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1964 NASCAR Riverside 500

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  • #16
    I should have mentioned the green flag doesn't happen until 13:45. That skips qualifying and a long Grant piston rings advertisement.

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    • #17
      Dalz,
      There was a west coast Nascar Group that ran at these events.
      The Pacific Coast Late Model division of NASCAR was established in 1954 and used the same rules & specs as the Grand National division ( now the Cup series).
      "It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny." - James Fenimore Cooper

      "One man with courage is a majority." - Thomas Jefferson

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      • #18
        Thanks guys. I now know there was a NASCAR West division at that time.
        You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by dalz View Post

          Thanks. From the video, I thought he went straight at the non-existent kink, but he was just looking for somewhere to go.

          Since you're here Mr. J...the '60s were before the Winston West era, but were there lesser-known racers from the area who attempted to make this race annually? West coast short-trackers, road racers, amateurs? With the enduro-like length of this race, I would think anyone who just kept it between the ditches had a chance at great finish. What's the best little-guy story from this race that you know of?
          There were also a smattering of USAC stock car guys that went west a few times too. Norm Nelson's Plymouth team ran Riverside with Norm himself getting third in 1967. I found that John Rostek, a USAC Stock regular went out for the first 500 in 1963. He made the 500 through the qualifying race, and managed to finish 16th from 27th starting position and might have finished higher had he not had a shunt 13 laps from the end.
          "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

          John Kennedy at American University 1963

          "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

          A. Lincoln

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Belanger99 View Post

            There were also a smattering of USAC stock car guys that went west a few times too. Norm Nelson's Plymouth team ran Riverside with Norm himself getting third in 1967. I found that John Rostek, a USAC Stock regular went out for the first 500 in 1963. He made the 500 through the qualifying race, and managed to finish 16th from 27th starting position and might have finished higher had he not had a shunt 13 laps from the end.
            Didn't Roger McCluskey finish second to Foyt in Nelson's car in the January '70 Riverside race?

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            • #21
              He did in fact... it was in a Superbird.
              I'll see YOU at the races!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by dalz View Post

                Thanks. From the video, I thought he went straight at the non-existent kink, but he was just looking for somewhere to go.

                Since you're here Mr. J...the '60s were before the Winston West era, but were there lesser-known racers from the area who attempted to make this race annually? West coast short-trackers, road racers, amateurs? With the enduro-like length of this race, I would think anyone who just kept it between the ditches had a chance at great finish. What's the best little-guy story from this race that you know of?
                dalz, since PCLM/Grand National West/Western Grand National/WW was already around years before RIR was built, most of the field were regulars or at least part-timers in that series. The '500' being on the ACCUS calendar allowed USAC and SCCA racers to enter as well, which is how guys like Foyt, McCluskey, Nelson, Hurtubise, MacDonald, etc. ran.

                Which isn't to say there weren't some very obscure racers that started the Riverside NASCAR races. Carl Cardey was a Cal Club racer that managed to pick up a ride a couple of years, and I have absolutely no racing background info at all on Mike Pittelkow, who made the race in '71 (thanks to a typo, for years he was listed as "Tittelkow" or "Kittelkow").

                As far as best stories, that's hard to say since aside from being buried in regional racing newspapers, the stories of low-buck efforts by Western racers are forgotten/overlooked. Usually, they bought an old Grand National car to run either in the West series or even to head down South. Off the top of my head, and even looking over the results, I can't recall any in particular. Some of the West series drivers had great runs.


                Last edited by JThur1; 07-30-2020, 01:14 PM.
                "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                • #23
                  And, yeah, the video is mislabelled, it is 1963. So that glance at Weatherly's Mercury is actually Weatherly's Pontiac (even says Pontiac on its side).
                  "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                  • #24

                    Didn't Ray Elder and Chuck Bown come from the West Coast?
                    Tibi Fumus Obsidio Septum Doro

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Tifositoo View Post
                      Didn't Ray Elder and Chuck Bown come from the West Coast?
                      Yes. Ray Elder was from a farm family from the small town of Caruthers, California, near Fresno. Family team won two races at Riverside against "the big boys." While many consider his wins "upsets", that was a good team, 6-time NASCAR PCLM/GNW/WGN champ. In essence, the Pettys, only Central California farmers.

                      Chuck Bown is from Portland, and his father Dick Bown, was one of the top short-track stock car racers in the Northwest and on the NASCAR GNW trail.

                      Jim Insolo was another Western standout, multiple top 5 finishes in the 70s at Riverside, won a USAC stock car race at Ontario.
                      Last edited by JThur1; 07-30-2020, 04:20 PM.
                      "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                        dalz, since PCLM/Grand National West/Western Grand National/WW was already around years before RIR was built, most of the field were regulars or at least part-timers in that series. The '500' being on the ACCUS calendar allowed USAC and SCCA racers to enter as well, which is how guys like Foyt, McCluskey, Nelson, Hurtubise, MacDonald, etc. ran.

                        Which isn't to say there weren't some very obscure racers that started the Riverside NASCAR races. Carl Cardey was a Cal Club racer that managed to pick up a ride a couple of years, and I have absolutely no racing background info at all on Mike Pittelkow, who made the race in '71 (thanks to a typo, for years he was listed as "Tittelkow" or "Kittelkow").

                        As far as best stories, that's hard to say since aside from being buried in regional racing newspapers, the stories of low-buck efforts by Western racers are forgotten/overlooked. Usually, they bought an old Grand National car to run either in the West series or even to head down South. Off the top of my head, and even looking over the results, I can't recall any in particular. Some of the West series drivers had great runs.
                        Thank you! This race really had a unique history among the other races on the major-league schedules.

                        At 5 1/2 plus hours annually, this race has to be by far the longest uninterrupted race on the NASCAR record books.
                        You have the IndyCar you deserve.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                          And, yeah, the video is mislabelled, it is 1963. So that glance at Weatherly's Mercury is actually Weatherly's Pontiac (even says Pontiac on its side).
                          It was a very quick glance...
                          Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post

                            It was a very quick glance...
                            No worries Joe, look at me over in the Chuck Hulse thread

                            The reason I didn't notice the race was from 1963 is because I didn't bother to check the video, as I wasn't interested in seeing Weatherly's fatal accident again.
                            "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

                            Comment

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