NASCAR: Glotzbach Charged to Place in NASCAR History
22 July 1998INDIANAPOLIS -- They called him "Chargin' Charlie," and he stormed out of the southern Indiana short tracks to challenge "The King," "The Silver Fox" and other NASCAR stars in the late 1960s. Then just as quickly Charlie Glotzbach faded from the NASCAR limelight.
But during his brief, 5-year stay at the top, Glotzbach became a legend that old-timers still remember with reverence.
"He was a charger," said three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford. "That's how he got his name."
Said four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt, "He stood on the gas."
Both Indy champions raced against Glotzbach, a native of Edwardsville, Ind., in some of NASCAR's superspeedway races 30 years ago.
As NASCAR celebrates its 50th anniversary, many greats of the past are being saluted. Glotzbach never reached the stardom of a Richard Petty or David Pearson, the above mentioned King and Silver Fox, but his record certainly deserves a place on the list of drivers who have helped make stock car racing what it is today.
Glotzbach will speak at a press conference at 12:30 p.m. July 22 at St. Elmo's Steak House in downtown Indianapolis as part of NASCAR's 50th Anniversary celebration. One of his legendary car owners, Indiana native Ray Nichels, also will appear.
Glotzbach drove in 124 NASCAR races and, remarkably, finished in the top 10 in 50 of them. His record includes 12 pole positions and four victories. Eight times he placed second, and he also had five thirds, 18 fourths and three fifths.
That's 38 finishes in the top five.
Glotzbach, who turned 60 on June 19, began his career driving at tracks around Jeffersonville, Ind., including the high-banked Salem Speedway. He became noted for his speed and skill on the pavement.
He ventured into the Southern stock-car circuit for the first time in 1960 and tried again in 1961. But it wasn't until he returned in 1967 after an absence of six years that he began to make a name - and a nickname - for himself. Driving the K&K Dodge, he grabbed a fourth at Atlanta that year.
From that point through 1972, Glotzbach was one of the race favorites at places like Darlington, Charlotte and even Daytona, where he won a 125-mile qualifying race in 1970 and finished fourth behind surprise winner Pete Hamilton, Pearson and Bobby Allison. In 1972 he chased Foyt across the line in second.
In '68, Glotzbach won the second Charlotte race from the pole, in 1970 he took the checkered flag in the second Michigan race, also from the pole, and in 1971 he showed he could handle the short tracks by winning from second place in the second Bristol race.
But after 1972, Glotzbach's star began setting. He dabbled a little in NASCAR with Hoss Ellington from 1973 through 1976, drove occasionally for Dick Bahre in 1981 and even was back as late as 1992 with Junie Donlavey. But his results were mixed.
Glotzbach even came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his prime and tested a Gene White Firestone Indy-style car. He never made an Indy 500 qualifying attempt.
Glotzbach's NASCAR career came and went like a comet, but in the lore of stock car racing when his name is mentioned, "Chargin' Charlie" always is attached to it.
BRICKYARD 400 NOTEBOOK
Event schedule: The fifth annual Brickyard 400 starts at 12:15 p.m. (CDT) Aug. 1. Pole Day qualifying starts at 1:30 p.m. July 30. Qualifying for starting positions 26-36 begins at noon July 31.
The first practice session will take place from 1-5 p.m. (CDT) July 29. Practice continues from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 4-4:45 p.m. July 30. Final practice occurs from 3:30-4:30 p.m. July 31.
Broadcast schedule: The Brickyard 400 will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network at 1 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 1. ESPN's "On The Grid" prerace show starts at noon (EDT) Aug. 1, while the IMS Radio Network prerace show starts at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 1.
ESPN will televise Pole Day live from 2:30-4 p.m. July 30. ESPN2 will offer live Pole Day coverage from 4-5 p.m. July 30 and live second-day qualifying from 1-2 p.m. July 31.
The IMS Radio Network will broadcast live on Pole Day from 2-4 p.m. July 30. Qualification wrap-up shows will be broadcast from 6-6:30 p.m. July 30-31, with hourly reports both days starting at 11:15 a.m. The "Brickyard Live" show will be broadcast from 9-10 p.m. July 29-30.
ESPN and ESPN2 also will provide thorough coverage of Brickyard 400 practice and race previews July 29-31. Practices will be shown on ESPN2 from 2-4 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. July 29, and 6-7 p.m. July 31. The "Before They Go Green" preview will be shown on ESPN from 7:30-8:30 p.m. July 31.