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||Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.414 km)
|Distance||334 laps, 500 mi (804 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 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|
|Television in the United States|
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 would become the last-place finisher here due to a disqualification on lap 228. What made this race extra important to drivers was that $100 was given out for every lap that a driver led ($531.26 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 twenty finishers
- 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 46: A terminal crash involving David Pearson, Charlie Glotzbach and Darrell Waltrip forced them to exit the race early
- 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 58: Raymond Williams would develop problems with his steering; forcing him out of the race
- Lap 61: Donnie Allison's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 64: Neil Castles developed problems with his vehicle's suspension; ending his day on the track
- Lap 223: Dave Marcis' engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 230: Walter Ballard's engine problem forced him out of the race
- Lap 233-313: Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough would jointly share the race lead until Yarborough powered through on lap 313
- Lap 264: Joe Frasson's engine problem forced him out of the race
- 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
- End of race: Cale Yarborough won the race
- "1973 National 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- "1973 National 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "1973 National 500 information (second reference)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "Yarborough's and Petty's struggle for the flag". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
1973 Old Dominion 500
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1973 American 500
|National 500 races