After more than a dozen years as a dirt track, track promoter Paul Sawyer paved Richmond following the first Grand National race of 1968. In doing so, the track was lengthened ever so slightly from a true half-mile to a .542 mile oval. David Pearson won Richmond's final 250-lap race on dirt, and Richard Petty won the first 300-lap one on the new asphalt surface.
The spring 1969 race was lengthened to 500 laps and about 250 miles - the longest race held to that point at the track. Despite the change in track surface and distance, the race featured little drama. David Pearson won the pole in his #17 Holman Moody Ford. He then set forth to puttin' a whuppin' on the field. He led a dominating 416 of 500 laps, lapped most of the field by multiple laps, and finished a full lap ahead of second place finisher Richard Petty.
|Source: Stock Car Racing magazine|
|Photo courtesy of Brian '200WINZ' Hauck|
|Credit: Richmond Times Dispatch|
|Source: Free Lance Star via Google News Archives|