| Dixie 500|
| August 1, 1971 (1971-August-01)|
Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Temperatures up to 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds up to 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)
The 1971 Dixie 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on August 1, 1971, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in the American community of Hampton, Georgia.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.
1971 Dixie 500 Wikipedia
Atlanta International Speedway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate track to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. However, at the time, only Charlotte, Darlington, and New Hampshire were built.
The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long. The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.
Elmo Langley received the last-place finish due to an engine issue on lap 36 of 328, while Richard Petty defeated Bobby Allison by 2 car lengths in front of 22500 live spectators. Five cautions were given out for 48 laps; making the race last three hours and fifty-two minutes in length. Buddy Baker qualified for the pole position with a speed of 155.796 miles per hour (250.729 km/h), while the average racing speed was 129.061 miles per hour (207.704 km/h).
Richard Petty officially became a millionaire after this race; bringing his career earnings to approximately $1,000,000 ($5,913,722.27 when adjusted for inflation). Dick Poling would retire from the NASCAR Cup Series after finishing in 26th place during this race.
The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power any more.
* Driver failed to finish race