Katrina and I recently visited and toured the Charlotte Motor Speedway. That got me to thinking about the races there back in the day. In 1969 Lee Roy Yarbrough won World 600 piloting a new Mercury Cyclone. In late 1969 the Ford Motor Company pulled out of racing. So what would happen in 1970? Donnie Allison won that race in a 1969 Ford Torino. Second place went to Cale Yarborough in his 1969 Cyclone.
Back then, as today, the factories encouraged the race teams to drive their most recent model. If you remember, in September 1969 the new bigger Ford Torino and Mercury Cyclone cars were released and should have been the hot setup for NASCAR. Without factory support, the race teams were going to race what was fast. The 1969 Ford and Mercury cars were still more aerodynamic than their new 1970 replacements.
A year later in 1971, Chevy finally was making a move back into NASCAR and Charlie Glotzbach showed up with a quick 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo. Bobby and Donnie Allison were both back in 1969 Mercury Cyclone race cars and the MOPARS were also there in their new bodied cars.
With the Mercurys and Fords in their last year of eligibility could they even be competitive? Why, of course! Watch the video below and see how the race ends.