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1971 Winston 500

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Official name  Winston 500
1971 Winston 500
Date  May 16, 1971 (1971-May-16)
Location  Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance  188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather  Temperatures reaching up to 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds up to 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)

The 1971 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) race that took place on May 16, 1971, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama, USA.

Contents

George Altheide, Doc Faustina and David Sisco would make their NASCAR Winston Cup Series debuts in this race. Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Background

Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Monster Energy Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.

Summary

Twenty-nine thousand people came to see Donnie Allison (racing for the Wood Brothers racing team) defeat his brother Bobby (racing for Holman-Moody) by six car lengths. Both of these siblings were driving 1969 Mercury Cyclone vehicles. The race took three hours and thirty-two minutes to successfully complete. Seven cautions were handed out by NASCAR officials for forty-five laps. Other finishers in the top ten included: Buddy Baker (driving for Petty Enterprises), Pete Hamilton, Fred Lorenzen, Jim Vandiver, James Hylton, Bill Dennis, Dave Marcis, and Larry Baumel. After winning this race, Donnie would be seen as the underdog four years later at the 1975 Winston 500; he would finish in a lowly 42nd place out of 50 competitors on the starting grid.

Notable drivers that participated in the race included: Richard Petty, J.D. McDuffie (who died in a racing accident at the 1991 Watkins Glen race), Coo Coo Marlin (father of Sterling Marlin), Benny Parsons, Neil Castles, and Ron Keselowski (uncle of current NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski). Bobby Isaac was hospitalized and could not compete in the race due to having problem with his kidney stones.

The grand total of the entire prize purse was $145,040 ($857,726.28 when adjusted for inflation); Donnie Allison received $31,140 for winning ($184,153.31 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher Bub Strickler got to bring home only $1,000 ($5,913.72 when adjusted for inflation).

References

1971 Winston 500 Wikipedia


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