1973 Atlanta 500

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1973 Atlanta 500
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 6 of 28 in the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Layout of Atlanta Motor Speedway prior to 1996
Layout of Atlanta Motor Speedway prior to 1996
Date April 1, 1973 (1973-April-01)
Official name Atlanta 500
Location Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Course 1.522 mi (2.449 km)
Distance 328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds up to 24.1 miles per hour (38.8 km/h)
Average speed 139.351 miles per hour (224.264 km/h)
Attendance 46,000[4]
Pole position
Driver Ellington Racing
Most laps led
Driver David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 155
Winner
No. 21 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Keith Jackson
Chris Economaki

The 1973 Atlanta 500 was the sixth race in the NASCAR 1973 Winston Cup Series, held on April 1, 1973, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia. The race took three hours and thirty-four minutes.

Attendance to this event has varying estimates. Many racing statistic archives list it at 46,000 people; the Associated Press reported a figure of 72,000 the day after the race.[4][3][5]

Car flip world record[edit]

At this event, daredevil Dusty Russell flipped a stock car in the air and landed 157 feet after a five foot ramp, in what was then a world record. He suffered a broken nose.[6]

Summary[edit]

No time trials were conducted due to weather issues; the average speed of the race was 139.351 miles per hour (224.264 km/h).[4][2][3] Multiple-car teams were beginning to the de facto rule of NASCAR as complications from the increased level of national brand sponsorship made the sport more expensive to be a part of. Famous teams like Wood Brothers Racing, Nord Krauskopf's K&K Insurance Racing along with Penske Racing South would make their early impressions on the sport with their massive budgets and corporate sponsors paying for new tires and engines instead of an individual owner or driver. There were only five traditional single-car owners at this racing event.[7]

Souvenir magazines were sold at this event for a then-inexpensive price of $2 USD ($10.79 when adjusted for inflation).

David Pearson defeated Bobby Isaac in his 1971 Mercury Cyclone by at least two laps ; NASCAR officials were responsible for giving out four cautions that lasted a duration of 31 non-consecutive laps.[4][2][3] Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. was the last-place finisher due to an oil leak on lap 9 out of 328.[4][2][3] Pete Hamilton and Mark Donohue would retire from NASCAR after this race while Charles Barrett and Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. would make their grand introductions to the Cup Series during this race.[8]

The winner received $16,625 in race winnings ($89,692.75 when adjusted for inflation) while the last place finisher received $900 in total race winnings ($4,855.55 when adjusted for inflation).[3][9] After combining all the race winnings from all 40 drivers, the total prize purse for this race was $103,485 ($558,307.01 when adjusted for inflation).[10] Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 28 Gordon Johncock '72 Chevrolet
2 15 Bobby Isaac '72 Ford
3 31 Jim Vandiver '72 Dodge
4 11 Cale Yarborough '73 Chevrolet
5 72 Benny Parsons '72 Chevrolet
6 12 Bobby Allison '73 Chevrolet
7 18 Joe Frasson '73 Dodge
8 71 Buddy Baker '73 Dodge
9 21 David Pearson '71 Mercury
10 22 Pete Hamilton '72 Plymouth

Finishing order[edit]

Note: All 40 of the drivers on the racing grid were American-born males.[4]

  1. David Pearson (No. 21)
  2. Bobby Isaac (No. 15)
  3. Benny Parsons (No. 72)
  4. Buddy Baker (No. 71)
  5. Cale Yarborough (No. 11)
  6. Coo Coo Marlin (No. 14)
  7. Dick Brooks (No. 90)
  8. Cecil Gordon (No. 24)
  9. Clarence Lovell (No. 61)
  10. Jim Vandiver (No. 31)
  11. Gordon Johncock (No. 28)
  12. Dave Marcis (No. 2)
  13. Richard Childress (No. 96)
  14. Walter Ballard (No. 30)
  15. Buddy Arrington (No. 67)
  16. Frank Warren (No. 79)
  17. Raymond Williams (No. 47)
  18. Charles Barrett (No. 09)
  19. Johnny Barnes (No. 89)
  20. Larry Smith (No.92)
  21. James Hylton (No. 48)
  22. Earle Canavan (No. 01)
  23. Dean Dalton* (No. 7)
  24. Ed Negre (No. 8)
  25. Charlie Roberts (No. 77)
  26. Elmo Langley (No. 64)
  27. A.J. Foyt* (No. 50)
  28. Joe Frasson* (No. 18)
  29. Bill Champion* (No. 10)
  30. Mark Donohue* (No. 16)
  31. Ron Keselowski* (No. 88)
  32. Roy Mayne* (No. 25)
  33. Darrell Waltrip* (No. 95)
  34. Richard Petty* (No. 43)
  35. Bobby Allison* (No. 12)
  36. John Sears* (No. 4)
  37. Bobby Mausgrover* (No. 07)
  38. Tiny Lund* (No. 55)
  39. Pete Hamilton* (No. 22)
  40. Tony Bettenhausen Jr* (No. 84)

* Driver failed to finish race

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1973 Atlanta 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d "1973 Atlanta 500 race information (second reference)". Database Racing. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "1973 Atlanta 500 race information (third reference)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "1973 Atlanta 500 race information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  5. ^ "The Index-Journal, Page 10 - at Newspapers.com". 72,000 Forget the Weather, Watch Pearson Claim Atlanta 500 Victory. 1973-04-02. Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  6. ^ "Kingsport Times Page 4 - at Newspapers.com". Russell flips 157 feet. 1973-04-02. Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  7. ^ "1973 Atlanta 500 race information". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  8. ^ "1973 Atlanta 500 race information". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  9. ^ "1973 Atlanta 500 earnings information". Everything Stock Car. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  10. ^ "1973 Atlanta 500 total prize purse information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
Preceded by
1973 Southeastern 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1973
Succeeded by
1973 Gwyn Staley 400