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The inaugural race in the Talladega 500 (now Alabama 500) series was held on September 14, 1969, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama, USA.

1969 Talladega 500
Race details[1]
Race 44 of 54 in the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date September 14, 1969 (1969-September-14)
Official name Talladega 500
Location Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Very hot with temperatures approaching 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds up to 5.1 miles per hour (8.2 km/h)[2]
Average speed 153.778 miles per hour (247.482 km/h)
Attendance 62,000[1]
Pole position
Driver K&K Insurance Racing
Most laps led
Driver Jim Vandiver Ray Fox Racing
Laps 102
Winner
No. 99 Richard Brickhouse Nichels Engineering
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Monster Energy Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.[3]

SummaryEdit

The race was the 44th event of the 1969 season. It is primarily remembered because all of the NASCAR stars from the Professional Driver Association (PDA), led by Richard Petty, boycotted the race due to tire failures during practice. The field was replaced by other drivers, including future championship winning owner Richard Childress.[4] Because of the multiple tire failures, Firestone withdrew their tires from the race. Worried that the boycott would adversely affect the fan attendance, NASCAR President Bill France Sr. offered fans free admission to the 1970 Daytona 500 if they bought tickets to this race. On the morning before race day, Goodyear flew in a new set of tires that ran the entire race without failure.

The race also introduced the Dodge Charger Daytona cars for the first time in the series. Richard Brickhouse won the race, it was his only victory in the Cup Series.

John Hill, Jake Elder, Harry Hyde, and Mack Howard were the most notable crew chiefs to witness the race.[5] The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade.

Ray Fox and Jim Vandiver, whose No. 3 car finished second, were convinced that they actually lapped Brickhouse and won, but the win stood. Conspiracy theorists cite the difference in the Dodges as the determining factor since Jim was in an older Charger 500 and Brickhouse was in the brand new, winged Dodge Daytona. The PDA disbanded soon after their boycott. Bobby Isaac won the pole for the race.[6]

Drivers involved in the 1969 boycottEdit

ResultsEdit

  1. Richard Brickhouse (No. 99)
  2. Jim Vandiver (No. 3)
  3. Ramo Stott (No. 14)
  4. Bobby Isaac (No. 71), 1 lap down
  5. Dick Brooks (No. 32), 8 laps down
  6. Earl Brooks (No. 26), 24 laps down
  7. Jimmy Vaughn (No. 7), 29 laps down
  8. Billy Hagan (No. 52), 33 laps down
  9. Tiny Lund (No. 53), 36 laps down
  10. Coo Coo Marlin (No. 07), 38 laps down

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Racing-Reference.info - 1969 Talladega 500 Race Results at Racing Reference
  2. ^ The Old Farmers' Almanac - 1969 Talladega 500 Weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  3. ^ "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Menzer, Joe (May 3, 2017). "15 tall Talladega tales from tumultuous NASCAR times". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ 1969 Talladega 500 crew chief information at Racing-Reference
  6. ^ Driver Averages - 1969 Talladega 500 Race Results at Driver Averages
Preceded by
1969 Capital City 250
NASCAR Grand National races
1969
Succeeded by
1969 Sandlapper 200