| Southern 500|
| September 6, 1965 (1965-September-06)|
Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina
Permanent racing facility
1.375 mi (2.212 km)
364 laps, 500.5 mi (805.4 km)
Warm with temperatures reaching up to 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds up to 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)
The 1965 Southern 500, the 16th running of the event, was a NASCAR Grand National Series event that was held on September 6, 1965, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.
The race took four hours and nineteen minutes to complete with Ned Jarrett beating Buck Baker by a distance of fourteen laps and 19 laps over third and fourth-place finishers: Darel Dieringer and Roy Mayne; which would remain a NASCAR record to this very day.
1965 Southern 500 Wikipedia
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed by many NASCAR fans and drivers as "The Lady in Black" or "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and advertised as a "NASCAR Tradition", is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.
The track is a four-turn 1.366 miles (2.198 km) oval. The track's first two turns are banked at twenty-five degrees, while the final two turns are banked two degrees lower at twenty-three degrees. The front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch is banked at six degrees. Darlington Raceway can seat up to 60,000 people.
In mileage, the gap between Jarrett and Baker is the equivalent of 19.25 miles or 30.98 kilometres. Drivers who failed to qualify for this race were: Pee Wee Ellwanger (Dodge), Wendell Scott (Ford), Worth McMillion (Pontiac) and Bernard Alvarez (Ford). By modern-day standards, this race was considered to be a blowout. Every competitive car had problems with the exception of Jarrett's vehicle; even Buddy Baker's vehicle overheated on lap 123 and he was the odds-on favorite to win the race that day.
Jarrett would go on to claim his second NASCAR championship title after the November 7 race at the Dog Track Speedway in Moyock, North Carolina. While 44 cars would originally start the race, only 15 of them would survive until the end. Buren Skeen was fatally injured when Reb Wickersham's Ford plowed into Skeen's driver door on the third lap of the race. Skeen remained unconscious for nine days before passing away. Cale Yarborough would sail off the wall in an unrelated accident; he crashed with Sam McQuagg. Fortunately, seat belts managed to save both of their lives. Curtis Turner would be permitted to race after Bill France dropped his lifetime ban for promoting a trade union with NASCAR. Richard Petty did not race even though he stopped boycotting Chrysler and the Grand National Series.
Other notable names who participated included: Junior Johnson, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Elmo Langley, Wendell Scott, and Darel Dieringer. The winner would walk away with $21,060 while the last place winner would receive $750 in total winnings. 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.
† signifies that the driver is known to be deceasedStart of race: Fred Lorenzen was the pole position as the drivers are given the green flag
Lap 1: Junior Johnson's ignition fails to work
Lap 2: Reb Wickersham had a terminal crash along with Buren Skeen
Lap 3: Bert Robbins had a terminal crash
Lap 9: Bud Moore had to leave the race because his vehicle had terrible oil pressure
Lap 25: A frame came loose enough off of Tiny Lund's vehicle that he couldn't race anymore
Lap 29: Problems with the vehicle's clutch sent Henley Gray into the garage
Lap 33: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 42: Marvin Panch managed to ruin his engine
Lap 46: Earl Balmer took over the lead from Darl Dieringer, Bobby Wawak managed to ruin his engine
Lap 47: Bobby Johns took over the lead from Earl Balmer
Lap 49: Jim Paschal took over the lead from Bobby Johns
Lap 51: A wheel bearing came off Curtis Turner's vehicle, rendering him a noncompetitor for the remainder of the event
Lap 54: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Cale Yarbrough
Lap 79: Junior Spencer managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 85: The differential of Doug Cooper's vehicle was acting strangely, knocking him out of the race
Lap 87: Earl Balmer took over the lead from Darel Deringer
Lap 88: Sam McQuagg took over the lead from Earl Balmer
Lap 94: Earl Balmer had a terminal crash
Lap 109: Bunkie Blackburn had a terminal crash
Lap 118: Sam McQuagg and Cale Yarborough both suffered from terminal crashes
Lap 119: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Sam McQuagg
Lap 122: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Darel Dieringer
Lap 123: Jim Paschal took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 129: Ned Jarrett took over the lead from Jim Paschal
Lap 145: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Ned Jarrett
Lap 148: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 167: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Darel Dieringer
Lap 168: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 228: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Darel Dieringer
Lap 233: Ned Jarrett took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 240: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Ned Jarrett
Lap 288: Fred Lorenzen took over the lead from Darel Dieringer
Lap 303: Darel Dieringer took over the lead from Fred Lorenzen
Lap 326: Ned Jarrett took over the lead from Darel Dieringer
Finish: Ned Jarrett was officially declared the winner of the event
* Driver failed to finish race