1971 Asheville 300

The 1971 Asheville 300 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on May 21, 1971, at New Asheville Speedway in Asheville, North Carolina.

1971 Asheville 300
Race details[1]
Race 19 of 48 in the 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Date May 21, 1971; 48 years ago (1971-05-21)
Official name Asheville 300
Location New Asheville Speedway, Asheville, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
0.333 mi (0.535 km)
Distance 300 laps, 99.9 mi (160.7 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)
Average speed 71.231 miles per hour (114.635 km/h)
Attendance 4,500[2]
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 252
Winner
No. 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

Race reportEdit

Seventeen drivers started the race; seven of them parked over the course of the race (including tenth-place finisher Bill Shirey),[2] due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams. The other DNFs were due to engine, brake problems, in addition to problems with the ignition system.[2] After nearly one and a half hours of racing 300 laps, Richard Petty defeated Elmo Langley by a distance of four laps.[2] Because Richard Petty only had to contend with 16 other drivers and the race was less than three hours long, this race is not comparable to the wins that were experienced in the NASCAR races of the current era.[3]

Dale Inman was the winning crew chief of this race.[4] Other notable crew chiefs who actively participated in the race were Vic Ballard and Lee Gordon.[5]

An audience of 4500 people saw four different lead changes, no caution periods along with Petty and Langley constantly fight it out for the lead.[2] Like the 1959 Daytona 500, the 1969 Motor Trend 500 and the 1971 Space City 300, this race is considered to be one of NASCAR's infrequently occurring "perfect games." Petty would qualify for pole position driving speeds up to 79.598 miles per hour (128.101 km/h) during solo qualifying sessions.[2]

The drivers earned very little for participating in this race compared to the multimillion-dollar purses of today; Petty earned a meager $1,500 ($9,469.6 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher Hylton walked away only $220 wealthier ($1,388.87 when adjusted for inflation).[6]

QualifyingEdit

Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 43 Richard Petty '71 Plymouth Petty Enterprises
2 64 Elmo Langley '69 Mercury Elmo Langley
3 24 Cecil Gordon '69 Mercury Cecil Gordon
4 48 James Hylton '71 Ford James Hylton
5 06 Neil Castles '70 Dodge Neil Castles
6 34 Wendell Scott '69 Ford Wendell Scott
7 10 Bill Champion '69 Ford Bill Champion
8 72 Benny Parsons '70 Ford L.G. DeWitt
9 74 Bill Shirey '69 Plymouth Bill Shirey
10 25 Jabe Thomas '69 Plymouth Don Robertson
11 30 Walter Ballard '71 Ford Vic Ballard
12 79 Frank Warren '69 Plymouth Frank Warren
13 4 John Sears '69 Dodge John Sears
14 26 Earl Brooks '69 Ford Earl Brooks
15 67 Dick May '69 Ford Ron Ronacher
16 8 Ed Negre '69 Ford Ed Negre
17 70 J.D. McDuffie '69 Mercury J.D. McDuffie

Finishing orderEdit

  1. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  2. Elmo Langley† (No. 64)
  3. Cecil Gordon† (No. 24)
  4. Jabe Thomas† (No. 25)
  5. Bill Champion† (No. 10)
  6. Dick May*† (No. 67)
  7. J.D. McDuffie*† (No. 70)
  8. Earl Brooks*† (No. 26)
  9. Frank Warren* (No. 79)
  10. Bill Shirey* (No. 74)
  11. John Sears*† (No. 4)
  12. Benny Parsons*† (No. 72)
  13. Walter Ballard* (No. 30)
  14. Wendell Scott*† (No. 34)
  15. Ed Negre*† (No. 8)
  16. Neil Castles* (No. 06)
  17. James Hylton*† (No. 48)

† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Richard Petty started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 1: Neil Castles and James Hylton both quit the race around the same time due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 9: Ed Negre's vehicle developed severe problems with the brakes, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 14: Elmo Langley takes over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 15: Wendell Scott's ignition went haywire, forcing him to exit the race prematurely
  • Lap 32: Walter Ballard's engine developed a problem, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 33: Benny Parsons's engine would stop working properly, sending him home for the rest of the day
  • Lap 57: Richard Petty takes over the lead from Elmo Langley
  • Lap 74: John Sears quit the race due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 79: Bill Shirey quit the race due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 110: Frank Warren quit the race due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 124: Earl Brooks quit the race due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 130: J.D. McDuffie's engine became problematic, causing him to withdraw from the race in a respectable seventh place
  • Lap 155: Dick May quit the race due to concerns regarding prize money for independent teams
  • Lap 201: Elmo Langley takes over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 206: Richard Petty takes over the lead from Elmo Langley
  • Finish: Richard Petty was officially declared the winner of the event

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1971 Asheville 300 at The Old Farmers Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 1971 Asheville 300 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ NASCAR’s Record Keeping Is Holding Back Johnson And Others at Beyond the Flag
  4. ^ 1971 Asheville 300 racing information at Race-Database
  5. ^ 1971 Asheville 300 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  6. ^ 1971 Asheville 300 Archived 2014-08-11 at the Wayback Machine racing information at Driver Averages
Preceded by
1971 Winston 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Races
1971
Succeeded by
1971 Kingsport 300
Preceded by
1971 Virginia 500
Richard Petty's Career Wins
1960-1984
Succeeded by
1971 Pickens 200