1968 Columbia 200

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1968 Columbia 200
Race details[1][2]
Race 10 of 49 in the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Date April 18, 1968; 49 years ago (1968-04-18)
Official name Columbia 200
Location Columbia Speedway, Columbia, South Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.804 km)
Distance 200 laps, 100 mi (160 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures approaching 84 °F (29 °C); wind speeds up to 10.24 miles per hour (16.48 km/h)
Average speed 71.358 miles per hour (114.840 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Isaac K&K Insurance Racing
Laps 186
Winner
No. 37 Bobby Isaac K&K Insurance Racing

The 1968 Columbia 200 was a NASCAR Grand National Series stock car race that was held on April 18, 1968, at Columbia Speedway in Columbia, South Carolina.

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.

Background[edit]

Columbia Speedway was an oval racetrack located in Cayce, a suburb of Columbia, South Carolina. It was the site of auto races for NASCAR's top series from 1951 through 1971.[3] For most of its history, the racing surface was dirt. The races in April and August 1970 were two of the final three Grand National races ever held on a dirt track.[4]

The track was paved before hosting its last two Grand National races in 1971.

Summary[edit]

Two hundred laps took place on a dirt track spanning 0.500 miles (0.805 km) per lap; for a grand total of 100.0 miles (160.9 km).[2] The race lasted one hour and twenty-four minutes with five cautions being handed out by NASCAR officials.[2]

Bobby Isaac would defeat Charlie Glotzbach by less than one lap[5] in front of 6500 live spectators (thus recording Nord Krauskopf's first win as a NASCAR team owner.[2] After this race, no vehicle with the number 37 would even win a NASCAR Grand National Series race ever again.

While the average speed of the race was 71.358 miles per hour (114.840 km/h), Richard Petty would qualify for the race with a pole position speed of 75.282 miles per hour (121.155 km/h).[2] Out of the 23-car field, 22 cars would be driven by American-born drivers while the other vehicle would be driven by Canadian driver Frog Fagan.[2] Bob Cooper would acquire the race's last-place finish due to an alternator issue on lap 42.[2][5] Until 1972, Daytona 500 qualifiers were valid for the championship, Isaac would get his second win of the season at this race.

Bobby Isaac would claim his fifth NASCAR Grand National victory in the race. Meanwhile, Mopar (Dodge and Plymouth) would have its vehicles finish in the top five.[2] Total prize winnings handed out at the race was $4,490 ($30,923.00 when adjusted for inflation); with $1,000 being handed out to the winner ($6,887.08 when adjusted for inflation) while the last-place finisher not winning any money.[6]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 43 Richard Petty '68 Plymouth
2 4 John Sears '66 Ford
3 48 James Hylton '67 Dodge
4 17 David Pearson '68 Ford
5 56 LeeRoy Yarbrough '66 Ford
6 37 Bobby Isaac '67 Dodge
7 3 Buddy Baker '67 Dodge
8 02 Bob Cooper '66 Chevrolet
9 06 Neil Castles '67 Plymouth
10 6 Charlie Glotzbach '67 Dodge

Finishing order[edit]

  1. Bobby Isaac† (No. 37)
  2. Charlie Glotzbach (No. 6)
  3. James Hylton (No. 48)
  4. Buddy Baker (No. 3)
  5. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  6. John Sears† (No. 4)
  7. David Pearson (No. 17)
  8. Elmo Langley† (No. 64)
  9. LeeRoy Yarbrough† (No. 56)
  10. Neil Castles (No. 06)
  11. Clyde Lynn† (No. 20)
  12. Buck Baker† (No. 88)
  13. Wendell Scott† (No. 34)
  14. Roy Tyner† (No. 9)
  15. Jabe Thomas (No. 25)
  16. Henley Gray (No. 19)
  17. Bill Vanderhoff* (No. 09)
  18. Bill Seifert* (No. 45)
  19. Frog Fagan*† (No. 95)
  20. Ben Arnold* (No. 76)
  21. Paul Dean Holt* (No. 31)
  22. Ed Negre* (No. 8)
  23. Bob Cooper* (No. 02)

* Driver failed to finish race
† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased

Timeline[edit]

  • Start of race: Richard Petty started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 15: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 42: The alternator on Bob Cooper's vehicle became problematic, forcing him out of the race
  • Lap 51: Ed Negre developed problems with his vehicle's rear end, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 52: Vibrations could be felt on Paul Dean Holt's vehicle, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 56: Ben Arnold's vehicle also had some vibration problems, forcing him to leave the event
  • Lap 62: Frog Fagan would have problems with his vehicle's engine, causing him to exit from the race prematurely
  • Lap 63: Bill Seifert's engine became problematic; making him leave the race without properly finishing it
  • Lap 78: The rear end of Bill Vanderhoff's vehicle gave out, causing him to exit the race early
  • Finish: Bobby Isaac was officially declared the winner of the event

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1968 Columbia 200 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 1968 Columbia 200 information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ Columbia Speedway page of Racing-Reference website [1], retrieved 8 May 2007.
  4. ^ Fielden, Greg, "NASCAR Cleans Up", Speedway Illustrated, September 2004.
  5. ^ a b 1968 Columbia 200 information at Everything Stock Car
  6. ^ NASCAR Race Results for the 1968 Columbia 200 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
Preceded by
1968 Greenville 200
NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1968
Succeeded by
1968 Gwyn Staley 400