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1969:

David Pearson claims his third championship

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David Pearson won 11 races in 1969 and claimed his third NASCAR Cup Series championship aboard the No. 17 Ford Torino fielded by Holman Moody, Ford’s factory racing operation.

The end of the decade marked Pearson’s 10th season of racing in the NASCAR premier series and the 34-year-old native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was on top of his game.

John Holman and Ralph Moody formed the Holman Moody race car factory in 1956 with Ford Motor Co. supplying cars, parts and engineering. In order to showcase the team’s craftsmanship, the powerhouse organization fielded top drivers in NASCAR with Pearson as the primary wheelman. He had joined the operation the previous year after scoring championships with team owner Cotton Owens in 1966 and 1967.

Pearson was victorious in one of the 50-mile qualifying events at Daytona International Speedway early in 1969. He also scored superspeedway victories at Rockingham Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Trenton Speedway and the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, North Carolina. He notched short-track victories at Augusta Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Langley Speedway, Thompson Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway.

With so many wins, Pearson remained a strong championship contender throughout the year and found Richard Petty to be his toughest rival for the title.

1969

PRESIDENT: Richard Nixon

NO. 1 AT THE BOX OFFICE: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

NO. 1 SONG: “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies

POP CULTURE: Woodstock Music Festival attracts more than 350,000 people

GALLON OF GAS: 35 cents

BEST RACE

ON MONDAY, Sept. 1, 1969, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway came down to LeeRoy Yarbrough in the Junior Johnson and Associates Ford and Pearson’s Holman Moody Ford. In a race shortened from 367 to 230 laps by rain, Yarbrough pitted for hard tires while Pearson took soft tires. On lap 220, Pearson raced past Yarbrough but lost traction in the third turn on the final lap, opening the door for Yarbrough to win.

SEASON RECAP

DATE | LOCATION | WINNER

November 17 | Middle Georgia Raceway | Richard Petty

December 8 | Montgomery Speedway | Bobby Allison

February 1 | Riverside International Raceway | Richard Petty

February 20 | Daytona International Speedway | David Pearson

February 20 | Daytona International Speedway | Bobby Isaac

February 23 | Daytona International Speedway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

March 9 | Rockingham Speedway | David Pearson

March 16 | Augusta Speedway | David Pearson

March 23 | Bristol Motor Speedway | Bobby Allison

March 30 | Atlanta Motor Speedway | Cale Yarborough

April 3 | Columbia Speedway | Bobby Isaac

April 6 | Hickory Motor Speedway | Bobby Isaac

April 8 | Greenville-Pickens Speedway | Bobby Isaac

April 13 | Richmond Raceway | David Pearson

April 20 | North Wilkesboro Speedway | Bobby Allison

April 27 | Martinsville Speedway | Richard Petty

May 4 | Asheville-Weaverville Speedway | Bobby Isaac

May 10 | Darlington Raceway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

May 16 | Beltsville Speedway | Bobby Isaac

May 17 | Langley Speedway | David Pearson

May 25 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

June 1 | Middle Georgia Raceway | Bobby Isaac

June 5 | Smoky Mountain Raceway | Bobby Isaac

June 15 | Michigan International Speedway | Cale Yarborough

June 19 | Kingsport Speedway | Richard Petty

June 21 | Greenville-Pickens Speedway | Bobby Isaac

June 26 | State Fairgrounds Speedway | David Pearson

July 4 | Daytona International Speedway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

July 6 | Dover International Speedway | Richard Petty

July 10 | Thompson Speedway | David Pearson

July 13 | Trenton Speedway | David Pearson

July 15 | Beltsville Speedway | Richard Petty

July 20 | Bristol Motor Speedway | David Pearson

July 26 | Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville | Richard Petty

July 27 | Smoky Mountain Speedway | Richard Petty

August 10 | Atlanta Motor Speedway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

August 17 | Michigan International Speedway | David Pearson

August 21 | South Boston Speedway | Bobby Isaac

August 22 | Bowman Gray Stadium | Richard Petty

August 24 | Asheville-Weaverville Speedway | Bobby Isaac

September 1 | Darlington Raceway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

September 5 | Hickory Motor Speedway | Bobby Isaac

September 7 | Richmond Raceway | Bobby Allison

September 14 | Talladega Superspeedway | Richard Brickhouse

September 18 | Columbia Speedway | Bobby Isaac

September 28 | Martinsville Speedway | Richard Petty

October 5 | North Wilkesboro Speedway | David Pearson

October 12 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | Donnie Allison

October 17 | Savannah Speedway | Bobby Isaac

October 19 | Augusta Speedway | Bobby Isaac

October 26 | Rockingham Speedway | LeeRoy Yarbrough

November 2 | Jeffco Speedway | Bobby Isaac

November 9 | Middle Georgia Raceway | Bobby Allison

December 7 | Texas World Speedway | Bobby Isaac

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