| Texas 500|
| November 12, 1972 (1972-November-12)|
Texas World Speedway, College Station, Texas
Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
250 laps, 500 mi (804.68 km)
Mild with temperatures up to 75.9 °F (24.4 °C); wind speeds up to 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)
The 1972 Texas 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 12, 1972, at Texas World Speedway in the American community of College Station, Texas.
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 Texas 500 Wikipedia
The race was 250 laps on a paved track spanning 2 miles (3.2 km) in front of 33,000 live spectators. It took exactly 3 hours and 24 seconds for Buddy Baker to defeat A.J. Foyt by ½ of a car length. Baker's victory played a role in making 1972 the first NASCAR Cup Series season without any first-time Cup series winners.
Foyt had earned the pole position with a speed of 170.273 miles per hour (274.028 km/h) during the qualifying runs even though the actual race speeds approached 147.059 miles per hour (236.669 km/h).
Five cautions were given out by NASCAR for 29 laps. All the 44 drivers on the racing grid were American-born males. Bill Seifert of the famous Giachetti Brothers (headed by Richard Giachetti) finished the race in last place due to a clutch problem in the first lap of the race. Once Buddy Arrington dropped out with engine failure after completing 184 laps, Petty had locked up a 33rd place finish. Petty only needed to complete 190 laps to clinch the championship; becoming the champion on lap 191. Paul Feldner and Bill Shirey would retire from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series after this event while Rick Newsom would make his introduction into professional stock car racing.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day. Unfortunately, this race broke Bobby Allison's streak of leading a lap from the 1971 Southern 500 all the way to the 1972 American 500. This streak would be known as the "Joe DiMaggio Streak" after the famous baseball player, and it has not been accomplished by any driver after this date.
Individual prize winnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $14,920 ($85,425.01 when considering inflation) to the last-place finishers' share of just $705 ($4,036.50 when considering inflation). The total prize purse for this racing event was locked in at $88,270 ($505,393.15 when considering inflation).