|Official name Volunteer 500|
|Date July 21, 1968 (1968-July-21)|
Location Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee
Course Permanent racing facility 0.533 mi (0.857 km)
Distance 500 laps, 266.5 mi (428.8 km)
Weather Hot with temperatures reaching up to 93.0 °F (33.9 °C); wind speeds getting as fast as 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)
The 1968 Volunteer 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on July 21, 1968, 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.
There were 36 drivers on the racing grid to begin with. It took three hours and sixteen minutes for David Pearson to defeat Cale Yarborough by one and a half laps in front of a live audience of twenty thousand racing fans; about the size of a small city. There were eight lead changes recorded in the NASCAR summary and 13 caution flags were waved for a grueling distance of 92 laps. There were 500 laps in this racing event; speeds of 76.31 miles per hour (122.81 km/h) were recorded during the race while solo qualifying runs would see LeeRoy Yarbrough earn the pole position by driving up to 87.421 miles per hour (140.690 km/h).
Bob Burcham and Ervin Pruitt would make their respective introductions to NASCAR-style racing during this event. Richard Brickhouse ended up being the last-place finisher due to an engine malfunction on the eighth lap. Ford vehicles made up the majority of the racing grid. Five years later, Swede Savage would be killed in a racing accident at the 1973 Indianapolis 500.
The winner of this event received $5,175 in total winnings ($35,640.65 when adjusted for inflation) while the last-place finisher went home with only $250 in total earnings ($1,721.77 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse for this race was $24,140 ($166,254.14 when adjusted for inflation).