Jack Ingram’s 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
by Tom Jensen May 31, 2021
The biggest victory of this Hall of Famer’s career came at Daytona International Speedway in this car.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame recognizes achievement at all levels of the sport, not just the premier series.
So when we began conceptualizing our current Great Hall exhibit, “A Legendary Decade: The First 50 Inductees,” it was important to have a broad cross section of the sport and its legends recognized. The 10 cars selected for the exhibit include representatives from NASCAR’s three national touring series as well as the Whelen Modified Tour.
To represent the Hall’s Class of 2014, we selected Jack Ingram’s 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Late Model Sportsman car, the very same car in which he won the 1975 Permatex 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
The Late Model Sportsman Series was the precursor of today’s Xfinity Series and the Permatex 300 was its biggest race of the year. When Ingram rolled into Daytona for the 1975 race, he was the three-time defending Late Model Sportsman champion. Later, when the series was named the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram took two more championships, in 1982 and 1985.
Winning the Permatex 300 was huge. The race was part of Daytona Speedweeks and the field wasn’t just series regulars. A handful of premier series drivers were in the field for 1975, including Hall of Famers Bobby Allison (2011) and Darrell Waltrip (2012), as well as Harry Gant and Morgan Shepherd. Other future Hall of Famers in the race included Whelen Modified Tour superstar Richie Evans (2012) and Late Model Sportsman regular Red Farmer (2021).
To do battle against such stiff competition, Ingram brought a Chevrolet Monte Carlo built by the legendary Banjo Matthews and then tweaked by Ingram himself.
The work paid off, as Ingram qualified his Chevy on the pole, edging out Allison for the No. 1 starting spot in the 40-car field. On the opening lap, Allison took the lead as Ingram fell back to fifth. Before the first lap was complete, Farmer was eliminated in a violent rollover crash, escaping serious injury.
In the early going, Allison was the class of the field, but his hopes of victory were quashed when Shepherd suddenly dropped in front of him in Turn 4, preparing to pit. Allison ran into the back of Shepherd, who then spun out on pit road, nearly hitting Waltrip’s car, which was on pit road suffering from handling issues.
Ingram qualified his Chevy on the pole, edging out Allison for the No. 1 starting spot.
— Tom Jensen
With the top three cars of Allison, Shepherd and Waltrip all having problems at virtually the same time, Ingram quickly moved from fourth place back into the lead of the race.
Ingram had issues of his own, though, with a badly cracked windshield that his crew had to tape in place during pit stops. Near the end of the 120-lap race, the tape was coming off and the windshield looked as though it might come apart, but the car held together and Ingram scored one of the biggest victories of his Hall of Fame career, finishing ahead of Joe Millikan, Gant and Ivan Baldwin to start his 1975 season with a victory.
Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, Ingram went on to win 31 races in the NASCAR Busch Series, which stood as a record until broken by Mark Martin (2017) in 1997.