1970 World 600 (lost footage of NASCAR Grand National Series race; 1970)

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Donnie Allison's 1969 Ford during the race.

Status: Lost

The 1970 World 600 was the 16th race of the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Series. Occurring on 24th May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by Donnie Allison in a 1969 Ford, with LeeRoy Yarbrough being a relief driver for Allison late-on in the race.


The 1970 World 600 was the 11th running of the event, with the race notable for being the longest in the NASCAR schedule at 600 miles.[1][2] It was one of two 1970 Grand National Series races conducted at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the other being the National 500,[3] which in 1970 occurred on 11th October and was won by LeeRoy Yarbrough in a 1969 Mercury.[4] The race also has ties to the modern Coca Cola 600, having dropped the World 600 name from 1986 onwards.[5][1]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Bobby Isaac in a 1969 Dodge winning the pole position with a speed of 159.277 mph.[6][2] Directly behind him was fellow 1969 Dodge driver Bobby Allison, with Cale Yarborough in a 1969 Mercury qualifying third.[2] Donnie Allison qualified ninth, while Yarborough lined up 8th out of 40 competitors.[2][6]

The Race

With the starting order decided, the 1970 World 600 occurred on 24th May.[2] Isaac maintained his lead at the start, holding it for 19 laps.[2] However, Charlie Glotzbach overtook him in a 1969 Dodge, and he never was able to regain it.[2] The race was generally an open competition for the lead, with Glotzbach, Yarbrough, and Fred Lorenzen in a 1969 Dodge all leading for significant periods.[2] None would finish the race though, with Yarbrough retiring on lap 177 because of a clutch failure, while Glotzbach and Lorenzen both retired on lap 252 due to a crash and engine failure respectively.[7][2]

Lorenzen was leading the race when he retired.[2] The battle for the first position therefore centred on Allison and fellow 1969 Ford driver David Pearson.[7][2] The latter appeared to be gaining the upper hand as the race was reaching its close, because Allison was suffering from burnt feet.[8][7] This was caused by the foam insulation for the Ford's floorboard failing when Allison's foot went through it.[8] Allison tried to relieved the pain in his right foot by squirting water onto it and using his left foot, but ultimately it only worsened the issue overtime.[8]

However, with 38 laps to go, Pearson grinded to a halt because of a clutch failure.[2] This enabled Allison, who by that point was at least two laps ahead of everyone, to pit and replace himself with Yarbrough becoming his relief driver.[8][7] For the final laps, Yarbrough held onto the 2-lap advantage to allow Allison to claim victory and $39,600 in prize money.[7][8][2] Yarborough finished second, with Benny Parsons in a 1969 Ford finishing four laps down in third.[7][2] Since the Indianapolis 500 traditionally occurred in the same time period as the World 600,[1] Allison decided to work double duty, finishing fourth in the 1970 edition.[9]


According to NASCAR on TV, the race was televised live midway through by ABC as a special program lasting 90 minutes, being the first World 600 not to be included on ABC's Wide World of Sports.[10] Ultimately, this broadcast has yet to resurface, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available. Nevertheless, a few photos of the event help to document the event, including some pit stop photos provided by J. Murrey Atkins Library.[11]



See Also