1971 Volunteer 500

1971 Volunteer 500
Race details[1]
Race 28 of 48 in the 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season

Layout of Bristol Motor Speedway
Date July 11, 1971 (1971-July-11)
Official name Volunteer 500
Location Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee
Course Permanent racing facility
0.533 mi (0.857 km)
Distance 500 laps, 266.5 mi (428.8 km)
Weather Hot with temperatures approaching 87.1 °F (30.6 °C); wind speed up to 18.1 miles per hour (29.1 km/h)
Average speed 101.074 miles per hour (162.663 km/h)
Attendance 20,500[2]
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Charlie Glotzbach Howard & Egerton Racing
Laps 411
No. 17 Charlie Glotzbach Howard & Egerton Racing
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1971 Volunteer 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 11, 1971, at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.

The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power any more.


Thirty American-born drivers competed for 500 laps in a race lasting more than two and a half hours.[2][3] More than 20,000 people would see Charlie Glotzbach beat Bobby Allison to the checkered line by more than three laps[2][3] through replacement driver Raymond "Friday" Hassler. He would replace Glotzbach for a few stints of the race as a relief driver because of the immense heat and humidity. Johnny Allen and Jack Smith would do the same thing earlier in 1961; while Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett did it in 1963.

Since Glotzbach qualified for this race, he received credit for what would become his final win in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.[3] This race was completely clean with no yellow or red flags given out by NASCAR authorities.[2][3] While the lead was exchanged seven different times in the race, the average speed of the race was clocked at a mere 101.074 miles per hour (162.663 km/h).[2][3] As of 2011, this record-setting pace is still seen as a respectably fast speed for Bristol Motor Speedway.[4] Chevrolet started to regain their respectability as a fast and reliable vehicle manufacturer after partaking in their first victory since the 1967 Grand National Series season.[5] NASCAR historians would later recognize this win as the first win for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. In future races, NASCAR would start to manipulate the races so that there would be no caution-free races. The last race to be done in the NASCAR Cup Series without a caution was at the 2001 Talladega 500 which took place at Talladega Superspeedway. Bobby Hamilton would go on to win that race.

Raymond Williams and Dick May would quit the race for reasons unknown.[2][3] Bill Shirey acquired the last-place finish due to an ignition problem on lap 5.[2][3] Richard Petty had the privilege of earning the pole position with a top speed of 104.589 miles per hour (168.320 km/h) in qualifying.[2][3] Drivers that failed to qualify for this race were: Richard Childress, D.K. Ulrich, Bill Dennis, and Frank Warren.[2] The amount of money in the racing purse was $26,970 ($157,853.17 when adjusted for inflation).[6]

Top twenty drivers


  1. Weather information for the 1971 Volunteer 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1971 Volunteer 500 at Racing Reference. Accessed 2012-03-02. Archived 2012-03-07.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1971 Volunteer 500 racing information at Race Database
  4. Tales of Bristol Motor Speedway at Google Books
  5. 1971 Volunteer 500 at HowStuffWorks.com
  6. 1971 Volunteer 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Accessed 2012-03-02. Archived 2012-03-07.
Preceded by
1971 Medal of Honor Firecracker 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1971 Albany-Saratoga 250
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