1961.02.16: February 16, 1961: Headlines: History: Stock Car Racing: Sports: Presidents - Kennedy: Nascar: Marvin Panch's win in the third Daytona 500 came two weeks before President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Presidents: President John F. Kennedy: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: President Kennedy : 1961.02.16: February 16, 1961: Headlines: History: Stock Car Racing: Sports: Presidents - Kennedy: Nascar: Marvin Panch's win in the third Daytona 500 came two weeks before President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961

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Marvin Panch's win in the third Daytona 500 came two weeks before President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961

Marvin Panch's win in the third Daytona 500 came two weeks before President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961

Panch's win came one day after 18 members of the U.S. Figure Skating team were killed in a plane crash in Belgium and two days after the element Lawrencium was discovered by scientists in Berkeley, Calif. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in March, while residents of Washington, D.C. were given the right to vote in presidential elections later that month.

Marvin Panch's win in the third Daytona 500 came two weeks before President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961

Daytona Countdown: '61

Panch takes checkered flag; J.F.K establishes Peace Corps

By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
January 6, 2005
10:25 AM EST (15:25 GMT)

Driving a year-old Pontiac for Smokey Yunick, Marvin Panch beat Joe Weatherly by 16 seconds in the third Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, 1961.

With his $21,050 winner's check, Panch could have bought a new house (average 1961 price of $17,200) and would have had enough left over to put a brand-new 1961 Pontiac Ventura in the driveway. The Ventura's top speed was 124 mph, just 31 miles an hour off the pole speed of 155.709 mph, thanks to a V8 engine that produced 380 horsepower. Of course, the '61 Ventura only got 11.8 miles per gallon, but with gas prices averaging 31 cents a gallon, who cared?

Panch, an Oakland, Calif., native, had a better season than the 1961 Oakland Raiders, who went 2-12 under a pair of head coaches and lost their first two games by a combined score of 99-0.

On the radio, Connie Francis was wondering "Where The Boys Are." That song was No. 9 on the Cash Box charts in February, as Lawrence Welk's "Calcutta" owed the top spot. If Panch had driven from Oakland to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the boys were on spring break in February of 1961, the 3,108-mile trip would have taken 62 hours at highway speeds -- or 20 hours and 46 minutes at Panch's race-winning speed of 149.601 mph.

Panch's win came one day after 18 members of the U.S. Figure Skating team were killed in a plane crash in Belgium and two days after the element Lawrencium was discovered by scientists in Berkeley, Calif. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in March, while residents of Washington, D.C. were given the right to vote in presidential elections later that month.

Panch became the last Daytona 500 winner before manned spaceflight, as Russian Yuri Gagarin was sent into space on April 12. Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5. Twenty days later, President Kennedy announced plans to send men to the moon by the end of the decade.

A 23-year-old by the name of Bobby Allison made his Daytona 500 debut that day, finishing 31st in the No. 40 Chevrolet in the 58-car field. His son, Davey, would be born nine days later.

Current drivers born in 1961:

# Ward Burton (Oct. 25)

# Rich Bickle (May 13)

? Click here for more Daytona Countdown.






ALSO IN 1961
President Dwight Eisenhower announced that the United States had severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba (Jan. 3)
John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet during two days in Vienna. They talk about nuclear tests, disarmament and Germany (June 4)
Iraqi president Abdul Karim Kassem announces plan to annex Kuwait (June 25)
At Fenway Park, the first All-Star Game tie in MLB history occurs when the game is stopped in the ninth inning due to rain (July 25)
1961 (As MAD Magazine pointed out on its first cover for the year) was the first "upside-down" year - i. e., one that looked the same upside down - since 1881, and the last until 6009
Courtesy: Wikipediaexternal link




2001 - Hall of Fame Inductee
Marvin Panch


* 216 starts, 17 wins, 21 poles, seven on superspeedway
* 1948 First race Oakland Stadium - Oakland, CA
* 1950 Wins California NASCAR Late Model Division
* 1951 Repeats Late Model Division Crown
* 1953 First NASCAR race Southern 500 Darling Raceway
* 1954 Third place finish Southern 500 Darlington Raceway
* 1957 Wins six races in 42 starts
* Charter Member Pur-Darlington Record Club
* 1961 Wins Daytona 500 - Daytona International Speedway
* 1963 - SMPA Myers Brothers Memorial Award
* 1965 Wins Atlanta 500 - Atlanta International Raceway, wins Dixie 500 - Atlanta International Racewaym wins Permatex 300 - Daytona International Speedway
* 1966 Wins World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
* 1966 Retires from racing
* 1976 Honored by Charlotte Motor Speedway - Marvin Panch Day
* 1987 Inducted into National Motorsports Hall of Fame
* 1993 Legends of Auto Racing Inaugural Inductee
* 1995 Western Motor Sports Writers Hall of Fame
* 1998 Voted one of NASCARs 50 Greatest Drivers





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Story Source: Nascar

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; History; Stock Car Racing; Sports; Presidents - Kennedy

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