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Discussion Starter · #1,004 ·
Another Riverside Raceway photo shared from Pinterest - this from the 1973 Winston Western 500. Dodges of Richard Petty and Dick Bown in turn #6. Neither finished well in the race which was won by Mark Donohue driving the Penske AMC Matador.

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Discussion Starter · #1,006 · (Edited)
Back 5 - 6 years ago, "Mopar Action" magazine published the Mopar related articles from Wm. LaDow's book, "The Ray Nichels Story". It was a great read. Mr LaDow has now posted those articles on Facebook with a share link. This chapter recaps the 1966 racing season including the remarkable debut of the smaller 405" Hemis which were mandated by Nascar rules to appease FoMoCo which was threatening to quit Nascar if the 426' Hemis were not handicapped.

I was a spectator at the 1966 Riverside race described in the article. I posted some photos that I took (with an old Brownie camera, so not the greatest) of some of the Nichels' cars mentioned in the article back on pages 16 & 17 of this thread.

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Discussion Starter · #1,011 ·
January 1971 cover of "Competition Press & Autoweek" highlighting Ray Elder's win in the 1971 "Motor Trend 500" @ Riverside.


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I posted parts from the article inside way back in post #170 on page 9 of this thread.

Here is a brief summary of the race from the "Racer's Reunion" website;

Racing History Minute - 1971 Motor Trend 500 - Riverside Raceway

The 1971 NASCAR Grand National Season got underway at Riverside, California on January 10, 1971. Richard Petty would win the pole in his 1970 Plymouth with a speed of 107.084 mph but the fastest qualifier honors would go to David Pearson in a Holman-Moody Ford at 109.015 mph but the Ford would only last 25 laps before the engine exploded relegating Pearson to a 35th place finish. Second place starter was Bobby Allison in his own Dodge, Ray Elder, in his own Dodge would start third, Bobby Isaac in the K&K Insurance Dodge fourth and James Hylton in his Hylton Engineering Ford would roll off fifth. Fastest qualified, Pearson, would start 16th and that is important to know as you will see as we get into the lap leaders.
Petty led the first three circuits around the 2.62 mile road course before Bobby Allison moved in front for one lap. Then, on lap 5, Pearson, proving his quick qualifying run was no fluke, took over the number one spot and was pulling away when the engine let go on lap 25. Petty went back out front on lap 26 and would remain the leader until lap 83 when Ray Elder, a 28 year old farmer from California and a part time racer, moved into the lead from lap 84 to lap 106. Bobby Allison took over on lap 107 and held the advantage until lap 120 when the excited Elder raced his independant Dodge back to the front. From lap 136 until the race ended on lap 191, Bobby Allison and Ray Elder took turns exchanging the lead between them. With 12 laps remaining, the unknown Elder slammed his Dodge around Allison and was handling the Dodge through the twisting turns on a mission to win his first NASCAR Grand National race. A crowd of 23,000, much reduced from previous years, watched the virtually unknown kid move away from Allison to establish a 10.5 second lead to take the checkers going away.
In his post race interview, an incredulous Elder could hardly contain himself. He said, in Victory Lane "I can't believe this. Only thing is I owe most of this money to the bank". It should be noted that Elder was the ONLY one of the cars to run among the leaders who chose Firestone tires over Goodyear. The average speed for the 500 miles was 100.783 mph.
It should also be noted that this was the FIRST race run as a NASCAR Winston Cup event. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company became the title sponsor of the series in a long time association that would prove beneficial to NASCAR as well as R. J. Reynolds. The red and white of R.J. Reynolds became the dominant colors at all NASCAR tracks for a long, long time.
Finishing order:
1. Ray Elder, Elder Dodge, winning $18,715.00
2. Bobby Allison, Allison Dodge, winning $9,215.00 (10.5 seconds down)
3. Benny Parsons, L.G. DeWitt Ford, winning $6,390.00 (2 laps down)
4. Bobby Isaac, K&K Dodge, winning $4,540.00 (2 laps down) relief by Pearson
5. James Hylton, Hylton Engineering Ford, winning $2,915.00 (6 laps down)
6. Friday Hassler
7. Kevin Terris
8. Carl Joiner
9. Henley Gray
10. Cecil Gordon
11. G. T. Tallis
12. Hershel McGriff
13. Bob England
14. Dick Kranzler
15. J. D. McDuffie
16. Dick Bown
17. Elmo Langley
18. Jack McCoy
19. Ron Gautsche
20. Richard Petty
21. John Soares, Jr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,012 ·
Ray Elder's Riverside win made the headlines of the 1/13/71 edition of "National Speed Sport News".

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NSSN was the most authoritative and informative of all the auto racing periodicals for decades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,013 ·
This is a link to the article that I started this thread with way back 7 1/2 years ago. The website that I linked back then has long since been "un- domained". I searched around on Google a bit and the article was still floating around out in the ether somewhere to be retrieved.

Considering that Mr McLaughlin wrote this article as part of a tribute to Nascar on it's 50th anniversary, it's a bit dated, but very interesting nevertheless. To those of you that weren't around when I started this thread......ENJOY!

 

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Discussion Starter · #1,014 ·
Cover of "National Speed Sport News" from Feb 17, 1971 featuring Richard Petty's 3rd win in the Daytona 500. I posted the actual NSSN article covering the race from this issue (written by the late, great, Chris Economaki) back on page 42 (post # 828) of this thread. Buddy Baker finished 2nd in a Petty Enterprises Dodge.

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Discussion Starter · #1,017 ·
Another of Matt McLaughlin's articles written as a tribute to Nascar's 50th Anniv.,this one specifically pertaining to the ongoing mid 60's Chrylser - Ford engine eligibility dispute.


And......some articles on the tear that David Pearson went on while driving his Dodge to the Nascar GN Championship that year;

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