1969 Dixie 500

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1969 Dixie 500
Race details[1]
Race 36 of 54 in the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Date August 10, 1969 (1969-August-10)
Official name Dixie 500
Location Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Course Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
Distance 328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Weather Very hot with temperatures of 86 °F (30 °C); wind speeds of 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)
Average speed 133.001 miles per hour (214.044 km/h)
Attendance 14,300[2]
Pole position
Driver Wood Brothers Racing
Most laps led
Driver LeeRoy Yarbrough Junior Johnson & Associates
Laps 142
Winner
No. 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough Junior Johnson & Associates
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1969 Dixie 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on August 10, 1969, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.

This race was scheduled for August 3, 1969, but it ended up being rain delayed until August 10, 1969.

Background[edit]

Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway.[3] However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.

The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.[4]

Race report[edit]

After 334 laps (3¾ hours of racing), LeeRoy Yarbrough defeated David Pearson by 5½ seconds in front of a live audience of 14,300 people.[2] The pole position winner was Cale Yarborough who drove at speeds up to 155.413 miles per hour (250.113 km/h) prior to the race.[2] John Sears had a problem with his engine and had to withdraw from the race on the third lap.[2] All 40 competitors on the racing grid were born in the United States of America; no foreigners attempted to qualify.[2] Nord Krauskopf's entry (with Bobby Isaac as the driver) finished in 34th place. The August date in daytime provided the reason for a crowd of less than 15,000 at a superspeedway; most people were either working, doing housework, attending school or going grocery shopping while the race was underway.[2]

Ford vehicles managed to dominate the starting grid.[2] The winner of the race received $18,620 of the total winners ($127,214 when considering inflation) while the last-place finisher went home with a meager $725 ($4,953 when considering inflation).[5]

Last race for the legendary Smokey Yunick's team. Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach brought the #13 Ford home in 4th place for a somewhat fitting final ride. The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s.

11 notable crew chiefs were on attendance for this race; including Cotton Owens, Jim Vandiver, Dale Inman, Harry Hyde and Dick Hutcherson.[6]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 21 Cale Yarborough '69 Mercury Wood Brothers
2 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough '69 Ford Junior Johnson
3 43 Richard Petty '69 Ford Petty Enterprises
4 6 Buddy Baker '69 Dodge Cotton Owens
5 27 Donnie Allison '69 Ford Banjo Matthews
6 13 Charlie Glotzbach '69 Ford Smokey Yunick
7 17 David Pearson '69 Ford Holman-Moody Racing
8 71 Bobby Isaac '69 Dodge Nord Krauskopf
9 22 Bobby Allison '69 Dodge Mario Rossi
10 99 Paul Goldsmith '69 Dodge Ray Nichels
11 30 Dave Marcis '69 Dodge Milt Lunda
12 64 Elmo Langley '68 Ford Elmo Langley
13 45 Bill Seifert '69 Ford Bill Seifert
14 15 Ed Hessert '69 Plymouth Ed Hessert
15 32 Dick Brooks '69 Plymouth Dick Brooks
16 39 John Sears '67 Chevrolet Friday Hassler
17 48 James Hylton '69 Dodge James Hylton
18 49 G.C. Spencer '67 Plymouth G.C. Spencer
19 37 Don Tarr '67 Dodge Ray Fox
20 07 Coo Coo Marlin '69 Chevrolet H.B. Cunningham

Failed to qualify: Earl Brooks (#26), Roy Tyner (#9), John Sears (#4), Ron Grana (#05), Kenneth Cline (#69)[7]

Top ten finishers[edit]

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Winnings Laps led Time/Status
1 2 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough Ford 334 $18,620 147 3:45:35
2 7 17 David Pearson Ford 334 $9,750 57 +5.5 seconds
3 3 43 Richard Petty Ford 334 $6,100 25 Lead lap under green flag
4 6 13 Charlie Glotzbach Ford 333 $3,585 5 +1 lap
5 5 27 Donnie Allison Ford 333 $2,775 0 +1 lap
6 9 22 Bobby Allison Dodge 332 $2,200 1 +2 laps
7 1 21 Cale Yarborough Mercury 331 $2,560 97 +3 laps
8 4 6 Buddy Baker Dodge 331 $1,555 6 +3 laps
9 17 48 James Hylton Dodge 327 $1,550 0 +7 laps
10 15 32 Dick Brooks Plymouth 313 $1,475 0 +21 laps

Timeline[edit]

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Cale Yarborough had the pole position as the race officially commenced
  • Lap 3: John Sears managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 28: Problems with his vehicle's clutch eliminated Don Tarr from the race
  • Lap 46: Bill Seifert managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 50: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 53: Richard Petty took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 55: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 56: Paul Goldsmith took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 57: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Paul Goldsmith
  • Lap 62: Ed Negre managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 70: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 73: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Charlie Glotzbach
  • Lap 78: Dub Simpson managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 82: Earl Brooks managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 83: G.C. Spencer managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 93: Bobby Isaac managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 94: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 97: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 107: Hoss Ellington had a terminal crash
  • Lap 111: David Pearson took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 123: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 125: David Pearson took over the lead from Charlie Glotzbach
  • Lap 133: Dave Miller managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 168: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 171: Richard Petty took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 182: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 187: The sway bar on Wayne Gillette's vehicle became too much of a danger, forcing Gillette off the track
  • Lap 192: Elmo Langley managed to overheat his vehicle
  • Lap 207: Frank Warren managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 240: Richard Petty took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 242: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 244: Henley Gray ruined his vehicle's driveshaft
  • Lap 264: J.D. McDuffie managed to wreck his engine while racing at high speeds; Buddy Young damaged his vehicle's water pump beyond repair
  • Lap 291: David Pearson took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 293: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 303: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Finish: LeeRoy Yarbrough was officially declared the winner of the race

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1969 Dixie 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 1969 Dixie 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  5. ^ 1969 Dixie 500 racing information at Race-Database
  6. ^ 1969 Dixie 500 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  7. ^ Qualifying results for the 1969 Dixie 500 at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1969 Smoky Mountain 200
NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1969
Succeeded by
1969 Yankee 600