1974 Twin 125s (lost footage of NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying races; 1974)

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Richard Petty leading the field in the Daytona 500, a day after retiring from the Twin 125s.

Status: Lost

The 1974 Twin 125s are two races at the Daytona National Speedway that served as qualifying events for the 1974 Daytona 500. Both occurred on 14th February, where the first race was won by Bobby Isaac while Cale Yarborough was victorious in the second, with both driving 1974 Chevrolets.

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 1974 Twin 125s, two drivers had already qualified. David Pearson won the pole position in a 1973 Mercury after achieving the best performance in the time trials with a recorded speed of 185.017,[3][4] ahead of Richard Petty in a 1974 Dodge.[5]

The Races[edit | edit source]

In the first Twin 125s race, Isaac was victorious and claimed $1,700 in prize money, ahead of George Follmer in a 1973 Ford and Donnie Allison in a 1974 Chervolet. In a race with 7 lead changes and three cautions lasting 17 laps, Isaac led precisely half of the 50 laps. Pearson notably retired on lap 35, after experiencing windshield issues.[6] As for race 2, Yarborough led two-fifths of the race on-route to winning the race, claiming the $1,700 ahead of Jim Vandiver in a 1972 Dodge, and Hershel McGriff in a 1974 Dodge. In an event featuring 11 lead changes, 18 of the laps were under caution, including for a crash Grant Adcox experience on lap 24 in a 1974 Chevrolet. Petty meanwhile retired on lap 26 following engine failure.[7]

With the starters and race order decided, the 1974 Daytona 500 commenced on 14th February. It saw Petty ultimately claim victory after overtaking Bobby Allison on lap 190, and remaining in the lead for the final ten laps. Yarborough finished second, ahead of fellow 1974 Chevrolet driver Ramo Stott. Issac finished eighth and two laps down from the leaders, while Pearson retired on lap 61 following a broken exhaust.[5]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Footage of the 1974 Twin 125s has been confirmed to exist. According to NASCAR on TV, 30 minutes of highlights for both races were broadcast on ABC's World Wide of Sports on 16th February 1974, alongside a few other sports.[8] 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.[9]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]