THE DON HUNTER COLLECTION
A HISTORIC DAY
David Pearson shares victory lane with two trophy queens following the 1969 Volunteer 500 at Bristol International Speedway.
On a blistering hot afternoon that saw temperatures rise to above 100 degrees, only 10 of 32 cars in the field finished the event on the track's brand-new, high-banked racing surface. Tenth-place Roy Tyner was 97 laps down at the end of the event.
Pearson, who was ill on top of having to endure the incredible heat, sought relief help from Richard Petty on lap 345. Petty, whose own engine had blown just 60 laps into the race, and Pearson went on to lead the last 142 laps. The race was held on July 20, the day that Apollo 11 made the first landing on the moon.
The race was still underway when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface, and most at the track were eager to make it to a television to see the historic first moonwalk hours later. Veteran motorsports journalist Tom Higgins was there, and filed a story on Monday's 40th anniversary of the race and moonwalk about the day's events. Read more here...