1972 Old Dominion 500

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1972 Old Dominion 500
Race details
Race 27 of 31 in the 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Map of the track
Map of the track
Date September 24, 1972 (1972-September-24)
Location Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Virginia)
Course Permanent racing facility
0.525 mi (0.844 km)
Distance 500 laps, 262.5 mi (442.4 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 77 °F (25 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)[1]
Average speed 69.989 miles per hour (112.636 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Bobby Allison Howard & Egerton Racing
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Allison Howard & Egerton Racing
Laps 432
No. 43
Richard Petty
Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1972 Old Dominion 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on September 24, 1972, at Martinsville Speedway in the American community of Martinsville, Virginia.[2]


Five hundred laps were done on a paved track spanning 0.525 miles (0.845 km) in a time of three hours and forty-five minutes.[2] Richard Petty would defeat Bobby Allison by a time of six seconds in front of 31,000 live audience members.[2] Exactly ten minutes from the race along with a flyover by the local military jets were used in the 1973 American film The Last American Hero. While Richard Petty and Bobby Allison got filmed most of the time, a moment involving Ray Hendrick's #2 vehicle crashing on lap 311 was also a notable event during the filming.

Allison would earn the pole position with a speed of 85.89 miles per hour (138.23 km/h).[2] The average speed of the race, however, would be a mere 69.989 miles per hour (112.636 km/h).[2] Eight cautions were given out for 58 laps in the entire race.[2] All thirty-six of the qualifying drivers on the grid were male and born somewhere in the United States of America.[2] Originally, 56 drivers auditioned for this race; including Joe Frasson, who was one of the ones who failed to qualify. Bill Shirey would be the unfortunate last-place finisher due to an overheating issue on lap 19.[2] LeeRoy Yarbrough and Fred Lorenzen would retire from NASCAR after this race.[3]

Richard Petty would go on to win the championship shortly after this race was over while Bobby Allison would find a new employer named Ralph Moody for the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.[4] The total purse of this racing event was $46,650 ($263,013.96 when considering inflation); the first-place finisher received $7,350 ($41,439.5 when considering inflation) while the last-place finisher received $425 ($2,396.16 when considering inflation).[5]

Top twenty finishers[edit]


  1. ^ "1972 Old Dominion 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "1972 Old Dominion 500 racing information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  3. ^ "1972 Old Dominion 500 racing information". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Results of the Petty/Allison battle". World Motorsports 101. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  5. ^ "1972 Old Dominion 500 racing information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
Preceded by
1972 Delaware 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1972 Wilkes 400