1973 Medal of Honor Firecracker 400

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1973 Medal of Honor Firecracker 400
Race details[1]
Race 17 of 28 in the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date July 4, 1973 (1973-07-04)
Official name Medal of Honor Firecracker 400
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course 2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Temperatures between 72.9 °F (22.7 °C) and 89.1 °F (31.7 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)
Average speed 158.468 mph (255.030 km/h)
Attendance 60,000[2]
Pole position
Driver
  • Bobby Allison
Allison Racing
Most laps led
Driver David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 51
Winner
No. 21 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing

The 1973 Medal of Honor Firecracker 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on July 4, 1973, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Summary[edit]

This race eventually became Marty Robbins' most iconic race during his career in NASCAR. While he would start in an absymal 36th place (out of the 40 drivers who made up the racing grid), he would put on a miraculous comeback and finish the race in eighth place, seven laps down. J.D. McDuffie ended up being the last-place finisher of this race due to an engine problem on lap 2 of 160. It took more than 160 minutes and two caution flags for David Pearson to defeat Richard Petty in front of a live audience of sixty thousand devoted stock car racing fans. Six car lengths was determined to be the distance between Petty and Pearson after the race was resolved. Bobby Allison secured the pole position for the race by driving at speeds up to 179.619 miles per hour (289.069 km/h) during the solo qualifying sessions.[2]

For the two-and-a-half-hour spectacle, the drivers averaged 158.468 miles per hour (255.030 km/h). Engine problems also took numerous other drivers out of the race. All competitors (except for Canadian-born Vic Parsons) were born in the United States. Mercury, Dodge, and Chevrolet made up the majority of the driving grid for this event. Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, and David Pearson jointly monopolized the changes in the leadership position.[2] Vic Parsons scores his best NASCAR finish in seventh place. This was his seventh and final Winston Cup top-10 but his sixth of 1973.

The winner of the race walked away with $16,100 in prize winnings ($86,860.34 when considering inflation) while the last-place winner received just $1,270 ($6,851.72 when considering inflation). All the prize winnings from this race added up to $105,080 ($566,912.11 when considering inflation).[3]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 12 Bobby Allison '73 Chevrolet
2 11 Cale Yarborough '73 Chevrolet
3 15 Bobby Isaac '73 Ford
4 43 Richard Petty '73 Dodge
5 14 Coo Coo Marlin '72 Chevrolet
6 21 David Pearson '71 Mercury
7 72 Benny Parsons '73 Chevrolet
8 31 Jim Vandiver '72 Dodge
9 95 Darrell Waltrip '71 Mercury
10 88 Donnie Allison '73 Chevrolet

Finishing order[edit]

Timeline[edit]

  • Start: David Pearson officially had the lead position as the green flag was waved, Bobby Allison took over the lead prior to the end of the first lap, Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 2: J.D. McDuffie managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 4: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
  • Lap 5: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
  • Lap 8: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 9: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 11: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 13: Bobby Isaac managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 14: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 35: Coo Coo Marlin managed to blow his vehicle's engine, David Pearson took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 36: Bobby Alliston took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 37: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 42: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 45: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 46: A.J. Foyt managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle
  • Lap 47: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 65: Cale Yarborough had a terminal crash
  • Lap 66: David Pearson took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 79: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 82: Dick Simon couldn't handle his vehicle in a proper manner
  • Lap 83: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 87: An oil leak forced Ed Sczech out of the race
  • Lap 96: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 100: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 102: John Sears managed to blow his vehicle's engine, Bobby Allison took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 105: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 110: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 116: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 118: Jim Vandiver managed to overheat his vehicle
  • Lap 125: Bobby Allison managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 129: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 131: Donnie Allison's windshield was severely damaged
  • Lap 132: Richard Childress managed to overheat his vehicle
  • Lap 138: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 141: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the event

References[edit]

Preceded by
1973 Motor State 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series races
1973
Succeeded by
1973 Volunteer 500
Preceded by
1972
Firecracker 400 races
1973
Succeeded by
1974