| Old Dominion 500|
| September 24, 1972 (1972-September-24)|
Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Virginia
Permanent racing facility
0.525 mi (0.844 km)
500 laps, 262.5 mi (442.4 km)
Mild with temperatures approaching 77 °F (25 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)
The 1972 Old Dominion 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on September 24, 1972, at Martinsville Speedway in the American community of Martinsville, Virginia.
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 anymore.
1972 Old Dominion 500 Wikipedia
Martinsville Speedway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races. The standard track at Martinsville Speedway is a four-turn short track oval that is 0.526 miles (0.847 km) long. The track's turns are banked at eleven degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at zero degrees. The back stretch also has a zero degree banking.
Five hundred laps were done on a paved track spanning 0.525 miles (0.845 km) in a time of three hours and forty-five minutes. Richard Petty would defeat Bobby Allison by a time of six seconds in front of 31,000 live audience members. Exactly ten minutes from the race along with a flyover by the local military jets were used in the 1973 American film The Last American Hero. While Richard Petty and Bobby Allison got filmed most of the time, a moment involving Ray Hendrick's #2 vehicle crashing on lap 311 was also a notable event during the filming.
Allison would earn the pole position with a speed of 85.89 miles per hour (138.23 km/h). The average speed of the race, however, would be a mere 69.989 miles per hour (112.636 km/h). Eight cautions were given out for 58 laps in the entire race. All thirty-six of the qualifying drivers on the grid were male and born somewhere in the United States of America. Originally, 56 drivers auditioned for this race; including Joe Frasson, who was one of the ones who failed to qualify. Bill Shirey would be the unfortunate last-place finisher due to an overheating issue on lap 19. LeeRoy Yarbrough and Fred Lorenzen would retire from NASCAR after this race.
Richard Petty would go on to win the championship shortly after this race was over while Bobby Allison would find a new employer named Ralph Moody for the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The total purse of this racing event was $46,650 ($267,096.30 when considering inflation); the first-place finisher received $7,350 ($42,082.70 when considering inflation) while the last-place finisher received $425 ($2,433.35 when considering inflation).
Improvements in tire and engine technology in the early 1970s had made NASCAR Cup Series vehicles overpowered compared to the limited space that Martinsville Speedway had for breathing space. Further technological advancements by 2013 have caused further concern for driver safety at Martinsville; indicating that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series may have to use restrictor plates in Martinsville if tire/engine technology keeps its current pace of development.Start: Bobby Allison was leading the starting grid as the green flag was waved
Lap 132: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 148: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 221: David Pearson took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 222: Bobby Allison took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 223: David Pearson took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 225: Bobby Allison took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 279: David Pearson took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 280: Bobby Allison took over the lead from David Pearson
Lap 436: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 441: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 442: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Lap 446: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
Lap 462: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
Finish: Richard Petty was officially declared the winner of the race