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1968 Southeastern 500

The 1968 Southeastern 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on March 17, 1968, at Bristol International Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Highlights of this racing event were later shown on the classic Car and Track television show on most CBS stations.

1968 Southeastern 500
Race details[1]
Race 5 of 49 in the 1968 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Bristol Motor Speedway
Layout of Bristol Motor Speedway
Date March 17, 1968 (1968-March-17)
Official name Southeastern 500
Location Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee
Course Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.800 km)
Distance 500 laps, 250.0 mi (400.0 km)
Weather Cold with temperatures approaching 57 °F (14 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
Average speed 77.247 miles per hour (124.317 km/h)
Attendance 19,800[2]
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver David Pearson Holman-Moody
Laps 176
Winner
No. 17 David Pearson Holman-Moody
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Bud Lindemann

The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.

Contents

SummaryEdit

A total distance of 500 laps were accomplished at this event; with Bobby Allison acquiring the last-place position due to stock car engine problems on lap 41. While the first 100 laps of this race event were a David Pearson and Richard Petty show, it would be LeeRoy Yarbrough would compete against Pearson in the closing laps of this event. All 36 of the qualifying drivers were born in the United States of America. Clyde Lynn's incredibly disappearing tail end of his vehicle eventually stalled his racing hopes on lap 445. Henley Gray would become the lowest-finishing driver to actually complete the event; albeit more than 100 laps behind the lead-lap competitors.[2]

David Pearson would best Richard Petty by a distance of three seconds after racing at each other's throats for more than three hours. More than 19,000 ardent NASCAR followers would see a race marred by eleven caution flags for a duration of 81 laps. Richard Petty's qualifying speed of 88.582 miles per hour (142.559 km/h) would see him blaze through the field during solo qualifying runs. Cale Yarborough would spend some time as the leader of the race before an incident involving the back of his vehicle would end his day of racing on lap 237.[2] Roy Trantham would make his introduction into the NASCAR Cup Series scene in this race while Serge Adams would exit stage left from NASCAR racing after the conclusion of this event.[3]

Individual race earnings ranged from the winner's share of $25,415 ($175,035.17 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's portion of $500 ($3,443.54 when adjusted for inflation). NASCAR handed out a grand total of $86,285 to all the competitors who qualified for this racing event ($594,251.81 when adjusted for inflation).[4]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 43 Richard Petty '68 Plymouth
2 17 David Pearson '68 Ford
3 21 Cale Yarborough '68 Ford
4 26 LeeRoy Yarbrough '68 Ford
5 22 Darel Dieringer '68 Plymouth
6 27 Donnie Allison '68 Ford
7 14 Jerry Grant '68 Plymouth
8 29 Bobby Allison '68 Ford
9 16 Tiny Lund '68 Mercury
10 3 Buddy Baker '67 Dodge
11 71 Bobby Isaac '67 Dodge
12 4 John Sears '67 Ford
13 99 Paul Goldsmith '68 Plymouth
14 49 G.C. Spencer '67 Plymouth
15 09 Jack Ingram '66 Chevrolet
16 10 Bill Champion '66 Ford
17 64 Elmo Langley '66 Ford
18 39 Friday Hassler '66 Chevrolet
19 45 Bill Seifert '66 Ford
20 30 Dave Marcis '66 Chevrolet

Top twenty finishersEdit

Pos No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Reason for DNF
1 17 David Pearson Ford 500
2 43 Richard Petty Plymouth 500
3 26 LeeRoy Yarbrough Ford 499
4 22 Darel Dieringer Plymouth 492
5 71 Bobby Isaac Dodge 491
6 1 Bud Moore Dodge 491
7 09 Jack Ingram Chevrolet 481
8 10 Bill Champion Ford 469
9 64 Elmo Langley Ford 468
10 2 Earl Brooks Ford 467
11 06 Neil Castles Plymouth 467
12 45 Bill Seifert Ford 454
13 30 Dave Marcis Chevrolet 449
14 20 Clyde Lynn Mercury 445 Rear end
15 50 Wendell Scott Plymouth 436
16 02 Bob Cooper Chevrolet 430
17 25 Jabe Thomas Ford 427
18 01 Paul Dean Holt Ford 412
19 31 Bill Ervin Ford 396
20 19 Henley Gray Ford 392

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1968 Southeastern 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c 1968 Southeastern 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ Introductions and departures from NASCAR after the 1968 Southeastern 500 at Race-Database
  4. ^ 1968 Southeastern 500 prize winnings information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
Preceded by
1968 Daytona 500
NASCAR Grand National Season
1968
Succeeded by
1968 Richmond 250