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1972 Texas 500

Coordinates: 30°32′13″N 96°13′16″W / 30.537°N 96.221°W / 30.537; -96.221

The 1972 Texas 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 12, 1972, at Texas World Speedway in the American community of College Station, Texas.

1972 Texas 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 31 of 31 in the 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Texas World Speedway
Layout of Texas World Speedway
Date November 12, 1972 (1972-November-12)
Official name Texas 500
Location Texas World Speedway, College Station, Texas
Course Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance 250 laps, 500 mi (804.68 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures up to 75.9 °F (24.4 °C); wind speeds up to 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)
Average speed 147.059 miles per hour (236.669 km/h)
Attendance 33,000[3]
Pole position
Driver Wood Brothers Racing
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker K&K Insurance Racing
Laps 133
No. 71 Buddy Baker K&K Insurance 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 anymore.



The race was 250 laps on a paved track spanning 2 miles (3.2 km) in front of 33,000 live spectators.[3][2] It took exactly 3 hours and 24 seconds for Buddy Baker to defeat A. J. Foyt by ½ of a car length.[3] Baker's victory played a role in making 1972 the first NASCAR Cup Series season without any first-time Cup series winners.[4]

Foyt had earned the pole position with a speed of 170.273 miles per hour (274.028 km/h) during the qualifying runs even though the actual race speeds approached 147.059 miles per hour (236.669 km/h).[3][2]

Five cautions were given out by NASCAR for 29 laps.[3][2] All the 44 drivers on the racing grid were American-born males.[3] Bill Seifert of the famous Giachetti Brothers (headed by Richard Giachetti) finished the race in last place due to a clutch problem in the first lap of the race. Once Buddy Arrington dropped out with engine failure after completing 184 laps, Petty had locked up a 33rd-place finish. Petty only needed to complete 190 laps to clinch the championship; becoming the champion on lap 191.[3] Seven notable crew chiefs were recorded as participating in the event; including Dale Inman and Harry Hyde.[5]

Paul Feldner and Bill Shirey would retire from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series after this event while Rick Newsom would make his introduction into professional stock car racing.[6]

Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day. Unfortunately, this race broke Bobby Allison's streak of leading a lap from the 1971 Southern 500 all the way to the 1972 American 500. This streak would be known as the "Joe DiMaggio Streak" after the famous baseball player, and it has not been accomplished by any driver after this date.

Individual prize winnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $14,920 ($87,288.53 when considering inflation) to the last-place finishers' share of just $705 ($4,124.56 when considering inflation). The total prize purse for this racing event was locked in at $88,270 ($516,418.12 when considering inflation).[7]


Grid[3] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 21 A. J. Foyt '71 Mercury Wood Brothers
2 71 Buddy Baker '71 Dodge Nord Krauskopf
3 43 Richard Petty '72 Dodge Petty Enterprises
4 12 Bobby Allison '72 Chevrolet Richard Howard
5 04 Hershel McGriff '72 Plymouth Beryl Jackson
6 14 Coo Coo Marlin '72 Chevrolet H.B. Cunningham
7 22 Gordon Johncock '72 Plymouth Crawford Brothers
8 72 Benny Parsons '71 Mercury L.G. DeWitt
9 90 Johnny Rutherford '72 Ford Junie Donlavey
10 18 Joe Frasson '72 Dodge Joe Frasson

Finishing orderEdit


  1. ^ "1972 Texas 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d "1972 Texas 500 race information (second reference)". Database Racing. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "1972 Texas 500 race information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  4. ^ 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Results at Racing Reference
  5. ^ "1972 Texas 500 crew chief information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  6. ^ Retirement and new driver information at Race Database
  7. ^ "1972 Texas 500 prize winnings information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
Preceded by
1972 American 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Races
Succeeded by
1973 Winston Western 500