1975 World 600 (partially found footage of NASCAR Winston Cup Series race; 1975)

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Program for the race.

Status: Partially Found

The 1975 World 600 was the 13th race of the 1975 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Occurring on 25th May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by pole sitter Richard Petty in a 1974 Dodge, ending his winless streak at Charlotte events. The race also marked the Cup Series debut of Dale Earnhardt.


The 1975 World 600 was the 16th 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 1975 Winston Cup Series races conducted at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the other being the National 500,[3] which in 1975 occurred on 5th October and was won by Richard Petty.[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 David Pearson in a 1973 Mercury winning the pole position with a speed of 159.353 mph.[6][2] Directly behind him was Lennie Pond in a 1975 Chevrolet, with Petty lining up third.[6][2] Petty was looking to end a 16-year winless streak at Charlotte heading into the event.[7][8] Elsewhere, Dale Earnhardt, who drove a 1974 Dodge owned by Ed Negre,[8] qualified 33rd out of 40 competitors.[2] The race also set an attendance record at Charlotte, drawing a crowd of 90,600.[2]

The Race

With the starting order decided, the 1975 World 600 commenced on 25th May.[2] Pond shot into the lead on the first lap, leading until lap 8 before Cale Yarborough in a 1975 Chevrolet took over.[2] Aside from a few laps led by Petty, Pearson, and the 1975 Chevrolet of Richie Panch, Yarborough dominated the early stages of the race.[2][8] Petty meanwhile began to fall behind, up to about two laps from the leaders, before deciding to make a crucial change to his Dodge's chassis.[8] This greatly improved handling, allowing Petty the opportunity to achieve a comeback.[8]

Petty charged back, climbing back through the field and taking advantage by pitting for new tyres during two caution periods.[2][2][7] He began to challenge Yarborough for the lead, and despite the latter's strong defence, Petty proved too strong with the added advantage of fresher tyres.[8] On lap 166, Petty took the lead, holding it for 65 laps.[2] Aside from four laps led by Pearson and two from Yarborough, the King ultimately dominated almost the entirety of the second half of the race, achieving the final lead change on lap 298.[8][2] In fact, one news clipping stated that there was hardly any notable activity at the front of the field for most of the race.[8] Petty would extend his lead for the remaining 103 laps, culminating in him taking the chequered flag and earning $27,100 in prize money.[8][7][2] It would prove to be his first win at Charlotte after 16 years and 28 attempts.[7][8] A lap and quarter behind was Yarborough, while Pearson finished third four laps down after he experienced mechanical issues that necessitated a pit stop that cost him three laps.[8][7][2]

Post-race, Petty claimed he was delighted to finally end his curse at Charlotte, but felt that "it was no big deal. I think it means more to the crew than to me."[8] He also won the Curtis Turner Memorial Award for posting the greatest achievement in the 600, with the King stating that "I guarantee you when I win a race here it's a great achievement."[8] Elsewhere, Earnhardt completed an uncontroversial race in 22nd, 45 laps down from Petty.[2][8] He finished behind Harry Jefferson in a 1973 Ford, but ahead of his future car owner Richard Childress, who was driving a 1975 Chevrolet.[2][9]


45 minutes of race highlights would be broadcast by CBS on 14th June 1975, as part of its CBS Sports Spectacular, alongside the National Boxing Championships.[10] The broadcast was notable for being televised by an inexperienced crew, who were more accustomed to filming NFL and golf rather than motor racing.[9] Nevertheless, an airing did occur,[10] although it has yet to publicly resurface. However, on 16th May 2017, NASCAR confirmed it had a tape of the race in its vaults, uploading brief highlights of the event to YouTube. It primarily detailed Earnhardt's debut for the Cup Series. The rest of the tape has yet to be released publicly.



NASCAR providing clips of the race.

Rattling the Rollcage discussing the race.


See Also