1971 Motor Trend 500
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1971 Motor Trend 500
1971 Motor Trend 500
Race details[1]
Race 1 of 48 in the 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Riverside International Raceway (1969-1988 version)
Layout of Riverside International Raceway (1969-1988 version)
Date January 10, 1971 (1971-January-10)
Official name Motor Trend 500
Location Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California
Course Permanent racing facility
2.700 mi (4.345 km)
Distance 191 laps, 500 mi (806 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures of 64 °F (18 °C); wind speeds of 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
Average speed 100.783 miles per hour (162.195 km/h)
Attendance 23,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Ray Elder Fred Elder
Laps 67
Winner
No. 96 Ray Elder Fred Elder
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1971 Motor Trend 500 was the first race in NASCAR's Winston Cup era (also known as the Winston Cup Grand National Series) that took place on January 10, 1971. 191 laps on a road course at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California that spanned a total distance of 2.620 miles (4.216 km).[2]

Attendance was estimated at 23,000. It took four hours, fifty-seven minutes, and fifty-five seconds.[2]

Due to a then-struggling economy, both Ford and Chevrolet cut back on factory support for the 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.[3] NASCAR would also limit engines in the aerodynamic superspeedway cars to 305 cubic inches starting in this race.[3]

Race report

Defending NASCAR Grand National West series champion Ray Elder won the race; making it the first time that the 500-mile event at Riverside was won by a manufacturer other than Ford.[2] The average speed was 100.783 miles per hour (162.195 km/h) while the pole speed was 107.084 miles per hour (172.335 km/h). This race was the final NASCAR Cup Series event with triple-digit numbered cars; with three of them qualifying for the race. (Kittlekow #107, Schilling #148, Collins #177).[2] Elder became the first winner in NASCAR's "modern" history.

Only 11 cars finished this 5-hour marathon.[2] The 8th-place finisher was 22 laps down, and the 11th-place finisher dropped out with 34 laps to go.[2] The top prize at this race was $18,715 ($118,149 when adjusted for inflation) and the prize for finishing last (40th) was $1,015 ($6,408 when adjusted for inflation).[2]Richard Petty competed in this race but failed to finish; he would end up in 20th after starting from the pole position.[2] The majority of the drivers who failed to finish had an engine problem.[2] 43-year-old Hershel McGriff entered and raced a Cup race for the first time since 1954, when he won a Grand National race at North Wilkesboro in an Oldsmobile, back when he was 26. McGriff would qualify in 8th and finish 12th.[2]

Harry Hyde and Dale Inman were notable crew chiefs for this event; working for Richard Petty (Inman) and fourth-place finisher Bobby Isaac (Hyde).[4]

At the end of the race, the margin between Elder and Bobby Allison was ten and a half seconds.[2] Ray Elder would score the first of his two NASCAR cup victories here[2] (with his second victory taking place at the 1972 Golden State 400[5]). This race was Ron Grable's only start in the NASCAR Cup series and that G.T. Tallas finished the race with his career best of 11th place.

Qualifying

Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer
1 43 Richard Petty '70 Plymouth
2 12 Bobby Allison '70 Dodge
3 96 Ray Elder '70 Dodge
4 71 Bobby Isaac '71 Dodge
5 48 James Hylton '70 Ford
6 02 Dick Bown '70 Plymouth
7 72 Benny Parsons '69 Ford
8 04 Hershel McGriff '70 Plymouth
9 39 Friday Hassler '69 Chevrolet
10 32 Kevin Terris '70 Plymouth
11 38 Jimmy Insolo '69 Chevrolet
12 10 Bill Champion '69 Ford
13 24 Cecil Gordon '69 Ford
14 44 Dick Guldstrand '68 Chevrolet
15 08 John Soares, Jr. '70 Plymouth
16 17 David Pearson '70 Ford
17 19 Henley Gray '69 Ford
18 88 Don Noel '70 Ford
19 64 Elmo Langley '69 Mercury
20 83 Joe Clark '69 Chevrolet
21 99 Pat Fay '71 Ford
22 26 Carl Joiner, Jr. '69 Chevrolet
23 6 Jerry Oliver '70 Oldsmobile
24 95 Bob Kauf '69 Chevrolet
25 15 Paul Dorrity '71 Chevrolet
26 82 Ron Gautsche '69 Ford
27 4 Dick Kranzler '70 Chevrolet
28 07 Ivan Baldwin '69 Chevrolet
29 23 G.T. Tallas '69 Ford
30 00 Frank James '69 Chevrolet
31 7 Jack McCoy '70 Dodge
32 77 Ray Johnstone '69 Plymouth
33 5 Ron Grable '70 Ford
34 70 J.D. McDuffie '69 Mercury
35 148 Harry Schilling '69 Dodge
36 177 Roy Collins '69 Dodge
37 79 Frank Warren '69 Plymouth
38 108 Mike Pittlekow '69 Chevrolet
39 33 Glenn Francis '70 Chevrolet
40 18 Bob England '70 Chevrolet

Finishing order

Timeline

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Richard Petty had the lead position as the green flag was waved.
  • Lap 4: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty.
  • Lap 5: David Pearson took over the lead from Bobby Allison.
  • Lap 21: Joe Clark's vehicle developed transmission issues.
  • Lap 25: Richard Petty took over the lead from David Pearson.
  • Lap 36: Ray Johnstone had a terminal crash.
  • Lap 38: Problems with the vehicle's clutch ended Mike Kittlekow's day on the track.
  • Lap 40: Frank Warren developed terminal issues with his transmission.
  • Lap 56: Bob Kauf's vehicle had a terminal transmission issue which knocked him out of the race.
  • Lap 58: Bill Champion's vehicle had a terminal transmission issue which knocked him out of the race.
  • Lap 76: Dick Guldstrad managed to lose a frame out of his vehicle, making his car too unsafe for further racing.
  • Lap 84: Ray Elder took over the lead from Richard Petty.
  • Lap 97: Frank James developed a faulty transmission in his vehicle.
  • Lap 107: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Ray Elder.
  • Lap 118: A faulty lug bolt ended Ron Gaustche's race.
  • Lap 120: Ray Elder took over the lead from Bobby Allison.
  • Lap 133: Steering issues brought Dick Bown's day on the track to a premature halt.
  • Lap 136: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Ray Elder.
  • Lap 150: Ray Elder took over the lead from Bobby Allison.
  • Lap 155: Bob England managed to render his vehicle's engine non-functional.
  • Lap 156: Hershel McGriff ruined the ignition of his vehicle by driving at high speeds.
  • Lap 157: G.T. Tallas managed to render his vehicle's engine non-functional.
  • Lap 166: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Ray Elder.
  • Lap 180: Ray Elder took over the lead from Bobby Allison.
  • Finish: Ray Elder was officially declared the winner of the event.

References

  1. ^ "1971 Motor Trend 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "1971 Motor Trend 500 information". Racing Reference. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b "Summary of the 1971 Motor Trend 500". Muscle Car Films. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Notable crew chiefs". Race Database. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Ray Elder's second victory". Racing Reference. Retrieved .
Preceded by
1970 Tidewater 300
NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup Races
1970-71
Succeeded by
1971 Daytona 500
Preceded by
1970 Motor Trend 500
Motor Trend 500 races
1964-71
Succeeded by
becomes the Winston Western 500

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

1971_Motor_Trend_500
 



 



 
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