Darel Dieringer (Courtesy or Wiki Commons)
Darel Dieringer was born on the 1st June 1926 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He had a short Grand National career, making his debut in 1957 and at first he had little success. In 1961 and 1962 he had no wins although he took part in twenty one races. He finished the seasons at 35th and 33rd respectively. In 1963 he moved from John Zink and John Whitford to drive for Bill Stroppe and he won the last race of the season, the Golden State 400 at Riverside, California. He started in twenty seven races and ended the season at seventh in the pointís race. In 1964 he had to wait until the second from the last race for his second career win at Augusta, Georgia. This season he finished eleventh in the points race. 1965 was an even better year for Darel when he won his third career race in the Daytona 500 qualifying race and he won the pole for the Daytona 500 but unfortunately he was unable to turn this into a win leaving him placed third in the overall points race. The following year, 1966 was a very good season for Darel, giving him his fourth career win at Monroe, North Carolina and yet another win at Weaverville, North Carolina and a sixth and most treasured win driving Bud Mooreís Mercury to victory at Darlington when he beat Richard Petty. Starting nineteen races in 1967 he amasses an amazing seven pole positions including the Firecracker 400 at Daytona and the South Eastern 500 at Bristol. He had his seventh and final win of his career at Wilkesboro, North Carolina and finished twelfth in the pointís race. In 1968 he started eighteen races, gained no wins but had one pole position at Weaverville, North Carolina. He finished twenty first in what was to be his final full time NASCAR season. It seems that Darel ran a limited schedule from 1967 to 1969 with little success and he had just one race in 1969. He returned to NASCAR in 1975 for the National 500 at Charlotte and the Talladega Superspeedway before retiring. Throughout his career Darel raced in 181 races over a twelve year period, gaining seven wins, an incredible seventy nine top ten positions and nine poles.
He was a popular driver, both with his fans and his colleagues and this earned him the title of NASCARís Most Popular Driver in 1966. He was also a test driver who in 1965 helped Goodyear to develop the tyre inner tube that was to become one of the most important tyre safety innovations. Together with Richard Petty, the two gutsy drivers purposely drove over pieces of pipe, sharpened at one end and mounted onto a steel plate at speeds up to 170 mph to test how the car would react. They both found that after the tyre failed the car was still controllable and they were able to bring in the cars smoothly and safely into the pits.
Sadly Darel died on 28th of October 1989 at the age of sixty three.
His son, Darel "the Demon" Dieringer is continuing with the family tradition of racing by being part of local Indiana short track racing in the Super Truck Division of the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) now the Indy United Racing League (IURL), winning many top 5 points finishes and several top 5 Event finishes. He is a co-owner and drives for RMM.
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Darel Dieringer - Wikipedia
Darel Dieringer - Legends of Nascar
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