Owens Puts Dodge in the Record Books

The end of the 60s saw the Cotton Owens Garage campaigning Dodges in a variety of form factors designed specifically for maximum performance at different tracks, including the Charger 500 and Charger Daytona that turned NASCAR racing on its head and forever changed the way aerodynamics would affect motorsports competition. Drivers of this era include "leadfoot" Buddy Baker, Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach, Sam Posey, open-wheel star Al Unser, and another fellow Spartanburg native by the name of James Hylton. Glotzbach would serve as primary driver in 1968, with 19 starts and 1 victory at the Charlotte 500, as well as 9 Top Fives, 11 Top Tens, and 3 Pole Positions. Buddy Baker would be the COG primary driver in 1969 and '70, with 29 starts, 1 Win, 13 Top Fives, 17 Top Tens, and 1 Pole Position.

Baker's lone win in a Cotton Owens Dodge would come at the Darlington Southern 500 in 1970, a race Cotton wanted to win so badly but which had eluded him as a driver and owner for more than 20 years. On the Saturday night before the annual Labor Day classic, Owens was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the National Motorsports Press Association.

Buddy's all-out style would cost him several notable races that he would just as soon rather forget about, including the 1969 Texas 500, but it would also serve him well as he would pilot his Owens-powered Dodge Daytona to a new closed-course record of better than 200 mph at Talladega in 1970, the first to do so in a NASCAR-sanctioned event.

Explained Buddy, "It’d be hard for race fans today to understand just how well the Charger stuck to the ground with that big wing on it. Even without the wing, the old Dodge with the Hemi ran well over 200 mph at Daytona and Talladega. It was a time in the sport when you looked at the car and knew you wanted one of 'em. They were fast. When it cranked up everybody looked. We had great teams back then, too. The car had a certain mystique about it that people still remember. When you say Charger, you think racing. Names stick out for certain manufacturers, and I think it would be hard to improve on Charger for Dodge. What else is there to say? Charge!"

The "Racestoppers" at Cotton Owens' Garage - only in the 60s!

Buddy Baker (#6) pilots Cotton's 1969 Dodge Daytona.

Sam Posey at Riverside

Front Row at Daytona 1969

Fellow Spartanburg Racers Cotton Owens & James Hylton discuss strategy

Al Unser at Daytona in Cotton's Dodge

Al Unser poses beside the Cotton Owens Garage Hemi Charger

Buddy Baker steers the COG Dodge at the Daytona 500

#6 at Riverside California

Charlie Glotzbach at Daytona.

Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach pilots the #6 Dodge Charger

1968 Dodge Charger

1969 Charger during NASCAR inspections

Bobby Allison (#22) and Marty Robbins (#42).

Richard Petty (#43) and Buddy Baker (#6).