1969 Daytona 500
|Race 6 of 54 in the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series season|
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
|Date||February 23, 1969|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.023 km)
|Distance||200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)|
|Weather||Mild with temperatures reaching up to 73 °F (23 °C); wind speeds approaching 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)|
|Average speed||157.95 miles per hour (254.20 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Donnie Allison||Banjo Matthews|
|No. 98||LeeRoy Yarbrough||Junior Johnson|
It was the 10th official running of the "Great American Race" and was run at its actual distance — 200 laps and 500 miles (800 km) — despite the fuel concerns. All the concerns about fuel eventually led up to the 1973 oil crisis that would affect the 1973 race (by forcing NASCAR to voluntarily reduce the number of laps for that year's race).
LeeRoy Yarbrough chased down Charlie Glotzbach, who had an 11-second lead. Yarbrough trimmed down the deficit and passed Glotzbach on the final lap. It was the first Daytona 500 won on a last lap pass. Yarbrough won in a back-up Ford car after crashing his primary one. This would also be the second-last Daytona 500 before it became the Winston Cup in 1971. Starting in 1971, all racers were to have 43 competitors maximum in a starting grid starting with the 1971 Daytona 500.
Using a grid of more than 43 competitors (commonplace during the 1950s and 1960s), the race track delivered racing action up to 157.95 miles per hour (254.20 km/h) for thousands of fans. In an era long before Daytona International Speedway, a restrictor plate track, it was famous for the many collisions that more than sixty vehicles faced while simultaneously drafting each other for a chance at the lead.
Top 10 finishers
- Start of race: Buddy Baker had the pole position; so he led the other cars into the start of lap 1
- Lap 4: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Buddy Baker before losing it to Buddy Baker on lap 21
- Lap 25: Engine problems on Billy Taylor's vehicle forced NASCAR to wave the caution flag; racing resumed on lap 31
- Lap 34: Donnie Allison took over the lead from Buddy Baker before losing it to Buddy Baker on lap 46
- Lap 46: Pete Hamilton's vehicle would spin dangerously on turn 4; ending full-speed racing until lap 55
- Lap 57: Donnie Allison took over the lead from A.J. Foyt; ultimately losing it to Charlie Glotzbach on lap 119
- Lap 58: Bobby Unser's untimely accident on turn 2 would slow down the racing grid until lap 62
- Lap 105: Cale Yarborough's accident on turn 4 forced NASCAR to wave the caution flag until lap 112; no other vehicles were affected by the crash
- Lap 119: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from Donnie Allison before losing it to Donnie Allison on lap 139
- Lap 150: Bobby Isaac had a terminal crash
- Lap 153: Ben Arnold's vehicle would release a dangerous amount of debris; ending full-speed racing until lap 157
- Lap 161: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Donnie Allison before losing it to Charlie Glotzbach on lap 178
- Lap 170: Buddy Harrington managed to blow his vehicle's engine
- Lap 178: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough; eventually losing it to LeeRoy Yarbrough on lap 200
- End of race: LeeRoy Yarbrough was officially declared the race winner
1969 Motor Trend 500
|NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1969 Carolina 500
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