View Full Version : Javelin in NASCAR Racing

Big Bad AMX
11-25-2004, 10:24 PM
four barreling (1969)

by Pete Waldmeir

AM's 'Good Old Boy' a Good Old Winner in NASCAR Racing

When Jim Paschal joined the American Motors racing team last spring, he came with a many-sided reputation.

First and foremost, he was a winner - one of the south's original "good old boys" - who knew every ripple in every race track, large and small, from Maryland to Florida.

Second, he was famed for being able to coax the last fraction of speed from a race car's engine without breaking the machinery in the process. His third asset came naturally.

Jim Paschal finished races.

At the halfway point of the NASCAR "baby grand" circuit, Paschal's reputation hadn't altered a bit. His 1969 Javelin had won four races, finished second once and third on another occasion in 12 races and comfortably held down third place in the competition for the "baby grand" manufacturers' championship.

"It took us a while to get things sorted out," remarked Paschal, a 42-year-old chicken farmer from High Point, N.C. "But once we did, the Javelin has been running just great."

Paschal's 1969 Javelin was built and prepared by Warren Prout for Huggins Tires Sales, Inc. - Racing Division, of Thomasville, N.C. Early last spring Prout took a stock Javelin and stripped it to the ground.

To meet the competition specifications of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racers, the American Motors' 343-cubic-inch powerplant was destroked to 305 CID. A roll cage was built into the body, the suspension was beefed up and other racing modifications were made.

Like a four-speed Borg-Warner transmission, an Edelbrock manifold and Holley twin four-barrel carbs. Prout built his own headers.

It didn't take long for Paschal, chomping on his ever-present cigar and driving his striking red, white and blue Javelin, to become a formidable competitor on the "baby grand" circuit.

Shaking out the customary early season wrinkles took only a few races. By its fifth start on May 3, the Paschal-Prout-Huggins Javelin had worked its way up to second place. Paschal finished a mere three seconds behind Tiny Lund's Cougar that day in a 10O-mile event on the 1/2 -mile paved track at Marysville, Tennessee.

Two races later in his lucky seventh start-a 200-miler on the 5/8 mile asphalt track at Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Paschal led virtually all the way and survived a mid-race rain postponement of 24 hours to take his first checkered flag.

Paschal wound up two laps ahead of Buck Baker's Camaro in the race which started on Sunday, May 25, and didn't finish until the following afternoon because of the heavy rains.

After Javelin's initial victory at Baton Rouge, Paschal was on his way.

Next he won two 100-mile races on 1/2 mile dirt tracks back-to-back at Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina. Then he capped his paved track performance with an impressive triumph on one of the most testing super-speedways in the country - the 1 1/2 mile oval at Charlotte, N.C., July 5.

Paschal grabbed the lead on the 89th lap at Charlotte and held it for the next 78 laps to win the Dogwood 250-miler. The victory was doubly satisfying for Paschal, who is the only man ever to win the Charlotte 600 for NASCAR "grand national" cars on that same track.

"I think our showing in the first half of the 'baby grand' schedule proves that this 1969 Javelin can be competitive under any and all conditions," Prout explained.

"There's a world of difference between running on dirt and asphalt, and the tight turns of a 5/8-mile track and the long straightaways on the 1 1/2 - mile oval at Charlotte.

"Yet the Javelin has not given us a bit of trouble.

"We've led some races, too, where things went wrong. We were in front at Daytona in the Paul Revere 250, which started at midnight on July 4. But because we were running for the first time with headlights, the battery overloaded and we lost three laps while we changed it.

"We didn't finish the race, but who knows?"

Paschal also was out front in a race at Richmond, Virginia, on June 1 and survived a bizarre series of wrecks before finally being put out when he ran over another car's litter. "I drove through three separate accidents without getting involved that day," Paschal smiled. "The fourth one put me out."

Paschal finds it hard to hide his distaste for dirt track racing, which is favored by fans in the deep-South. "They could plow up all the dirt tracks and plant corn as far as I'm concerned," he grinned. "They get too muddy for me."

Presumably the 1969 Javelin doesn't mind them, however. In the first half of the "baby grand" circuit there only were two dirt track events.
Javelin won both of them.