Today In NASCAR History

July 20, 2012

1969: David Pearson wins the Volunteer 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with an assist from an unexpected source — longtime rival Richard Petty, who drove the final 146 laps in relief — on the same day that the Apollo 11 lunar lander touched down on the moon. Pearson, who was suffering from the flu, was credited with leading 316 of 500 laps in his ninth victory of the season. Bobby Isaac took second place, three laps down, with Donnie Allison third — 13 laps off the pace. A flurry of wrecks and engine failures left just 10 of the 32 starters running at the finish. Fans and other Bristol attendees then rushed home to see the Apollo 11 crew make history.