| Dixie 400|
| October 28, 1962 (1962-October-28)|
Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.400 km)
267 laps, 401 mi (645 km)
Chilly with temperatures approaching 68 °F (20 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)
The 1962 Dixie 400 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on October 28, 1962, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.
The transition to purposely-built racers began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.
1962 Dixie 400 Wikipedia
Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate track to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.
The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long. The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.
All 44 drivers in this race were born in the United States of America. The major sponsors in this race were Holman Moody, Rex White, and Fred Lovette. H.B. Bailey would make his NASCAR debut here while Jimmy Thompson and Woodie Wilson would retire from NASCAR after this race. 23 of these drivers would fail to finish the race. Three cautions would slow down this 267-lap race that took place on paved oval track that spanned 1.500 miles (2.414 km). The total distance of this race was approximately 401 miles or 645 kilometres. Fireball Roberts would qualify for the pole position at the top speed of 124.74 miles per hour (200.75 km/h). George Green would acquire the last-place finish due to an engine problem in his Chevrolet vehicle on the third lap. Other notable drivers in this race would be Marvin Panch, Richard Petty, Fred Lorenzen, Buck Baker, and Elmo Langley.
At the end of three hours and twelve minutes of racing, Rex White defeated Joe Weatherly by 12 seconds in his 1962 Chevrolet machine. David Pearson makes a one-off start for owner Bud Moore. They wouldn't team up again until 1972, though each found plenty of success separately. In order to acquire the win in the 1962 running of the Dixie 400, White had to receive assistance from Marvin Panch's vehicle in order to conserve fuel. Individual take-home earnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $10,315 ($81,668.93 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $250 ($1,979.37 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse in this event was $42,510 ($336,572.57 when adjusted for inflation).
While the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis would somewhat overshadow this racing event, people still attended this live race. They also listened in on their transistor radios if they lived within a reasonable distance but could not attend; a prelude to the later days of televised NASCAR coverage on channels like FOX and ESPN. The tense 13-day confrontation did not prevent this or any other NASCAR Grand National Cup Series event from taking place.Start of race: Fireball Roberts had the pole position as the green flag was waved
Lap 3: George Green managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 4: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
Lap 6: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Junior Johnson
Lap 11: Oil pressure issues wiped out Tom Cox's chance of winning the race
Lap 12: Ned Jarrett managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 20: Paul Lewis managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 35: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
Lap 47: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Junior Johnson
Lap 53: Junior Johnson took over the lead from Bobby Johns
Lap 55: Red Foote managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 62: LeeRoy Yarbrough had a terminal crash
Lap 66: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Junior Johnson; Junior Johnson had a terminal crash
Lap 68: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Johns
Lap 71: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Richard Petty; Nelson Stacy had a terminal crash
Lap 75: Doug Yates managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 84: Cale Yarbrough managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 96: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
Lap 101: H.B. Bailey had a terminal crash
Lap 103: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
Lap 124: Tommy Irwin had a terminal crash
Lap 133: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Bobby Johns
Lap 135: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
Lap 145: Emanuel Zervakis managed to damage his vehicle's transmission beyond repair
Lap 148: Sherman Utsman managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 158: The head gasket managed to come loose off Jimmy Pardue's vehicle
Lap 188: Bobby Johns had a terminal crash
Lap 193: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
Lap 194: Fireball Roberts took over the lead from Marvin Panch
Lap 196: Darel Dieringer managed to wreck his vehicle's engine
Lap 229: Oil pressure issues managed to eradicate Jimmy Thompson's chances of winning the race
Lap 241: Marvin Panch took over the lead from Fireball Roberts
Lap 265: Rex White took over the lead from Marvin Panch
Finish: Rex White was officially declared the winner of the event