TDIH: Janurary 21, 1973


The 1973 running of the Winston Western 500 was one of firsts. New Jersey native Mark Donohue led the final 75 laps, taking the checkered flag an entire lap ahead of second place driver Bobby Allison. It was here at Riverside, that American Motors saw its first of an eventual five victories in Winston Cup, with the following four coming with Bobby Allison over the 74/75 seasons. Driving the #16 Matador, Donohue – winner of the 1972 Indianapolis 500 –  would celebrate the only win of his short 6-race career. Owner Roger Penske fielded the car, and along with Donohue and AMC, would see his first victory come that afternoon. Donohue would die just two and a half years later, a result of injuries sustained in an accident at Österreichring while practicing for the ’75 Austrian Grand Prix.


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