Classic YouTube: 1973 Southern 500 at Darlington
If you haven’t seen some of the higher-quality footage of NASCAR races from the 1970s on YouTube, you need to check them out. With Car And Track’s Bud Lindemann narrating, it’s great insight into the world of stock cars back in the day, especially if the racing was well before your time. Filled with a field of cars that ranged from brand-new 1973 Chevrolets and Dodges to a few 1971 Mercury Cyclones still hanging around, the whole pack was a tasty blend of cars. The driver’s were an interesting bunch, and included legends like Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, underdogs like Buddy Arrington and a young Darrell Waltrip who was on his second year as a Cup driver.
One of the more interesting stories from the race involved the driver of one of the Dodges present. Jim Vandiver was unaware that his absence from a child custody case with his first wife was not excused, as his lawyer had convinced him, and only learned that the judge in the case had issued an arrest warrant for him after “Soapy” Castles overheard a conversation between sheriff’s deputies and the president of Darlington Raceway discussing the matter. Finding that his engine was not playing the game, Vandiver spun his Charger on lap 223 on purpose, bailed out of the car, jumped over the fence and hitchiked home. Only back in the day would something like that actually go down at a track…
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