Long gives Savage a shot

Monday, June 10, 1968 – Three days after driver Bobby Allison announced he was leaving the team, car owner Bondy Long announced a one-race deal with driver Swede Savage for the No. 29 Ford entry in NASCAR’s premier series. Savage, 21, was scheduled to make his first start of the season in the Carolina 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway.

Savage made three starts in ’67 for Holman-Moody Racing, with a best finish of sixth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Other starts had come at Hickory, N.C., and North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Although he raced motorcycles competitively as a teen, he was considered a protégé of West Coast veteran racer Dan Gurney.

Savage finished 13th at Rockingham, then third at Bristol. He made four more starts, with the Wood Brothers, Smokey Yunick and Banjo Matthews, in ’69 before turning to open-wheel competition.

The Bondy Long team was run by 26-time race winner Fred Lorenzen, who had curtailed his racing obligations. Lorenzen had won the Carolina 500 in 1966 and was crew chief in ’67 when Allison went to victory lane.

Ned Jarrett had won the ’65 title while racing for Long.

Allison left the team, and Ford, to campaign his own Chevelle, citing a lack of racing opportunities provided by the organization.