| Rebel 400|
| May 11, 1968 (1968-May-11)|
Darlington Raceway (Darlington, South Carolina)
Permanent racing facility
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
291 laps, 401.3 mi (706.7 km)
Temperatures reaching 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
The 1968 Rebel 400 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on May 11, 1968, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.
The transition to purpose-built racecars 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.
1968 Rebel 400 Wikipedia
Two-hundred and ninety one laps were completed on a paved oval track spanning 1.375 miles (2.213 km) for a grand total of 400.1 miles (643.9 km). The time of the race was three hours and fifty-four seconds with a crowd of 22,500 attending. There were four cautions for twenty-three laps in the race. David Pearson defeated Darel Dieringer in his 1968 Ford vehicle by a time of eighteen seconds. Pearson took advantage of the NASCAR engine and weight rules for 1968 and used a 396 cid engine instead of the normal 427. At that time the car had to be 4,000 pounds with the 427 cid engine but only 3,707 pounds with the 396 cid engine. The lighter weight paid off as Pearson used less fuel and had fewer tire troubles than many of the other teams. Pearson would continue to use the 396 throughout the year.
Canadian racer Frog Fagan participated in the race and finished in 22nd place. The average speed was 132.699 miles per hour (213.558 km/h) while the pole position speed was 148.85 miles per hour (239.55 km/h). Other notable drivers included Wendell Scott, Richard Petty, Buddy Baker, Elmo Langley, and Roy Tyner. Out of the thirty-four drivers, fifteen of them did not finish the race.
Total winnings for the 1968 Rebel 400 were $53,455 ($368,148.93 when adjusted for inflation); first-place finisher Pearson earned $13,700 ($94,353.01 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher Hess walked away with only $460 in race earnings ($3,168.06 when adjusted for inflation).
Lennie Waldo made his NASCAR Grand National Series debut in this event.
* Driver failed to finish raceStart: David Pearson had the first-class position as the green flag was waved
Lap 19: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 28: Buddy Baker took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 59: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Buddy Baker
Lap 63: Paul Goldsmith took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
Lap 65: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Paul Goldsmith
Lap 91: Donnie Allison had an accident on turn four
Lap 108: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from Buddy Baker
Lap 116: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Charlie Glotzbach
Lap 158: David Pearson took over the lead from Buddy Baker
Lap 203: Bobby Allison spun his vehicle on turn two
Lap 205: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 219: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 231: Cale Yarborough blew his vehicle's engine
Lap 233: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 240: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 243: Curtis Turner blew his vehicle's engine
Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the event