1972 Twin 125s (partially found footage of NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying races; 1972)

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



1972twin125s1.png

The New York Times report, also containing an aftermath photo.

Status: Partially Found

The 1972 Twin 125s are two races at the Daytona National Speedway that served as qualifying events for the 1972 Daytona 500. Both occurred on 17th February, where the first race was won by Bobby Isaac in a 1972 Dodge, while Bobby Allison in a 1972 Chevrolet was victorious in the second. The first race however is overshadowed by a multicar crash, which claimed the life of Friday Hassler.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1972 Twin 125s differed from earlier Daytona 500 qualifying races. As part of an overhaul of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the races no longer awarded points, because events now needed to reach at least 400km to officially count on the Winston Cup schedule.[1] Nevertheless, the races were still unique, as at the time the Daytona 500 was the only stock-car race for which qualifying heats were mandatory.[2] This would benefit the racers, as they could analyse how their vehicles performed during the heats and modify them accordingly for the main event. The heats also proved to attract large audiences, with around 25,000-30,000 attending the circuit when the races occurred.[2][3]

The races would determine 28 of the 40 starters. Prior to the Twin 125s, two had already qualified, with Bobby Isaac having won the pole position in the time trials, with A. J. Foyt qualifying second in a 1971 Mercury.[2] In the first race, Isaac was victorious, claiming $1,200 in prize money after having led 23 of the 50 laps. He finished ahead of Coo Coo Marlin in a 1972 Chevrolet, while Richard D. Brown took third, also in a 1972 Chevrolet. Buddy Baker had led the most laps at 27, but retired on lap 36 after experiencing a valve issue.[4] Nevertheless, he and Richard Petty were among ten others that still qualified for the Daytona 500, because despite encountering reliability issues, both drivers' performances in the time trials were enough to warrant qualification.[2]

In race 2, Bobby Allison led 49 of the 50 laps, winning the race and claiming $1,200 in prize money. He finished ahead of Foyt and Charlie Glotzbach in a 1971 Dodge.[5] With the starters and race order decided, the 1972 Daytona 500 occurred on 20th February. Foyt won the event ahead of Glotzbach, with Jim Vandiver taking third in a 1970 Dodge. Isaac retired early on because of engine issues, while Allison only managed 16th, 27 laps behind the leader.[6]

Death of Friday Hassler[edit | edit source]

On lap 18 of the first race, a major multicar crash involving 12-13 vehicles occurred.[2][3] David Ray Boggs, who was driving a 1970 Dodge, had just exited turn 2, when his right rear tire blew. Boggs maintained control of his car, but was hit from behind, causing his car to dart onto the grass. Drivers coming across the accident did their best to avoid it, but ended up colliding with others. Three cars notably got locked together sideways down the straight.[2]

Meanwhile, Hassler was following Ray Williams when he suddenly spun his 1970 Chevrolet to avoid the crash.[2] Ultimately, he collided head-on into the outside wall, and rebounded into the path of other drivers, resulting in Jimmy Crawford's 1970 Dodge slamming into the passenger side, causing Hassler's vehicle to be forced back into the wall. Hassler suffered severe skull and neck injuries, ultimately being killed instantly by the crash, aged 36. Two other drivers suffered injuries; Crawford suffered a fractured jaw and a lacerated chin, while Joe Frasson had to be hospitalised for neck scans.[3]

Hassler had been involved in 134 NASCAR Grand National events since 1960.[3], with a best result of second at the 1971 Islip 250.[7] He also contributed towards Glotzbach winning the 1971 Volunteer 500, by being the relief driver.[8] While this did not count as an official win for Hassler, his role as relief driver for the caution-free event also allowed Chevrolet to win its first NASCAR race in years, while also achieving the fastest ever race run at the Bristol Motor Speedway with no cautions involved.[7]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to Racing-Reference, the Twin 125 races were seldom broadcast on television in the 1970s, possibly because of their lack of relevancy due to merely being deemed as qualifying races.[9] However, the 1972 Twin 125s were broadcast on ABC's Wide World of Sports on 19th February 1972,[10] showcasing 45-minutes of highlights which possibly could have contained the fatal accident. As of the present day, the only available footage of the races is of the fatal crash itself.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]