As a result of the change, the Southern 400 was no longer the season-ending late model race as had been the case most years. The week after the Southern, the track scheduled the inaugural Bob Hunley 100 in memory of the former driver killed at the speedway in 1972. Then following the state fair, the Fairgrounds planned to run three October Saturday nights of regular feature races.
In addition to moving up the race by a month, the 1975 Southern 400 was scheduled to be the first one run under the lights on a Saturday night. All others had been scheduled for Sunday afternoons.
A third change in 1975 was to make the event a one-day show with qualifying, a limited sportsman preliminary race, and the 400 lap LMS event all on Saturday. Two days of qualifying were gone as were consolation races.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Jack Ingram won the 1973 Southern 400 and three consecutive NASCAR national late model sportsman titles. As happened with three-time national champion Red Farmer, however, the grind of chasing another title had become a bit more than Ingram wanted to invest.
In the pre-Busch Series era, a driver willing to pursue the national title had to race seemingly everywhere. Races on back-to-back days often required an overnight tow from the first race. In some cases, national points were available at more than one event on the same day. Performing at a high level and keeping the competition at bay while running as many events as possible took a high toll on the individual as well as his equipment, limited crew, family, etc.
Yet with six career victories at Nashville and the prestige of the Southern 400 on the line, Ingram opted to include the the race on his somewhat reduced schedule.
Part of Gant's success in 1975 - including wins in two of Nashville's four 200-lap events - resulted from his car built by racing legend Tiger Tom Pistone. Still active today at age 89, Pistone remained in racing long after his driving days ended. He built cars, served as crew chief for various drivers, and championed the cause of several up-and-comers.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Lindley, winner of the 1974 Southern 400 and the national points leader, kept the Big Mo rolling by winning the pole for the 1975 edition.
Other name drivers in the show included Ingram, Neil Bonnett in a Bobby Allison-prepared Nova, 1974 Nashville track champion Jimmy Means, and Nashville legend turned Cup racer Darrell Waltrip.
A couple of drivers needed an assist as the raced entered its final stages. Ottinger developed significant back pain and finally surrendered his car to Waltrip around lap 300. A few laps later, Ironman Jack Ingram needed relief from Joe Thurman.
Meanwhile, Lindley built a full-lap lead over second place as he headed for his second Southern 400 win. With 30 laps to go, however, disaster struck. Lindley puked a motor in his Nova, and he coasted helplessly to the pits.
Waltrip made up the lap deficit and soon had Ottinger's Chevelle in the lead. He led the remaining laps and took the checkered flag over Ingram's car.
Alton Jones won the Bob Hunley memorial 100-lap race the following Saturday night. Challenging weather and deteriorating track conditions resulted, however, in the cancellation of the remaining three October nights of racing. Walter Wallace won his second track LMS title over Jimmy Means who sought his second title in back-to-back years.Source for articles: The Tennessean