 194: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
  • Lap 196: Darel Dieringer managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 229: Oil pressure issues managed to eradicate Jimmy Thompson's chances of winning the race
  • Lap 241: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
  • Lap 265: Rex White took over the lead from Marvin Panch
  • Finish: Rex White was officially declared the winner of the event

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1962 Dixie 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 1962 Dixie 400 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  5. ^ 1962 Dixie 400 results at Race-Database
  6. ^ 1962 Dixie 400 crew chief information at Racing Reference
  7. ^ a b 1962 Dixie 400 racing results at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  8. ^ a b c Qualifying information for the 1962 Dixie 400 at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1962 National 400
NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1962-63
Succeeded by
1963 untitled race at Fairgrounds Raceway
Preceded by
1961
Dixie 400 races
1962
Succeeded by
1963