Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1969 Richmond 500

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Official name  Richmond 500
1969 Richmond 500
Date  April 13, 1969 (1969-April-13)
Location  Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway, Richmond, Virginia
Course  Permanent racing facility 0.542 mi (0.872 km)
Distance  500 laps, 271 mi (436 km)
Weather  Chilly with temperatures reaching a maximum of 64 °F (18 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)

The 1969 Richmond 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on April 13, 1969, at Richmond Fairgrounds in Richmond, Virginia.


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.


In 1953, Richmond International Raceway began hosting the Grand National Series with Lee Petty winning that first race in Richmond. The original track was paved in 1968. In 1988, the track was re-designed into its present D-shaped configuration

The name for the raceway complex was "Strawberry Hill" until the Virginia State Fairgrounds site was bought out in 1999 and renamed the "Richmond International Raceway". The Strawberry Hill Races, which are a series of steeplechase horse races were formerly held the third Saturday of April at the Richmond Raceway Complex. In 2001, the races were moved to Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia's first Thoroughbred racetrack.


It took three hours, twenty-three minutes, and twenty-three seconds to finish. David Pearson defeated Richard Petty by one full lap (and took his points lead away from him). The average speed of the race was 73.752 miles per hour (118.692 km/h). Starting at 1:00 PM, the race did not conclude until 4:23 PM. The cost of acquiring a decent seat for this racing event was $8 ($52.25 when adjusted for inflation).

There were six cautions handed out by NASCAR officials for forty laps and there were six lead changes among four different leaders. This race would be Worth McMillion's final race and serve as a debut race for Ed Hessert and John Kenney. Kenney would be black flagged in the race and end becoming the last-place finisher due to a NASCAR-implemented disqualification. Other notable racers included J.D. McDuffie, Elmo Langley, Wendell Scott, and Neil Castles.

The winner of the race walked away with $3,650 ($23,837.61 when adjusted for inflation) out of the total prize purse of $18,900 ($123,433.12 when adjusted for inflation).

Finishing order

† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race


  • Start of race: David Pearson had the pole position to officially begin the event
  • Lap 56: John Sears took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 59: David Pearson took over the lead from John Sears
  • Lap 74: James Hylton took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 134: David Pearson took over the lead from James Hylton
  • Lap 188: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 209: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 362: Dick Johnson managed to blow his engine from the excess speeds of stock car racing
  • Lap 365: Pete Hazelwood's engine stopped working properly
  • Lap 450: Bill Champion had issues with his vehicle's clutch, causing him to exit the race prematurely
  • Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the event
  • References

    1969 Richmond 500 Wikipedia