Car racing in the United States...A world record for a continuous 500-mile event was set?
Car racing in the United States...A world record for a continuous 500-mile event was set up at the Daytona Beach International Speedway, Florida, Feb 26. Before a crowd of 65,000, Marvin Panch (a 35-year-old Daytona Beach driver) drove a 1960 "Pontiac" over the two-and-a-half mile course at an average speed of 149,601 miles an hour.
The race was marred by numerous crashes: some came to grief on the high banks, and one just managed to stop before plunging into a lake.
Panch beat by far the speed of 138,767 miles an hour set up last year by Jim Rathmann (of Miami) in the Memorial Day 500-mile event at Indianapolis, USA.
The Feb 26 event was the finale of four weeks of speed at Daytona Beach. It is America's top spectacle for regular production cars...and was described as the most dramatic and exciting of the series.
Behind panch at the finish - less than 15 seconds away - was Joe Weatherley (of Norfolk, Virginia) in a 1961 "Pontiac". He is one of the favourites of American stock-car racing enthusiasts.