1975 Twin 125s (lost footage of NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying races; 1975)

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1975twin125s1.jpg

The start of the second race.

Status: Lost

The 1975 Twin 125s are two races at the Daytona National Speedway that served as qualifying events for the 1975 Daytona 500. Both occurred on 13th February, where the first race was won by Bobby Allison in a 1975 Matador, while David Pearson driving in a 1973 Mercury was victorious in the second. Both of these races were deemed to be competitive events, particularly during their final few laps.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Twin 125s are unique races on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. They consist of two qualifying heats that determine the majority of the 40 competitors for the Daytona 500.[1] It would also allow for the racers to analyse how their vehicles performed during the heats and modify them accordingly for the main event.[2] Prior to the 1975 Twin 125s, two drivers had already qualified. Donnie Allison won the pole position in a 1975 Chevrolet after achieving the best performance in the time trials with a recorded speed of 185.827mph,[3][4] ahead of Pearson.[5]

The Races[edit | edit source]

Both races were regarded as highly competitive, with classic duels.[6] In the first Twin 125s race, it appeared Buddy Baker, who was driving a 1973 Ford, was generally in control of the event. Although the race did experience 21 lead changes, Baker led 27 of the 50 laps and appeared to be on-course for the win.[7] However, on lap 27, one of the Ford's tyres burst, causing Baker to spin off the track and lose considerable time. He would end up finishing sixth in the race, one lap down from the leaders.[6] Afterwards, the race was primarily between Bobby Allison and Dick Brooks in a 1973 Ford. Brooks was heavily closing on the lead, and had a few chances by the time of the final lap, but ultimately, Allison maintained the lead to win by just over a second. He would claim $1,500 in prize money, ahead of Brooks and Lennie Pond in a 1975 Chevrolet. Donnie Allison meanwhile retired on lap 9 following an oil leak.[6][7]

As for the second race, it was primarily between Pearson and Richard Petty in a 1974 Dodge.[6] Petty had led the majority of laps at 39, but Pearson was fast approaching.[8] Petty was expecting a slingshot pass, but was unsure when the move would occur. Pearson made the move between turns 3 and 4, although admitted in a post-race interview that he thought he had made the move too early, and that Petty would overtake him soon afterwards. Ultimately, this did not happen, allowing Pearson to win and earn the $1,500 ahead of Petty and Cale Yarborough in a 1975 Chevrolet.[8] Petty later accepted that a potential move from Pearson was inevitable, because his opponent had the faster car.[6]

With the starters and race order decided, the 1975 Daytona 500 commenced on 16th February. It saw Benny Parsons in a 1975 Chevrolet claiming victory after passing Pearson on the 198th lap. Pearson was attempting to lap Yarborough and Richie Panch, when his vehicle ended up sandwiched between the duo, causing him and Yarborough to collide.[6] Pearson ended up dropping to fourth, two laps down from Parsons, who had only led four of the 200 laps. Bobby Allison and Yarborough finished second and third respectively, while Donnie Allison retired on lap 36 because of a fuel pump failure.[6][5]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Footage of the 1975 Twin 125s has been confirmed to exist. According to NASCAR on TV, 45 minutes of highlights for both races were broadcast on ABC's World Wide of Sports a month after the events were run, alongside a few other sports.[9] However, according to YouTuber Austin LaPlante, who created various playlists of NASCAR broadcasts, no footage of these races are currently publicly accessible on YouTube or on any other platform.[10]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]