| Winston 500|
| May 7, 1972 (1972-May-07)|
Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega, Alabama
Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Mild with temperatures up to 75 °F (24 °C); wind speeds reaching a maximum sustained speed of 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)
The 1972 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that occurred on May 7, 1972, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.
1972 Winston 500 Wikipedia
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.
There were fifty drivers on the racing grid. It took nearly three hours and forty-five minutes for 188 laps of racing to be resolved. There were nine cautions for a duration of 62 racing laps with 53 changes in the first-place position and David Pearson defeating Bobby Isaac by almost five seconds. More than 71000 people would see 500.1 miles or 804.8 kilometres of racing action with speeds reaching up to 134.4 miles per hour (216.3 km/h).
Bobby Isaac would receive the pole position for this race while driving at speeds up to 192.498 miles per hour (309.796 km/h) during solo qualifying sessions. Many engines were destroyed in this race including the rear ends of stock car vehicles and an incident involving a windshield. Last-place finisher Marty Robbins, who was also a country music star, was disqualified after 179 laps of racing due to not running a NASCAR-mandated restrictor plate during the event. Other notable drivers at this race were: Richard Petty, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Elmo Langley, Coo Coo Marlin, and Neil Castles. Darrell Waltrip would make his NASCAR debut in this race and finish up in 38th after starting in 25th place. Clarence Lovell would also make his introduction to NASCAR during this race. The three most notable crew chiefs in this race were Dale Inman, Harry Hyde, and Leonard Wood. They would help create the winner, the runner-up, and the fifth-place finisher of this race.
James Hylton would lose his points lead to Richard Petty after this race. The winner of the race would receive $23,745 in total winnings ($135,952.88 when adjusted for inflation) while the last-place finisher went away with a meager $745 for a disqualification ($4,265.53 when adjusted for inflation).