1974 Southeastern 500

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1974 Southeastern 500
Race details
Race 5 of 30 in the 1974 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season

Date March 17, 1974 (1974-March-17)
Location Bristol International Speedway (Bristol, Tennessee)
Course Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.800 km)
Distance 500 laps, 250.0 mi (400.0 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 55.9 °F (13.3 °C); wind speeds up to 18.1 miles per hour (29.1 km/h)[1]
Average speed 64.533 miles per hour (103.856 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Donnie Allison DiGard Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Howard & Egerton Racing
Laps 367
No. 11
Cale Yarborough
Howard & Egerton Racing
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1974 Southeastern 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on March 17, 1974, at Bristol International Speedway in the American community of Bristol, Tennessee.

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


There were 30 American-born drivers on the grid; the distance of the race was 500 laps. Jabe Thomas was credited as the last-place finisher due to problems with his oil pan on lap 63 of the race. The first 50 laps of the race were not scored due to the fuel crisis that took place during this year. Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Isaac, Benny Parsons, and Bobby Allison would be the respective leaders for certain parts of the race. After three hours and forty-two minutes of racing, Cale Yarborough defeated Bobby Isaac by one lap in front of a live audience of eighteen thousand people. Yarborough would be the only driver on the lead lap by the end of the race.[2]

Most of the drivers in the race either used Chevrolet or Ford vehicles for their official racing vehicle. The total purse of this race was $45,075 ($215,550.96 when adjusted for inflation). Donnie Allison achieved the pole position for this race by driving up to 107.785 miles per hour (173.463 km/h) during solo qualifying runs. Yarborough's average speed for the entire racing event was 64.533 miles per hour (103.856 km/h). Some of the national sponsored involved in this race was Coca-Cola, STP Oil Treatment + Oil Filters, and RC Cola.[3]

The model years of the vehicles ranged from 1972 to 1974; complying with the homologation policies set forth by NASCAR during this era. Engine issues and accidents were the main reasons for the DNFs found in this racing event. Banjo Matthews was a crew chief for Bobby Isaac in addition to being his employer.[4]

Top ten finishers[edit]

  1. Cale Yarborough – #11
  2. Bobby Isaac – #27
  3. Benny Parsons – #72
  4. Bobby Allison – #12
  5. Donnie Allison – #88
  6. Cecil Gordon – #24
  7. Joe Mihalic – #60
  8. James Hylton – #48
  9. Alton Jones – #68
  10. Coo Coo Marlin – #14


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1974 Southeastern 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ 1974 Southeastern 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ 1974 Southeastern 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  4. ^ 1974 Southeastern 500 racing information at Race Database
Preceded by
1974 Carolina 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1974 Atlanta 500