Cale Yarborough survived a series of minor collisions with A.J. Foyt's brakeless car and held on to win the International race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway today.
Foyt's car lost its brakes early in the race and repeatedly slammed into the back of Yarborough's car as he trailed him around the 2.5-mile oval at more than 170 miles an hour.
"I motioned for A.J. to keep up several times because I knew we were running better together," said Yarborough, who was aware fo Foyt's problem. "But I had to shake my fist at him several times because he was hitting me so hard.
Foyt was content to stay behind Yarborough. His second-place finish left him with 53 points to Yarborough's 50 in the International Race of Champions series. Yarborough won $25,000 for taking today's event. Foyt received $50,000 for winning the series.
Yarborough took the lead after 30 miles with the eight other finalist nose-to-tail behind him. Foyt and Bobby Unser moved into second and third, and their positions never changed. Richard Petty and Johnny Rutherford finished fourth and fifth. The winner's speed was 165.7 miles per hour.
Harry Gant, driving a Pontiac Firebird, won the 200-mile modified stock car race that followwed the IROC final. He won by 10 seconds over Bay Darnell, who frove a Chevrolet Camaro. Clayton Peterson, also in a Camaro, was third.
The winner averaged 136.1 miles per hour to take $15,300 of the $80,000 purse.
In Saturday's Permatex 300-mile for late-model sportsman sedas, Joey Michaels of Baltimore, will start 15th; Jack Bland, Riverdale, Md., 20th, and Dick Boswell, Cheverly, Md., 26th.