1973 National 500
|Race 27 of 28 in the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Map of Charlotte Motor Speedway
|Date||October 7, 1973|
|Official name||National 500|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina|
|Course||1.500 mi (2.414 km)|
|Distance||334 laps, 500 mi (804 km)|
|Weather||Mild with temperatures approaching 75.9 °F (24.4 °C); wind speeds up to 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)|
|Average speed||145.240 miles per hour (233.741 km/h)|
|Driver||Wood Brothers Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Cale Yarborough||Howard & Egerton Racing|
|No. 11||Cale Yarborough||Howard & Egerton Racing|
|Radio in the United States|
|Booth Announcers||Ken Squier, Marvin Panch|
|Turn Announcers||Hill Overton, Barney Hall|
The first driver to qualify for pole, Charlie Glotzbach, was found in a post qualifying inspection to have modified his restrictor plate in an illegal fashion. Glotsbach's team was fined $500 and the $1,000 pole bonus he was to receive was rescinded. Glotsbach was forced to re-qualify after changes were made to the car to make it legal, and qualified 34th. Pole was then awarded to David Pearson, who had qualified second.
Dean Dalton, whose performance on Saturday did not qualify him for the race, was allowed into the race 41st on the grid, because of the above.
334 laps took place on a paved track spanning 1.500 miles (2.414 km) with two cautions given out for sixteen laps. However, the race took three hours and twenty-six minutes to finish with Cale Yarborough defeating Richard Petty by a time of 1.4 seconds. Yarborough and Petty would lap the field three times before retrieving the checkered flag. David Pearson won the official pole position with a speed of 158.315 miles per hour (254.783 km/h) - which was equivalent to 34.109 seconds. Sixty-four thousand people attended this live racing event.
Harry Gant would make his racing debut here; ultimately finishing in 11th place. Dick Trickle also made his debut here, finishing an impressive fifth. Wendell Scott would retire after this race; making a 12th-place finish in this event.
Buddy Baker retired his car on lap 228, and team owner Nord Krauskopf refused to allow NASCAR to inspect the car after this was done. NASCAR disqualified the team, and therefore, Buddy Baker officially finished 41st.
What made this race extra important to drivers was that $100 was given out for every lap that a driver led ($533.06 when adjusted for inflation). Yarborough and Petty were said to have engines in their cars that exceeded the horsepower permitted by NASCAR during that era. Bobby Allison filed a complaint with Bill France, Jr. which resulted in a 6-hour meeting and "satisfactory restitution."
Top thirty finishers
- Cale Yarborough
- Richard Petty
- Bobby Allison
- Benny Parsons
- Dick Trickle
- Lennie Pond
- Buddy Arrington
- Elmo Langley
- Cecil Gordon
- Henley Gray
- Harry Gant
- Wendell Scott
- James Hylton
- Charlie Roberts
- Johnny Barnes
- Jimmy Crawford
- Jim Vandiver
- Richard Childress
- Coo Coo Marlin
- Eddie Bond
- David Sisco
- Joe Frasson
- Walter Ballard
- Dave Marcis
- Jabe Thomas
- Bill Champion
- Ed Negre
- L.D. Ottinger
- J.D. McDuffie
- Dean Dalton
- Start of race: David Pearson started the race with the pole position
- Lap 5: Wayne Andrews' engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 13: G.C. Spencer's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 32: Charlie Glotzbach took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
- Lap 33: Lennie Pond took over the lead from Charlie Glotzbach
- Lap 34: David Pearson took over the lead from Lennie Pond
- Lap 46: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from David Pearson
- Lap 47: Frank Warren's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 49: Dick Brooks' engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 53: Dick Trickle took over the lead from Cale Yarbrough
- Lap 55: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Dick Trickle
- Lap 61: Donnie Allison's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 64: Neil Castles developed problems with his vehicle's suspension while Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
- Lap 223: Dave Marcis' engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 228: Buddy Baker was disqualified by NASCAR due to non-compliance regarding engine inspection
- Lap 230: Walter Ballard's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 233: Richard Petty took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
- Lap 264: Joe Frasson's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 271: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Richard Petty
- Lap 281: Eddie Bond's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 282: Coo Coo Marlin's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 284: Richard Childress' engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 299: Richard Petty took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
- Lap 313: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Richard Petty
- Finish: Cale Yarborough was officially declared the winner of the event
- "1973 National 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- "1973 National 500 information (second reference)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "1973 National 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "Classic Races - MRN.com". www.mrn.com. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- "Yarborough's and Petty's struggle for the flag". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "MRN Flashback: 1973 National 500 - Cale Yarborough Claims Controversial Victory - MRN.com". www.mrn.com. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
1973 Old Dominion 500
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1973 American 500
|National 500 races