1973 Richmond 500

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1973 Richmond 500
Race details
Race 3 of 28 in the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Richmond International Speedway
Richmond International Speedway
Date February 25, 1973 (1973-February-25)
Location Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway (Richmond, Virginia)
Course Permanent racing facility
0.542 mi (0.872 km)
Distance 500 laps, 271 mi (436 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching a maximum of 57.9 °F (14.4 °C); wind speeds up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)[1]
Average speed 74.764 miles per hour (120.321 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Bobby Allison Bobby Allison Motorsports
Time 21.453 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 227
No. 475
Richard Petty
Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1973 Richmond 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) racing event that took place on February 25, 1973, at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway (now Richmond International Raceway) in the American community of Richmond, Virginia.[2][3]

This race would essentially jumpstart what would become the "year of the smaller engine" while declining sponsorship interests for the drivers resulted in NASCAR keeping the bigger gas-guzzling engines from being abolished completely. Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.


Five hundred laps took place on a paved oval track spanning .542 miles (0.872 km) for a grand total of 271.0 miles (436.1 km).[2][3][4] It took three hours and thirty-seven minutes for the race to reach its full conclusion in front of eighteen thousand audience members.[2][3][4] Notable corporate sponsors for this event were limited in number; these sponsors included Coca-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Nord Krauskopf's K&K Insurance.[2]

Richard Petty defeated Buddy Baker by 13.6 seconds.[2][4] Eight cautions were given for seventy-eight laps.[2][3][4] The other drivers in the top ten were: Cale Yarborough, Bobby Isaac, Dave Marcis, Bill Dennis, Lennie Pond, Cecil Gordon, James Hylton, and Benny Parsons.[2][3][4] Notable speeds were: 74.764 miles per hour (120.321 km/h) as the average speed[4] and 90.952 miles per hour (146.373 km/h) as the pole position speed.[2] Canadian driver Vic Parsons started in 27th place and ended the race in 30th place (out of 30 drivers).[2][3][4]

Total winnings for this race were $35,600 ($189,128.34 when considering inflation).[3][4] DiGard Motorsports would throw their collective hats into what would become their debut race as a NASCAR Cup Series team.

Finishing order[edit]

  1. Richard Petty
  2. Buddy Baker
  3. Cale Yarborough
  4. Bobby Isaac†
  5. Dave Marcis
  6. Bill Dennis
  7. Lennie Pond
  8. Cecil Gordon†
  9. James Hylton
  10. Benny Parsons†
  11. Walter Ballard
  12. Elmo Langley
  13. Jabe Thomas
  14. Bill Champion
  15. Bobby Allison
  16. Henley Gray
  17. Buddy Arrington
  18. Charlie Roberts
  19. John Sears
  20. Richard D. Brown*
  21. Sonny Hutchins*†
  22. Frank Warren*†
  23. Tiny Lund*†
  24. Neil Castles*
  25. Donnie Allison*
  26. Ray Hendrick*†
  27. Dean Dalton*
  28. David Sisco*
  29. J.D. McDuffie*†
  30. Vic Parsons*

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


  1. ^ "1973 Richmond 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "1973 Richmond 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "1973 Richmond 500 information (third reference)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "1973 Richmond 500 information (fourth reference)". Race Database. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
Preceded by
1973 Daytona 500
Richard Petty's Career Wins
Succeeded by
1973 Gwyn Staley 400