| Southeastern 500|
| July 29, 1962 (1962-July-29)|
Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee
Permanent racing facility
0.500 mi (0.800 km)
500 laps, 250.0 mi (400.0 km)
Warm with temperatures approaching 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)
The 1962 Southeastern 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on July 29, 1962, at Bristol International Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.
The transition to purposely-built racers 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.
1962 Southeastern 500 Wikipedia
An amazing lineup of 44 American-born drivers made the starting grid for this 500-lap event. Fireball Roberts earned the lofty pole position for this event by virtue of driving up to 80.321 miles per hour (129.264 km/h) during his solo qualifying runs. Approximately 4% of this racing event was done under a caution flag. The model years for every vehicle ranged from 1960 to 1962; with most drivers using a Pontiac or a Chevrolet vehicle. Although official NASCAR records state that Joe Weatherly started in 13th place, he often preferred to call the position as "12A."
While Fireball Roberts and Junior Johnson dominated the first 100 laps, Fred Lorenzen and Jim Paschal would rule the final 100 laps of this racing event. Fifteen thousand fans would see an event that lasted three hours and nineteen minutes. Worth McMillion was the lowest finishing driver to complete the event; he was 68 laps behind the lead lap vehicles.
Paschal would go on to defeat Lorenzen by half a lap and by driving speeds up to 75.276 miles per hour (121.145 km/h) for the entire duration of the race; the winner happened to be the driver of a 1962 Plymouth Belvedere. Although he was not a member of the Petty family, his victory was a great asset for Petty Enterprises and would eventually pave the way for non-family members to belong in the organization. Allan Harley was given the credit for the last-place finish due to car handling issues on lap 5. Individual earnings for each driver varied from a then-incredible figure of $3,930 ($31,115.74 when adjusted for inflation) to the meager sum of $100 ($791.75 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse approved for this event was $17,925 ($141,921.04 when adjusted for inflation).