1969 Permatex 300 at Daytona (partially found footage of NASCAR Late Model Sportsman race; 1969)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its discussion of a fatal motor racing accident.



1969permatex1.jpg

The field being parked on the track following the fatal accident.

Status: Partially Found

The 1969 Permatex 300 at Daytona was the 3rd race of the 1969 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman National Championship. Occurring on February 22nd at Daytona National Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by LeeRoy Yarbrough driving a 1966 Ford. The event however is most known for the fatal accident involving Don MacTavish, who was killed instantly following two heavy crashes.

Background[edit | edit source]

Heading into the race, the Permatex 200 and Stardust 150 had already taken place, with Hershel McGriff and Clem Proctor being the respective winners.[1] Details of qualifying remain unclear, although according to the Ultimate Racing History, Yarbrough's car won the pole position after being driven by Donnie Allison, with MacTavish qualifying sixth out of 40 participants. Tiny Lund in a 1966 Dodge would lead 73 of the 120 laps, but by the finish was leapfrogged by Yarbrough's 1966 Ford, Yarbrough having led 40 laps to claim the win and $9,225 in prize money. Dutch Hoag also overtook Lund in a 1965 Dodge to finish second. Red Farmer, who would ultimately be the 1969 Sportsman Champion,[1] finished eighth in a 1966 Ford.[2][3]

Death of Don MacTavish[edit | edit source]

On lap 8, Don MacTavish had completed turn 4 in his 1966 Mercury Comet when he suddenly lost control of his vehicle. According to Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal, MacTavish had spun after hitting an oil slick, and went sideways.[4] After a vain attempt to regain control, MacTavish crashed into a wall head-on at 185mph. The entire front end of the car was destroyed, with the engine, transmission and parts of the firewall being thrown free.[5] It left the motionless MacTavish completely exposed to the elements. His car then spun into the face of oncoming cars, where Sam Sommers' 1961 Ford collided directly with the wreckage, and left the Comet bouncing onto the grass. MacTavish was crushed by both crashes, and lost parts of both his legs. Ultimately, medics at the race stated he was killed instantly, aged 28.[4][6]

MacTavish was the 1966 NASCAR National Sportsman Division Champion, and had gained a positive reputation by competing in demolition derby events.[4] A 100-lap "Don MacTavish Memorial Race" would be held at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway three months after his death,[7] while in 2001 he would be posthumously inducted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.[8]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Footage of Don MacTavish's fatal accidents and its aftermath remain publicly accessible, thanks to a YouTube video from movracefan and a Dailymotion clip from All Racing Legends, which also includes graphic images of the aftermath. However, this remains the only publicly accessible footage of the 1969 Permatex 300 at Daytona. ABC were known to have filmed the race, although it was not broadcast live. Nevertheless, it did broadcast highlights of the race on ABC Wide World of Sports, including footage of the fatal crashes being preceded by a warning of its graphic nature and to not allow children to watch the clip.[9][10] Ultimately, these highlights are now missing as of the present day.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]