| Carolina 500|
| March 12, 1972 (1972-March-12)|
North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham, North Carolina
Permanent racing facility
1.017 mi (1.636 km)
492 laps, 500 mi (804 km)
Cold with temperatures averaging around 48.7 °F (9.3 °C); wind speeds approaching 13.00 miles per hour (20.92 km/h)
The 1972 Carolina 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on March 12, 1972, at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina.
For most of the 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Bobby Allison and Richard Petty were considered to be the most dominant of the full-time drivers. David Pearson and Buddy Baker were strong performers who unfortunately didn't compete in enough race to have a chance for championship glory.
1972 Carolina 500 Wikipedia
While the race took place on a paved track spanning 1.017 miles (1.637 km), it took four hours and twenty-three minutes to complete all 492 laps of the race. Bobby Isaac defeated Richard Petty by at least one lap in front of 42500 people. Isaac would earn the pole position with a qualifying speed of 137.539 miles per hour (221.348 km/h). Meanwhile, the average race speed was 113.895 miles per hour (183.296 km/h). Eight cautions were given out for 57 laps. Baker only added this race at the last minute because there were so few other big teams. Baker broke a valve Spring in his 426 wedge and fell out early. Allison dominated the first half of the race and then blew up. Petty had several cut tires and finally broke a rear spring. That left Issac who was running a highly restricted 426 hemi a clear path to the win.
British-born competitor Jackie Oliver finished in last place due to an engine issue on the first lap while Canadian-born Les Covey would fail to finish due to a clutch problem on lap 127. The rest of the 40-car grid would have American-born drivers. NASCAR noticed that Allison's car had right side tires on the left side and vice versa after qualifying and told Junior to switch them, he wouldn't because NASCAR didn't even look at any other team, so they put the car in the back to start.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.
* Driver failed to finish raceStart of race: Bobby Isaac had the pole position to begin the first official lap
Lap 10: Bobby Mausgrover couldn't get his ignition working in a safe and proper manner
Lap 11: Dub Simpson became the first driver in the event to blow his engine
Lap 14: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
Lap 23: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 56: Richard Childress blew his engine while driving at high speeds
Lap 59: Buck Baker managed to blow his engine while racing at high speeds
Lap 68: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
Lap 69: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 79: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Buddy Baker
Lap 85: Water pump issues would unfortunately force Raymond Williams out of the event in poor form
Lap 90: Buddy Baker managed to blow up his engine while driving at high speeds
Lap 127: Clutch issues would force Canadian Les Covey out of the race
Lap 129: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 130: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
Lap 167: Walter Ballard would lose the rear end of his vehicle, forcing his exit for safety reasons
Lap 177: Bill Shirey's vehicle had a terminal clutch problem
Lap 179: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 186: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
Lap 259: Engine problems would grind G.C. Spencer's day to a halt
Lap 307: Bill Champion had a terminal crash, forcing him to retire from the event prematurely
Lap 345: Engine troubles would prevent Bobby Allison from a respectable finish at the event
Lap 346: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 379: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Isaac
Lap 382: Bobby Isaac took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 409: Cecil Gordon's vehicle suffered from terminal engine problems
Finish: Bobby Isaac was officially declared the winner of the event