| Motor Trend 500|
| January 18, 1970 (1970-January-18)|
Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California
Permanent racing facility
2.700 mi (4.345 km)
400 laps, 502 mi (808 km)
Chilly with temperatures approaching 68.9 °F (20.5 °C); wind speeds up to 18.1 miles per hour (29.1 km/h)
The 1970 Motor Trend 500 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on January 18, 1970, at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California.
NASCAR's then-humble organization made it affordable for many local, regional, and obscure sponsors to appear on the Grand National Level; including stock car automobile magazines aimed at a small group of hardcore NASCAR fans. Sponsorship today is very expensive for the NASCAR Cup Series and many corporate brands like Kellog's, M&M's and DuPont have scaled back their sponsorship due to recent changes in the American economy.
1970 Motor Trend 500 Wikipedia
The Plymouth Superbird would make its first ever NASCAR appearance during this race. Six cautions were handed out by NASCAR for 31 complete laps. A.J. Foyt was the winner of the race in his 1970 Ford Torino; defeating Roger McCluskey by 3½ seconds. USAC Stock Car champion McCluskey crosses over for his only NASCAR race of the 1970 season and races in his Superbird complete with the popular Looney Tunes character the Road Runner, home second. This was his only NASCAR "top five" and "top ten" finish he had.
There were forty-four competitors in this race; 43 were from the United States of America while one competitor (Lothar Motschenbacher) was from Cologne, West Germany. Jim Cook was involved in a major accident that would leave him using a wheelchair for the rest of his life on lap 94. The other finishers in the top ten were: LeeRoy Yarbrough, Donnie Allison, Richard Petty, Dan Gurney (who would become a mainstay at the track during the 1960s and would leave NASCAR after this year), Neil Castles, Friday Hassler, Jerry Oliver, and Dick Guldstrand. Motschenbacher would start in 31st place and finish the race in 40th.
The average speed of the race was 97.045 miles per hour (156.179 km/h) while Dan Gurney earned the pole position with a qualifying speed of 112.006 miles per hour (180.256 km/h). There was a live attendance of 43,200 fans waiting to see 193 laps of action on a road course. The previous year's event was notable for being a "perfect race." This was the last Winston Cup start for road ringer Frank Deiny. He never finished higher than 30th in any of his races and would finish in 41st place in this event due to wheel bearing issues on lap 4. However, this event included yellow flags.
The winner's purse was considered to be $19,700 ($121,491.77 when adjusted for inflation) while the last-place finisher went home with a meager $800 ($4,933.68 when adjusted for inflation). After combining the prize winnings from all the races, the total amount of money offered at this event was $84,235 ($520,040.30 when adjusted for inflation).Start: David Pearson's vehicle was the first to leave the start/finish line as the green flag was waved in the air
Lap 26: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 27: Richard Petty took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
Lap 29: David Pearson took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 35: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 36: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 43: Parnelli Jones took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
Lap 44: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Parnelli Jones
Lap 45: Donnie Allison took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 65: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from Donnie Allison
Lap 67: Parnelli Jones took over the lead from A.J. Foyt
Lap 85: Donnie Allison took over the lead from Parnelli Jones
Lap 87: David Pearson took over the lead from Donnie Allison
Lap 95: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the leaf from David Pearson
Lap 96: Roger McCluskey took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 98: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Roger McCluskey
Lap 99: Parnelli Jones took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 110: LeeRoy Yarbrough took over the lead from Parnelli Jones
Lap 111: Parnelli Jones took over the lead from LeeRoy Yarbrough
Lap 137: The rear end of Frank James' vehicle was forcibly removed in an unsafe manner
Lap 143: Paul Dority's engine suddenly acted in a strange manner
Lap 148: David Pearson's vehicle developed transmission issues that sidelined him
Lap 163: Dave Marcis had a terminal crash
Lap 164: The bell housing on Bobby Allison's vehicle was acting strangely
Lap 168: Parnelli Jones's vehicle suffered from a problematic clutch
Lap 169: A.J. Foyt took over the lead from Parnelli Jones
Lap 186: Richard Petty's engine stopped working properly
Finish: A.J. Foyt was officially declared the winner of the event