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The 1970 American 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on November 15, 1970, at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina.

1970 American 500
Race details[1]
Race 47 of 48 in the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Rockingham Speedway
Layout of Rockingham Speedway
Date November 15, 1970 (1970-November-15)
Official name American 500
Location North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.017 mi (1.636 km)
Distance 492 laps, 500 mi (804 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures of 65.3 °F (18.5 °C); wind speeds of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
Average speed 117.811 miles per hour (189.598 km/h)
Attendance 20,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Nichels Engineering
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 205
Winner
No. 21 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power any more.

Contents

SummaryEdit

Twenty thousand people attended the race which lasted for 4 hours, 14 minutes, and 24 seconds.[2] The average speed was 117.811 miles per hour (189.598 km/h) while the pole speed was 136.496 miles per hour (219.669 km/h).[2] There were seven cautions that lasted for forty-six laps and the margin of victory was four seconds.[2] As the penultimate race in NASCAR's Grand National era, this race was crucial for people wanting to win the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Championship. Even though Bobby Isaac finished the race in 7th place, the finish was good enough for him to clinch the championship trophy.[3]

Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

492 laps were done on a paved oval track spanning 1.017 miles (1.637 km).[2] The winner's purse was considered to be $20,445[2] ($131,903 when adjusted for inflation) while last place (40th) paid $540[2] ($3,226 when adjusted for inflation). Drivers who were eliminated from the race had to deal with engine problems in addition to crashes, transmission problems, and problems with their fan pulley (in addition to their rear end).[2] Pete Hamilton would do his final race for Petty Enterprises here while Cale Yarborough would do his final race for the Wood Brothers at the same location. Coincidentally, Hoss Ellington would retire from NASCAR after this race.[4] Cale Yarborough would eventually transfer himself to the USAC Indy Car Series in 1971.[5]

Notable crew chiefs in this race included Herb Nab, Junie Donlavey, Harry Hyde, Dale Inman, Maurice Petty, Tom Vandiver and Banjo Matthews.[6]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Speed[7] Qualifying time[7] Owner
1 99 Charlie Glotzbach '69 Dodge 136.496 26.823 Ray Nichels
2 21 Cale Yarborough '69 Mercury 135.985 26.923 Wood Brothers
3 22 Bobby Allison '69 Dodge 135.985 27.037 Mario Rossi
4 32 Dick Brooks '70 Plymouth 135.282 27.063 Dick Brooks
5 71 Bobby Isaac '69 Dodge 135.072 27.105 Nord Krauskopf
6 17 David Pearson '69 Ford 135.052 27.109 Holman-Moody
7 43 Richard Petty '70 Plymouth 134.988 27.122 Petty Enterprises
8 30 Dave Marcis '69 Dodge 134.196 27.282 Dave Marcis
9 6 Buddy Baker '69 Dodge 134.176 27.286 Cotton Owens
10 40 Pete Hamilton '70 Plymouth 133.984 27.326 Petty Enterprises

Failed to qualify: Dick Poling (#65), Roy Mayne (#46)[7]

Finishing orderEdit

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [2]

Cale Yarborough
David Pearson
Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough
David Pearson
Cale Yarborough
David Pearson
Cale Yarborough
1
16
31
46
61
76
91
106
121
136
151
166
181
196
211
226
241
256
271
286
301
316
331
346
361
376
391
406
421
436
451
466
481

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1970 American 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1970 American 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  3. ^ "Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird". Google Books. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  4. ^ Retirements from NASCAR at Race Database
  5. ^ "Cale Yarborough's post-race decision". How Stuff Works (Auto). Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  6. ^ "1970 American 500 crew chief information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  7. ^ a b c "1970 American 500 qualifying information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
Preceded by
1970 Georgia 500
NASCAR Grand National Season
1970
Succeeded by
1970 Tidewater 300
Preceded by
1969
American 500 races
1970
Succeeded by
1971