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1973 Atlanta 500

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Official name  Atlanta 500
Course  1.522 mi (2.449 km)
1973 Atlanta 500
Date  April 1, 1973 (1973-April-01)
Location  Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Distance  328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Weather  Temperatures reaching up to 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds up to 24.1 miles per hour (38.8 km/h)

The 1973 Atlanta 500 was the sixth race in the NASCAR 1973 Winston Cup Series, held on April 1, 1973, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia. The race took three hours and thirty-four minutes.


Attendance to this event has varying estimates. Many racing statistic archives list it at 46,000 people; the Associated Press reported a figure of 72,000 the day after the race.

Car flip world record

At this event, daredevil Dusty Russell flipped a stock car in the air and landed 157 feet after a five foot ramp, in what was then a world record. He suffered a broken nose.


No time trials were conducted due to weather issues; the average speed of the race was 139.351 miles per hour (224.264 km/h). Multiple-car teams were beginning to the de facto rule of NASCAR as complications from the increased level of national brand sponsorship made the sport more expensive to be a part of. Famous teams like Wood Brothers Racing, Nord Krauskopf's K&K Insurance Racing along with Penske Racing South would make their early impressions on the sport with their massive budgets and corporate sponsors paying for new tires and engines instead of an individual owner or driver. There were only five traditional single-car owners at this racing event.

Souvenir magazines were sold at this event for a then-inexpensive price of $2 USD ($10.79 when adjusted for inflation).

David Pearson defeated Bobby Isaac in his 1971 Mercury Cyclone by at least two laps ; NASCAR officials were responsible for giving out four cautions that lasted a duration of 31 non-consecutive laps. Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. was the last-place finisher due to an oil leak on lap 9 out of 328. Pete Hamilton and Mark Donohue would retire from NASCAR after this race while Charles Barrett and Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. would make their grand introductions to the Cup Series during this race.

The winner received $16,625 in race winnings ($89,692.75 when adjusted for inflation) while the last place finisher received $900 in total race winnings ($4,855.55 when adjusted for inflation). After combining all the race winnings from all 40 drivers, the total prize purse for this race was $103,485 ($558,307.01 when adjusted for inflation). Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Finishing order

Note: All 40 of the drivers on the racing grid were American-born males.

* Driver failed to finish race


1973 Atlanta 500 Wikipedia

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