|Race 33 of 54 in the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series season|
Layout of Bristol Motor Speedway
|Date||July 20, 1969|
|Official name||Volunteer 500|
|Location||Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee|
Permanent racing facility|
0.533 mi (0.857 km)
|Distance||500 laps, 266.5 mi (428.8 km)|
|Weather||Very hot with temperatures approaching 89.1 °F (31.7 °C); wind speeds up to 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)|
|Average speed||79.737 miles per hour (128.324 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|No. 17||David Pearson||Holman-Moody|
|Television in the United States|
The 1969 Volunteer 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on July 20, 1969, at Bristol International Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee; which was rebuilt with more banking for this race.
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.
It took three hours, eight minutes, and seven seconds for the event to reach its conclusion.David Pearson defeated Bobby Isaac by more than three laps in front of a live audience of thirty-two thousand people. Roy Tyner finishes 97 laps down and still records his only top-10 finish of the season; making this event a true war of attrition.
His Ford Torino Talladega guided him to one of his eleven victories for the 1969 NASCAR Cup Series season. Richard Petty, however, would play the role of the assistant as teamwork became essential with NASCAR's coming of age. Notable speeds were: 79.737 miles per hour (128.324 km/h) as the average speed and 103.424 miles per hour (166.445 km/h) as the pole position speed. Eight cautions were waved for 56 laps in this race that spanned a grand total of 266.5 miles (428.9 km). This race would bring Cecil Gordon's first finish in the top five. Total winnings for this race were $27,685 ($184,750.90 when adjusted for inflation).
This race's importance in the history book would be that the famous Apollo 11 moon landing would take place on the same day. Once the Apollo 11 landed on the moon, it would only be proper for Neil Armstrong to make his famous walk on the Moon. Henley Gray deliberately quit the race so he could get home in time to watch the moon landing on television; according to urban legend. As a result, he only won $550 ($3,670.33 when adjusted for inflation) in prize money and finished only 206 out of the 500 laps of the race.
|1||21||Cale Yarborough||'69 Mercury|
|2||43||Richard Petty||'69 Ford|
|3||17||David Pearson||'69 Ford|
|4||22||Bobby Allison||'69 Dodge|
|5||6||Buddy Baker||'69 Dodge|
|6||98||LeeRoy Yarbrough||'69 Ford|
|7||71||Bobby Isaac||'69 Dodge|
|8||30||Dave Marcis||'69 Dodge|
|9||48||James Hylton||'69 Dodge|
|10||4||John Sears||'67 Ford|
|11||31||Buddy Young||'67 Chevrolet|
|12||49||G.C. Spencer||'67 Plymouth|
|13||32||Dick Brooks||'69 Plymouth|
|14||76||Ben Arnold||'68 Ford|
|15||06||Neil Castles||'69 Dodge|
|16||09||Wayne Gillette||'67 Chevrolet|
|17||64||Elmo Langley||'68 Ford|
|18||15||Ed Hessert||'69 Plymouth|
|19||10||Bill Champion||'68 Ford|
|20||07||Coo Coo Marlin||'69 Chevrolet|
+ signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race