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Benny and LeeRoy
LeeRoy Yarbrough #98 tucks in behind the #72 Ford of Benny Parsons during the 1970 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Yarbrough drove for Junior Johnson from late 1967 through part of the 1971 NASCAR Grand National seasons.....During his tenure with Johnson, LeeRoy won 10 races, including the 1969 Daytona 500.
Richard Brickhouse #59, David Pearson #17 and LeeRoy Yarbrough #98 hook up in close quarters off the 4th turn at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1970. Three of Yarbrough's 14 career wins came on the Charlotte Mile-and-a-Half.
LeeRoy Yarbrough leads Bobby Isaac off the 4th turn at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the closing laps of the 1970 National 500. Yarbrough led the final 12 laps and posted his 14th and final career NASCAR Grand National (today's Winston Cup) victory in this event.
Portrait Of A Champion
LeeRoy Yarbrough was a supremely confident man throughout his stock car racing career. In his formative days, he was as cocky as they came, bragging that he could do things with a speedy automobile that others couldn't. While his self analysis was usually right on the money, it took him several years to gain the respect of his comrades. Curiously, once he hit the big time and began winning races on a regular basis, Yarbrough became quite humble. He was one of the first to direct lavish praise to his crew members during post-race interviews, and he was often heard thanking the Lord for his gifted talents.
1969 Southern 500
LeeRoy Yarbrough and Richard Petty duel through the 2nd turn at Darlington Raceway in the 1969 Southern 500. Yarbrough started 4th in the field of 40 and was among the leaders throughout the rain-shortened race. In the final lap, Yarbrough scampered past David Pearson to win the 20th edition of the Granddaddy of all NASCAR superspeedway races.
LeeRoy Yarbrough savors the thrill of victory with Miss Falstaff and crew chief Herb Nab following his triumph in the 1970 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Falstaff Brewing Co. was the primary sponsor of the NASCAR champion point fund in 1970, tossing in $25,000 to the champion. The following year, R.J. Reynolds came into NASCAR and has provided the point fund ever since.
1969 Daytona 500 Winner
LeeRoy Yarbrough sits in his 1969 Daytona 500 winning Ford Cobra prior to the 11th annual running of the Great American Race. Yarbrough drove one of the new Ford Talladega models in the '69 Daytona 500, but Ford preferred to call it a Ford Cobra since the new 429 cubic inch engine had not yet been approved for competition. Yarbrough passed Charlie Glotzbach in the final lap to score the biggest win of his career.
LeeRoy Yarbrtough leads Cale Yarborough in the final laps of the 1968 Atlanta 500. Yarbrough was leading on a restart with 33 laps remaining, but was blackflagged for allegedly jumping the green flag. LeeRoy ignored the black flag for 5 laps while team owner Junior Johnson got into a heated arguement with NASCAR officials on pit road. Eventually, Yarbrough did come in for the stop-and-go penalty -- and was able to return to the track after the penalty to grab runner-up honors.
LeeRoy Yarbrough drove Jon Thorne's independent Dodge Charger in selected events during the 1966 NASCAR Grand National season. In the 9 races Yarbrough drove for Thorne in the '66 season, he won 2 poles and the National 500 at Charlotte for his first career superspeedway win. Starting 17th in the field of 44, Yarbrough knifed his way through the field in the Charlotte 500-miler and demolished the field, leading for 301 of the 334 laps, quite an achievement for an independent, unsponsored team.
The first superspeedway built in the state of Texas was Texas Int'l Speedway (later re-named Texas World Speedway), which opened in December of 1969. Located in Bryan, Texas, the track had difficulty in attracting good crowds. In the inaugural 500-miler, LeeRoy Yarbrough (shown crossing the start/finish line) led on 6 different occasions. Engine failure in the final 30 laps put him out, but he still managed to finish 10th.
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