Racing History Minute - April 13, 1969

TMC Chase
8 years ago
4,073 posts

For Dave Fulton - our RacersReunion colleage who may have the most passion for the history of Richmond Raceway and all its various surfaces, lengths and names.

I originally blogged this today here and will re-post to RR:

Richmond's spring race has bounced around a good bit over the decades. Throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s, the race was scheduled for late February or early March. At the opposite end of the season, the race was scheduled a few times in June. Nowadays, the race floats from mid-April to early May - which seems ideal for that area of the country. The 1969 Richmond 500 was slotted in that optimal time frame on April 13th.

After more than a dozen years as a dirt track, track promoter Paul Sawyer paved Richmond following the first Grand National race of 1968. In doing so, the track was lengthened ever so slightly from a true half-mile to a .542 mile oval. David Pearson won Richmond's final 250-lap race on dirt, and Richard Petty won the first 300-lap one on the new asphalt surface.

The spring 1969 race was lengthened to 500 laps and about 250 miles - the longest race held to that point at the track. Despite the change in track surface and distance, the race featured little drama. David Pearson won the pole in his #17 Holman Moody Ford. He then set forth to puttin' a whuppin' on the field. He led a dominating 416 of 500 laps, lapped most of the field by multiple laps, and finished a full lap ahead of second place finisher Richard Petty.

From Dave Fulton's pictures:

Pearson notched his third consecutive spring Richmond win. It was also his sixth and final Richmond win - including six trophies in ten attempts - and the 33rd of 63 times Petty-Pearson finished first and second. When you're the winner, smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

From Dave's pictures and archives of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Fin Driver Owner Car
1 David Pearson Holman-Moody '69 Ford
2 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises '69 Ford
3 Elmo Langley Elmo Langley '68 Ford
4 Neil Castles Neil Castles '69 Plymouth
5 Bill Seifert Bill Seifert '68 Ford
6 J.D. McDuffie J.D. McDuffie '67 Buick
7 Bill Champion Bill Champion '68 Ford
8 E.J. Trivette E.C. Reid '67 Chevrolet
9 Henley Gray Harry Melton '68 Ford
10 Pete Hazelwood Pete Hazelwood '68 Ford
11 Dick Johnson Dick Johnson '68 Ford
12 Jabe Thomas Don Robertson '68 Plymouth
13 Ray Hendrick '67 Chevrolet
14 Worth McMillion Roy Tyner '69 Pontiac
15 James Hylton James Hylton '69 Dodge
16 Paul Dean Holt Dennis Holt '67 Ford
17 Earl Brooks Earl Brooks '67 Ford
18 John Sears L.G. DeWitt '67 Ford
19 Ed Negre Ed Negre '67 Ford
20 Sonny Hutchins Junie Donlavey '67 Ford
21 Cecil Gordon Bill Seifert '68 Ford
22 Ed Hessert Lyle Stelter '69 Mercury
23 Buddy Arrington Buddy Arrington '69 Dodge
24 Wendell Scott Wendell Scott '67 Ford
25 Ben Arnold Don Culpepper '68 Ford
26 Dick Poling Mack Sellers '67 Chevrolet
27 Bobby Isaac Nord Krauskopf '69 Dodge
28 John Kenney Bill Champion '67 Ford

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
TMC Chase
8 years ago
4,073 posts

After reading my blog post this morning, fellow lifelong Petty fan and RR member Brian Hauck sent me several pics from the 1969 race.

Ed Hessert in Lyle Stetler's #56 car raced frequently by Tiny Lund in the mid 1960s.

Worth McMillion in Roy Tyner's #9 Pepsi Pontiac.

The oddity of 1969 - a Petty Blue Ford

What remained of Cecil Gordon's #47. Cecil was in a second car owned by Bill Seifert.

James Hylton

J.D. McDuffie's bruised but unbroken Buick

Sonny Hutchins in Junie Donlavey's Ford

Your winner

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
8 years ago
9,137 posts

It was almost more than I could bear to see both Pearson and Petty in a Ford. That was when Hylton was using that nasty orangish/yellow color on the #48.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Keith Vrabec
8 years ago
6 posts

I never saw the Tyner car with door glass ever before. This must be as the car rolled in for the race.

As the story goes, Roy crashed in practice, wiped the front end on off the car. He went to the hospital, the car went to a local Pontiac dealership that just happened to have the sheetmetal required to repair the car. With a black front end, it was driven by Worth McMillion, his last ride. And the car remained with the black front end on for the next race.

The hauler was a crew cab dodge. Never saw it before, never knew about the dual rear axles. Neat pics, are there any more of the Tyner car or the hauler available?

Dave Fulton
11 months ago
9,137 posts

Coverage from Fredericksburg Free Lance Star & AP coverage in Spartanburg Herald Journal

distance1.PNG  •  282KB

holding2.PNG  •  304KB

holding3.PNG  •  180KB

holding4.PNG  •  273KB

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
11 months ago
1 posts

Seeing Pearson and Petty in a Ford was nearly too much for me to handle . At that time, Hylton was painting the #48 with a repulsive orangish/yellow colour.