1968 National 500 (lost footage of NASCAR Grand National Series race; 1968)

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1968national5001.jpg

Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1968 National 500 was the 47th race of the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series. Occurring on 20th October at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by polesitter Charlie Glotzbach, fending off fellow 1968 Dodge driver Paul Goldsmith by a 7-second margin.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1968 National 500 was the ninth running of the event, with the race lasting 500 miles.[1] It was one of two 1968 Grand National Series races conducted at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the other being the World 600,[2] which occurred on 26th May and was won by Buddy Baker in a 1968 Dodge.[3] The race also has ties to the modern Bank of America Roval 400, having dropped the National name from 1983 onwards and reverting to 400 miles from 2018.[4][5]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Glotzbach winning the pole position with a speed of 156.06 mph.[1] Directly behind him was David Pearson in a 1968 Ford, with previous year's winner Baker lining up third out of 45 competitors.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1968 National 500 commenced on 20th October.[1] Glotzbach maintained his lead from the start until he was passed by Pearson on lap 3.[1] The top three qualifiers duelled for the lead, which ended when Baker crashed out after 18 laps.[1] The race then became an open affair, with Pearson duelling with the Allison brothers Bobby and Donnie, who drove a 1968 Plymouth and Ford respectively.[1] But Pearson would begin to control proceedings soon afterwards, including maintaining the first position from laps 147-189, and from 191-234.[1]

After 1968 Mercury driver Cale Yarborough briefly led, Pearson again emerged in the first position on lap 236.[1] However, Glotzbach launched a comeback, overtaking Pearson on lap 245.[1] Aside from brief instances where Pearson held the first position on laps 257, 297, and 301, Glotzbach controlled the remaining proceedings, including leading the final 33 laps of the race.[1] He therefore claimed victory with a 7-second margin and $19,280 in prize money.[6][1] Goldsmith successfully passed Pearson for second, with the latter holding on to take third, him and Goldsmith being the only other drivers aside from Glotzbach on the lead lap.[1] Additionally, Glotzbach's average speed of 135.324 mph set a Charlotte record.[1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to NASCAR on TV, 45 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 26th October as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside table tennis championships.[7] The broadcast has yet to resurface however, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]