1969 Motor Trend 500

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1969 Motor Trend 500
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 3 of 54 in the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series season
Layout of Riverside International Raceway
Layout of Riverside International Raceway
Date February 1, 1969 (1969-February-01)
Official name Motor Trend 500
Location Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California
Course Permanent racing facility
2.700 mi (4.345 km)
Distance 186 laps, 502 mi (808 km)
Weather Temperatures approaching 55.9 °F (13.3 °C); wind speeds up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 110.323 miles per hour (177.548 km/h)
Attendance 46,300
Pole position
Driver Jack Bowsher & Associates
Time 88.07 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 103
Winner
No. 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network Untelevised
Announcers None

The 1969 Motor Trend 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on February 1, 1969, at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California.

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; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.

Summary[edit]

One hundred and eighty-six laps were done on a paved road course spanning 2.7 miles (4.3 km).[3] Although A.J. Foyt won the pole position with a qualifying speed of 110.323 miles per hour (177.548 km/h), Richard Petty would win the race by beating Foyt with a margin of 25 seconds using a 1969 Ford Torino vehicle. This was the first time Petty won a race in anything other than a Plymouth and the first time he ran a Cup race in anything but a Plymouth since he switched to the Mopar brand from Oldsmobile near the end of 1959.[3]

More than forty-six thousand fans would watch the race live to see 44 vehicles start (and only 13 of them finish the race).[3] Most of the DNFs were caused by engine issues.[3] Ford vehicles and Chevrolet vehicles made up most of the starting grid.[3] Other notable drivers included: LeeRoy Yarbrough (who would be the highest finishing driver with an engine problem), Ray Elder, Neil Castles, Mario Andretti (his final start), and Elmo Langley.[3] West Coast racer Marty Kinerk made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at this event. However, he would only compete at two races before leaving for the NASCAR Winston West Series (now K&N Pro Series West).

The entire race was completed under the green flag without any laps being taken for either yellow or red flags;[3] with the final race to go the entire distance without a caution was the 2002 EA Sports 500.[4] Average speeds for the entire race approached 105.498 miles per hour (169.783 km/h) and the duration of the race was four hours, forty-five minutes, and thirty-seven seconds.[3] The race's top prize would be $19,650 in American dollars ($128,331.26 when adjusted for inflation).[3] The overall winnings of this race would be $79,660 in American dollars ($520,247.75 when adjusted for inflation).

While individual owners would make up the majority of the NASCAR teams during this era, multi-car teams like Holman Moody, Wood Brothers Racing, and K&K Insurance Racing began to emerge during the late 1960s and early 1970s.[5]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 1 A.J. Foyt '69 Ford
2 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough '69 Mercury
3 121 Dan Gurney '69 Mercury
4 43 Richard Petty '69 Ford
5 17 David Pearson '69 Ford
6 41 Al Unser '69 Dodge
7 97 Mario Andretti '69 Ford
8 71 Bobby Isaac '69 Dodge
9 12 Roger McCluskey '69 Plymouth
10 11 Parnelli Jones '69 Ford

Finishing order[edit]

* Driver failed to finish race

Timeline[edit]

  • Start of race: A.J. Foyt had the pole position to begin the event
  • Lap 28: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
  • Lap 29: Mario Andretti took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 32: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from Mario Andretti
  • Lap 41: Don White blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 43: Ralph Arnold blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 48: Cliff Garner blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 50: J.D. McDuffie blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 51: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
  • Lap 58: Mario Andretti took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 62: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from Mario Andretti
  • Lap 65: Sam Rose managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle
  • Lap 66: Dan Gurney blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 78: Richard Petty took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
  • Lap 80: Frank Burnett managed to ruin his vehicle's transmission
  • Lap 81: Cale Yarbrough blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 83: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 87: Wendell Parnell blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 89: Richard Petty took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
  • Lap 100: Roger McCluskey managed to overheat his vehicle while he was driving
  • Lap 110: Don Tarr noticed that his vehicle's transmission stopped working
  • Lap 129: Paul Dorrity blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 131: Elmo Langley blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 132: Mario Andretti blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Lap 143: Randy Dodd managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle; causing him to leave the race due to safety reasons
  • Lap 151: Bobby Allison managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle; causing him to leave the race due to safety reasons
  • Lap 177: LeeRoy Yarbrough blew his vehicle's engine while racing at high speeds
  • Finish: Richard Petty was officially declared the winner of the event

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1969 Motor Trend 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  2. ^ "1969 Motor Trend 500 pole qualifying time". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1969 Motor Trend 500 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  4. ^ "EA Sports 500". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  5. ^ "1969 Motor Trend 500 racing results". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
Preceded by
1968 Motor Trend 500
Motor Trend 500 races
1964-71
Succeeded by
1970 Motor Trend 500
Preceded by
1969 Alabama 200
NASCAR Grand National Series Season
1969
Succeeded by
1969 Daytona 500
Preceded by
1969 Georgia 500
Richard Petty's Career Wins
1960-1984
Succeeded by
1969 Virginia 500