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The 1972 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that occurred on May 7, 1972, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama.

1972 Winston 500
Race details[1]
Race 11 of 31 in the 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date May 7, 1972 (1972-May-07)
Official name Winston 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 Mild with temperatures of 75 °F (24 °C); wind speeds of 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)
Average speed 134.4 miles per hour (216.3 km/h)
Pole position
Driver K&K Insurance Racing
Time 49.764 seconds[2]
Most laps led
Driver David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 59
Winner
No. 21 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Keith Jackson
Chris Economaki

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

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 Camping World 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

There were fifty drivers on the racing grid. It took nearly three hours and forty-five minutes for 188 laps of racing to be resolved. There were nine cautions for a duration of 62 racing laps with 53 changes in the first-place position and David Pearson defeating Bobby Isaac by almost five seconds. More than 71000 people would see 500.1 miles or 804.8 kilometres of racing action with speeds reaching up to 134.4 miles per hour (216.3 km/h). This event would serve as the first of two races for Robert Wales.[4]

Bobby Isaac would receive the pole position for this race while driving at speeds up to 192.498 miles per hour (309.796 km/h) during solo qualifying sessions. Many engines were destroyed in this race including the rear ends of stock car vehicles and an incident involving a windshield.[4] Last-place finisher Marty Robbins, who was also a country music star, was disqualified after 179 laps of racing due to not running a NASCAR-mandated restrictor plate during the event.[5] Other notable drivers at this race were: Richard Petty, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Elmo Langley, Coo Coo Marlin, and Neil Castles. Darrell Waltrip would make his NASCAR debut in this race and finish up in 38th after starting in 25th place.[4] Clarence Lovell would also make his introduction to NASCAR during this race.

Notable crew chiefs that were on attendance for this race were Jake Elder, Steven Gray, Harry Hyde, Dale Inman, Tom Vandiver and Herb Nab.[6] Inman, Hyde, and Wood would help maintain the vehicles for the winner, the runner-up, and the fifth-place finisher of this race.[7]

James Hylton would lose his points lead to Richard Petty after this race.[7] The winner of the race would receive $23,745 in total winnings ($142,224 when adjusted for inflation) while the last-place finisher went away with a meager $745 for a disqualification ($4,462 when adjusted for inflation).[8]

QualifyingEdit

Grid[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 71 Bobby Isaac '72 Dodge Nord Krauskopf
2 21 David Pearson '71 Mercury Wood Brothers
3 43 Richard Petty '72 Dodge Petty Enterprises
4 12 Bobby Allison '72 Chevrolet Richard Howard
5 11 Buddy Baker '72 Dodge Petty Enterprises
6 27 Donnie Allison '72 Chevrolet Monty Myers
7 97 Red Farmer '72 Ford Willie Humphries
8 79 Frank Warren '70 Dodge Frank Warren
9 42 Marty Robbins '72 Dodge Marty Robbins
10 30 Walter Ballard '71 Mercury Vic Ballard
11 3 Jimmy Crawford '72 Plymouth Crawford Brothers
12 31 Jim Vandiver '70 Dodge O.L. Nixon
13 05 David Sisco '72 Chevrolet Charlie McGee
14 24 Cecil Gordon '71 Mercury Cecil Gordon
15 8 Ed Negre '70 Dodge Ed Negre
16 76 Ben Arnold '71 Ford Ben Arnold
17 92 Larry Smith '71 Ford Harley Smith
18 91 Richard D. Brown '72 Chevrolet Ralph McNabb
19 7 Dean Dalton '71 Mercury Dean Dalton
20 93 Buck Baker '72 Chevrolet Harold Furr

Top twenty finishersEdit

Pos[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Time/Status
1 21 David Pearson Mercury 188 59 3:43:15
2 71 Bobby Isaac Dodge 188 57 +4.9 seconds
3 11 Buddy Baker Dodge 188 32 Lead lap under green flag
4 28 Fred Lorenzen Ford 188 4 Lead lap under green flag
5 43 Richard Petty Dodge 187 14 +1 lap
6 18 Joe Frasson Dodge 186 0 +2 laps
7 45 LeeRoy Yarbrough Mercury 185 0 +3 laps
8 98 Dick Brooks Ford 185 0 +3 laps
9 79 Frank Warren Dodge 185 0 +3 laps
10 72 Benny Parsons Dodge 184 0 +4 laps
11 2 Dave Marcis Dodge 183 0 +5 laps
12 57 David Ray Boggs Dodge 182 0 +6 laps
13 25 Jabe Thomas Plymouth 182 0 +6 laps
14 24 Cecil Gordon Mercury 182 0 +6 laps
15 8 Ed Negre Plymouth 182 0 +6 laps
16 3 Jimmy Crawford Ford 181 0 Terminal vehicle damage
17 76 Ben Arnold Ford 180 0 Out of gas
18 88 Ron Keselowski Dodge 179 0 Running
19 30 Walter Ballard Mercury 179 0 Running
20 92 Larry Smith Ford 178 0 Running

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1972 Winston 500 at The Old Farmer's Almanac
  2. ^ Qualifying information for the 1972 Winston 500 at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Racing information for the 1972 Winston 500 at Racing-Reference
  5. ^ Marty Robbins Talks at YouTube
  6. ^ 1972 Winston 500 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  7. ^ a b 1972 Winston 500 race information at Race-Database
  8. ^ 1972 Winston 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
Preceded by
1972 Virginia 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1972
Succeeded by
1972 World 600
Preceded by
1971
Winston 500 races
1972
Succeeded by
1973