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1969 American 500

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Official name  American 500
1969 American 500
Date  October 26, 1969 (1969-October-26)
Location  North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham, North Carolina
Course  Permanent racing facility 1.017 mi (1.636 km)
Distance  492 laps, 500 mi (804 km)
Weather  Mild with temperatures reaching a high of 73.4 °F (23.0 °C); wind speeds reaching a maximum speed of 1.90 miles per hour (3.06 km/h)

The 1969 American 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on October 26, 1969, at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina.


A lot of the more notable NASCAR Cup Series drivers of this era failed to finish the race. Richard Petty tore his car up hitting the wall and the repairs were not enough to continue.


North Carolina Motor Speedway was opened as a flat, one-mile oval on October 31, 1965. In 1969, the track was extensively reconfigured to a high-banked, D-shaped oval just over one mile in length. In 1997, North Carolina Motor Speedway merged with Penske Motorsports, and was renamed North Carolina Speedway. Shortly thereafter, the infield was reconfigured, and competition on the infield road course, mostly by the SCCA, was discontinued. Currently, the track is home to the Fast Track High Performance Driving School,


It took four hours and twenty-eight minutes to resolve 492 laps with LeeRoy Yarbrough emerging over David Pearson by 1½ laps. The other drivers in the top ten were: Buddy Baker, Dave Marcis, John Sears, Dick Brooks, Hoss Ellington, Ed Negre, Wendell Scott, and Neil Castles. Seven cautions were handed out by NASCAR officials for 66 laps. More than 33,000 people would attend this live racing event. Charlie Glotzbach would qualify for the pole position with a speed of 136.972 miles per hour (220.435 km/h) while the average race speed was 111.938 miles per hour (180.147 km/h).

John Kennedy would receive the last-place finish due to a one-car crash on lap 17. This would be the 51st race out of the 54 officially sanctioned racing events of the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Series in addition to being the first race done with the present-day configuration for North Carolina Motor Speedway. Lennie Pond would make his NASCAR debut here.

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.


  • Start: Charlie Glotzbach was the lead driver as the green flag was waved in the air
  • Lap 20: A 2-car accident brought out a caution that lasted until lap 27
  • Lap 125: Richard Brickhouse was involved in an accident off turn 2
  • Lap 147: A 2-car accident brought out a caution that lasted until lap 156
  • Lap 168: Cale Yarborough was involved in an accident off turn 2
  • Lap 183: James Hylton blew his vehicle's engine off turn 1
  • Lap 195: Buddy Young was involved in an accident off turn 4
  • Lap 283: Charlie Glotzbach blew his vehicle's engine off turn 3
  • Finish: LeeRoy Yarbrough was officially declared the winner of the race
  • References

    1969 American 500 Wikipedia

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