Aumann, Turner Sports Interactive January 10, 2003
Fla. -- The rains came at precisely the right time for Fred
Lorenzen, who used a combination of luck and strategy to win the
seventh annual Daytona 500.
primarily as a hard-charger, Lorenzen gambled that fuel economy
would beat sheer speed in 1965.
He and chief
mechanic Jack Sullivan decided to run a higher gear in Lorenzen's
1965 Ford, gambling that with only four pit stops, Lorenzen could
still hold off the rest of the field, which would have to stop five
pole-sitter Junior Johnson was setting a torrid pace with laps in
excess of 170 mph, Lorenzen was forced to draft faster cars in order
to keep pace. But Johnson's car blew a right front tire on lap 27,
throwing him into the guard rail and out of the race.
That made it a
three-car battle at the front between Bobby Johns, Marvin Panch and
Ned Jarrett. All three pitted on lap 69, putting Lorenzen in front
for the first time.
Lorenzen ran low on fuel nine laps later, the trio motored by, with
Panch holding the lead on lap 80 when it first began to rain.
laps under caution, Johns and Panch resumed their fight at the
front. Both stopped for refueling on lap 119, handing the lead back
to Lorenzen, who by then held a lap advantage on the entire field.
laps, Panch had pulled up right behind Lorenzen. Heading down the
backstretch in a driving rainstorm, Panch tried to make up his lap
by passing Lorenzen on the high side but clipped his bumper, sending
both cars spinning out of control.
spun into the infield while Lorenzen's car clipped the guard rail,
righted itself and continued down the track as the caution flag was
unfurled. Lorenzen was able to maintain his position behind the pace
car for the next six laps before NASCAR officials called the race
official at 332.5 miles.
Dieringer wound up second, followed by Johns, Earl Balmer, Jarrett
victory, Lorenzen became the first driver to win races at all four
southern superspeedways. Ironically, Lorenzen had also won the
previous superspeedway race shortened by rain.
winner Richard Petty and other top Chrysler drivers did not run in
the 1965 race because of NASCAR's ban of Chrysler's hemi engine.
Daytona 500 Results
3. Bobby Johns
4. Earl Balmer
5. Ned Jarrett
6. Marvin Panch
7. Dick Hutcherson
8. Sam McQuagg
9. Cale Yarborough
10. G.C. Spencer
This is one in a series of articles counting down to the 2003
Daytona 500 on NASCAR.com
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