Anyone would have to admit that with a little better organization and a little more knowledge of how to handle the rubber problem, all eight of the new compacts would inevitably have come in not far behind the Rambler. And you could flip a coin as to whether a Falcon or a Corvair would have led the pack—there was that little to choose between the speed and handling characteristics of the two makes.
At Daytona-the title for Walt
It was said before the race at Daytona Sunday that the duel between Walt Hansgen and George Constantine was going to be a honey. The 135-mile, C-modified-class race for amateurs lived up to expectations. Hanging in the balance was a national championship (SI, Nov. 16), and Hansgen and Constantine went after the prize with a determination that all but overawed the 5,500 spectators present.
Constantine, driving an Aston Martin, went into the lead on the first lap. By the fourth, Hansgen in a Lister-Jaguar had wrested it from him. In the next four laps, the two swapped the lead back and forth nine times. That averages out to about once every 1.7 miles on a 3.81-mile track that is a combination oval and serpentine route.
But they were not alone. In the 10th lap Alan Connell, a 36-year-old Fort Worth rancher driving a 4.1-liter Ferrari, captured the lead. He was back in second place in the 11th. And so it went until the 30th, when the first break came, a bad one as it turned out for Constantine.
Ahead at the time, he was forced by worn tires to a pit stop. When he rejoined the leaders he was in fourth place, a position he was never able to better. Hansgen was in second place when the cars were flagged in, and so, with 68 points to Constantine's 64, he retains his championship for the third year in a row. Winner Connell's average time, 101.81 mph, set a track record.