Dan Gurney began his ownership of NASCAR at Riverside in 1963. This great short film shows all the action—check it out.
The Grand National races at Riverside, California were much longer than the NASCAR road course events we know today. This event, held on January 20, 1963, ran a full 500 miles, covering 185 laps on the 2.7 mile course and taking nearly six hours to complete. These were iron men in those big, hulking cars, no doubt about that.
Southern California native Dan Gurney started only 16 Grand National races in his career, but he won five of them, and all the victories came at Riverside between 1963 and 1968. Seldom has one driver dominated one track the way Gurney did here. For this race, Gurney drove the Holman Moody Ford usually wheeled by Fred Lorenzen, and his chief competition included Fireball Roberts, A.J. Foyt, and Parnelli Jones.
Riverside International Raceway no longer exists, unfortunately. It was bulldozed in 1988. While this little film is only six minutes long, it manages to capture a lot of great action at the historic facility. Enjoy.