Food City 500

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This article is about the NASCAR race. For other uses, see Food City.
Food City 500
Food City 500.JPG
Venue Bristol Motor Speedway
Sponsor Food City
First race 1961
Distance 266.5 miles (428.89 km)
Laps 500
Previous names

Southeastern 500 (1961–1975, 1977–1979)

Southeastern 400 (1976)

Valleydale Southeastern 500 (1980)

Valleydale 500 (1981–1986)

Valleydale Meats 500 (1987–1991)

Food City 500 (1992–2010, 2012–Present)

Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City (2011)

The Food City 500 is an annual 500-lap, 266.5-mile (428.89 km) NASCAR Sprint Cup points race held at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. This is one of two NASCAR races held at Bristol, the other being the Irwin Tools Night Race, and is considered one of NASCAR's best races.[1] It was the first venue of the 2007 NASCAR schedule to host the Car of Tomorrow, a race won by Kyle Busch.

In 2008, Bristol Motor Speedway President & General Manager Jeff Byrd requested that NASCAR move the spring race to a later Spring date, to avoid the problems with rain, snow and sleet that hit the area in late winter and early spring. Nothing at this time has been decided.[2]

In 2011, title sponsor Food City announced it would honor former Speedway President and General Manager Jeff Byrd, who died in October 2010, by renaming the 2011 Spring race the Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City.[3]

Carl Edwards is the defending race winner as of 2014.

Past winners[edit]

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race distance Race time Average speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
1961 October 22 Joe Weatherly Bud Moore Engineering Pontiac 500 250 (402.336) 3:27:02 72.452 Report
1962 July 29 Jim Paschal Petty Enterprises Plymouth 500 250 (402.336) 3:19:16 75.276 Report
1963 March 31 Fireball Roberts Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:15:02 76.91 Report
1964 March 22 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:27:46 72.196 Report
1965 May 2 Junior Johnson Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:20:10 74.937 Report
1966 March 20 Dick Hutcherson Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:34:26 69.952 Report
1967 March 19 David Pearson Cotton Owens Dodge 500 250 (402.336) 3:17:32 75.937 Report
1968 March 17 David Pearson Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:14:11 77.247 Report
1969 March 23 Bobby Allison Mario Rossi Dodge 500 250 (402.336) 3:04:09 81.455 Report
1970 April 5 Donnie Allison Banjo Matthews Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:02:42 87.543 Report
1971 March 28 David Pearson Holman-Moody Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:52:23 91.704 Report
1972 April 9 Bobby Allison Richard Howard Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:50:18 92.826 Report
1973 March 25 Cale Yarborough Richard Howard Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:57:43 88.952 Report
1974 March 17 Cale Yarborough Richard Howard Chevrolet 450* 239.85 (386.001) 3:42:50 64.533 Report
1975 March 16 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:43:53 97.053 Report
1976 March 14 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 400 213.2 (343.112) 2:25:24 87.377 Report
1977 April 17 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:38:20 100.989 Report
1978 April 2 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:53:03 92.401 Report
1979 April 1 Dale Earnhardt Rod Osterlund Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:55:39 91.033 Report
1980 March 30 Dale Earnhardt Rod Osterlund Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:44:53 96.977 Report
1981 March 29 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:58:36 89.53 Report
1982 March 14 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:49:52 94.025 Report
1983 May 21 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:51:07 93.445 Report
1984 April 1 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:50:10 93.967 Report
1985 April 6* Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:15:42 81.79 Report
1986 April 6 Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing Pontiac 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:58:14 89.747 Report
1987 April 12 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:31:27 75.621 Report
1988 April 10 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:12:23 83.115 Report
1989 April 9 Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing Pontiac 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:30:18 76.034 Report
1990 April 8 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:03:15 87.258 Report
1991 April 14 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Pontiac 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:39:37 72.809 Report
1992 April 5 Alan Kulwicki AK Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:05:15 86.316 Report
1993 April 4 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Pontiac 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:43 84.73 Report
1994 April 10 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:58:22 89.647 Report
1995 April 2 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:53:47 92.011 Report
1996 March 31 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 342* 182.286 (293.36) 1:59:47 91.308 Report
1997 April 13 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:33:06 75.035 Report
1998 March 29 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:13:00 82.85 Report
1999 April 11 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:51:16 93.363 Report
2000 March 26 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:01:40 88.018 Report
2001 March 25 Elliott Sadler Wood Brothers Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:03:54 86.949 Report
2002 March 24 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:14:20 82.281 Report
2003 March 23 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:29:53 76.185 Report
2004 March 28 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:13:34 82.607 Report
2005 April 3 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:26:20 77.496 Report
2006 March 26 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:21:19 79.427 Report
2007* March 25 Kyle Busch Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 504* 268.632 (432.321) 3:16:38 81.969 Report
2008 March 16 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 506* 269.698 (434.036) 3:00:15 89.775 Report
2009 March 22 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 503* 268.099 (431.463) 2:54:35 92.139 Report
2010 March 21 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:00:50 89.618 Report
2011 March 20 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:53:55 91.941 Report
2012 March 18 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:51:52 93.037 Report
2013 March 17 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:09:25 85.206 Report
2014 March 16 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 503* 268.099 (431.463) 3:36:23 71.051 Report
  • 1974: Race shortened due to energy crisis.
  • 1985: The race was scheduled to run on March 31 but was moved to April 6 due to rain.
  • 1996: Race shortened due to rain.
  • 2007, 2008, & 2009: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish.
  • 2014: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish but never went green and ended under yellow due to rain.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# Wins Driver Years Won
6 Rusty Wallace 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2000
5 Darrell Waltrip 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
Dale Earnhardt 1979, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1994
4 Cale Yarborough 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977
Jeff Gordon 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
Kurt Busch 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
3 David Pearson 1967, 1968, 1971
Kyle Busch 2007, 2009, 2011
2 Bobby Allison 1969, 1972

Multiple winners (teams)[edit]

# Wins Team Years Won
7 Junior Johnson & Associates 1965, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
Hendrick Motorsports 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2013
6 Penske Racing 1991, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2012
5 Holman-Moody 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1971
Richard Childress Racing 1985, 1987, 1994, 2005, 2008
4 Roush Fenway Racing 2002, 2003, 2004, 2014
3 Richard Howard 1972, 1973, 1974
2 Petty Enterprises 1962, 1975
Rod Osterlund Racing 1979, 1980
Blue Max Racing 1986, 1989
Joe Gibbs Racing 2009, 2011

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
22 Chevrolet 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013
17 Ford 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2014
5 Pontiac 1961, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
Dodge 1967, 1969, 1975, 2006, 2012
2 Buick 1981, 1982
Toyota 2009, 2011
1 Plymouth 1962

Notable races[edit]

  • 1968: David Pearson won after a lengthy duel with Richard Petty and LeeRoy Yarbrough in a race prominently featured on the television series Car & Track.
  • 1971: Pearson won after tagging James Hylton into the wall; Pearson edged Richard Petty after Petty erased a two-lap deficit.
  • 1972: Mechanic (and later car owner) Junior Johnson saw the first of a plethora of Bristol wins over the ensuing two decades as Bobby Allison drove his Chevrolet to an easy win.
  • 1973: Driving Junior's Chevy, Cale Yarborough led all 500 laps, a feat duplicated by Cale at Nashville in 1978 and by Jeff Burton at New Hampshire International Speedway in 2000.
  • 1974: Chevrolets swept the top ten finishing spots led by Yarborough.
  • 1975: Richard Petty posted only his second career Bristol win.
  • 1977: Cale led all but five laps in a race where five other drivers (including Janet Guthrie) needed relief help.
  • 1979: After Cale crashed out with Buddy Baker, rookie Dale Earnhardt took his first win.
  • 1981: Darrell Waltrip drove Johnson's Buick and edged Ricky Rudd, who was driving Waltrip's former car, the DiGard Racing Oldsmobile. Joe Millikan got into a wreck with Benny Parsons and said, "I lost my cool," to which car owner Bud Moore vowed, "I'll straighten out Millikan's cool."
  • 1984: Waltrip posted his seventh straight Bristol win and the eighth straight for Junior Johnson.
  • 1986: Rusty Wallace posted his first career win.
  • 1987: Dale Earnhardt was involved in several crashes en route to the win; Richard Petty finished second.
  • 1989: Wallace survived a chaotic race with multiple crashes and a wildcard victory bid by Greg Sacks.
  • 1990: A spirited event ended in a wild finish; Sterling Marlin was spun out by Ricky Rudd on the final lap while Davey Allison held off a last-lap charge from Mark Martin to win by inches.
  • 1991: Grasping for a solution to pit road crashes emminating from numerous incidents in 1990 (and never considering revoking the pit closure rule that was the ultimate cause), NASCAR had banned tire changes under yellow; for Bristol this was replaced with staggering of pitstops based on qualifying line - all "odd" cars (qualified first, third, etc.) would pit first under yellow while "even" cars would pit a lap later; the cars were denoted "odd" and "even" with stickers on their windshields after qualifying; restarts would be double-file based on "odd" and "even" stickered cars. More "even" cars wound up in contention, and this created chaos. Rusty Wallace was able to pass cars under caution to move into his proper restart line, and this helped him come back from two laps down on two separate occasions. The lead changed 41 times, a short track record, as Wallace edged Ernie Irvan at the finish. Sterling Marlin suffered burns in a fiery melee and needed relief help in subsequent weeks from Charlie Glotzbach.
  • 1993: Wallace dominated days after defending race (and series) champion Alan Kulwicki died in a plane crash.
  • 1994: An ill-timed yellow trapped Geoff Bodine a lap down and put Dale Earnhardt into the lead en route to the win. Bodine had begun dominating the race in the car former owned by Kulwicki and running Hoosier Tires; with the Hoosiers Bodine was able to skip tire changes that Goodyear-shod cars had to make.
  • 1995: Jeff Gordon took the win, his third in the season's first six races; the race saw notable performances resulting in top-five finishes for Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Hamilton.
  • 1997: Gordon punted Rusty Wallace sideways on the final lap for the win.
  • 1999: Wallace ran away at the end, while John Andretti rallied to finish fourth; Andretti's Petty Enterprises Pontiac was impounded after the race as NASCAR had a disagreement with the engine's compression ratio; the engine, though, cleared on reinspection.
  • 2000: Rusty Wallace scores his 50th Sprint Cup win.
  • 2001: Elliott Sadler edged Andretti for his first win, and the first 1-2 finish for the Wood Brothers and Petty Enterprises since 1977.
  • 2002: With NASCAR running high downforce on the cars via big rear spoiler and low airdam clearance, and running very hard tires, Kurt Busch pitted on Lap 325 and never visited the pits again as he edged Jimmy Spencer for the win, his first in Winston Cup. Rusty Wallace was incensed at the manner with which Busch won the race (by not pitting when others did and thus winning on old tires with no drop in speed) enough that he lobbied NASCAR to cut downforce and go to softer tires in later years to force pitstops.
  • 2005: Slight contact between Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Ken Schrader on lap 332 triggers a 14-car wreck much like those seen at Daytona and Talladega. While Kevin Harvick wins, 22nd-place Bobby Labonte finishes 32 laps down, something rarely seen since the increasing level of competition beginning around 1990.
  • 2007: The Car of Tomorrow debuted. After Joe Gibbs Racing dominated the race, Kyle Busch drove a Hendrick Chevy to the win, then pointedly ripped the poor handling and raceability of the COT in victory lane.
  • 2008: Dale Jarrett's last race.
  • 2010: Jimmie Johnson finally conquers Bristol by winning there for the first time, and scores his 50th Sprint Cup win.
  • 2011: After track president Jeff Byrd's death in late 2010, Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway agree to name the race in memory of Byrd in a one year only deal.
  • 2013: Kyle Busch won the pole with a then-new track qualifying record at 14.813 seconds (129.535 mph). Kasey Kahne won his first Bristol race. The race also marked the start of a feud between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, after Hamlin spun Logano during the race.
  • 2014: Denny Hamlin started on pole with a new track record, his first pole of the season. The race was delayed twice, just like the Daytona 500, for rain. Matt Kenseth was involved in a wreck at lap 163 when Timmy Hill rear-ended into him after a caution was called for a spin by Cole Whitt. Carl Edwards won the race under caution after rain was detected with 2 laps to go.

Television broadcasters[edit]

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2014 Fox
Fox Sports 1
Mike Joy Darrell Waltrip
Larry McReynolds
2013 Fox
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000 ESPN Bob Jenkins Benny Parsons
Ned Jarrett
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988 Ned Jarrett
Gary Nelson
1987 Larry Nuber
1986
1985 Benny Parsons

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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