Bobby Allison is joined by his crew after a victory at Darlington.
Darlington, S.C. (September 4, 1972) – Polesitter Bobby Allison took the lead from David Pearson with less than five laps remaining to capture his second consecutive Southern 500 stock car race.The two leaders had to pit for gas with less than 20 laps left in the 367-lap event. Pearson used a 7.8-second stop to overtake the Chevrolet driver.
But on lap 362, Allison pulled around Pearson and crossed the finish line two car lengths ahead of the Mercury driver.
The two drivers completely outclassed the other 38 competitors in the field and waged a neck-and-neck duel throughout most of the race.
Pearson, who had to start in the 13th position because of a blown engine on the first day of qualifying, quickly closed the gap and was in second place by lap 15.
Allison led 13 times for a total of 229 laps while Pearson headed the pack 11 times for 123 laps. There were 30 lead changes among seven drivers.
Richard Petty, who had to make two unscheduled pit stops because of flat tires, finished third, seven laps behind the leaders. Fred Lorenzen, who started alongside Allison in the front row, finished fourth and H.B. Bailey, relieved by Lee Roy Yarbrough, took the fifth spot.
Several of the top drivers were taken out of action on lap 13 when Donnie Allison’s car went sideways in the third turn and the ensuing crash knocked Allison, Yarbrough, Bobby Isaac and Joe Frasson out of the race.
Allison picked up $21,400 for his victory in the 3 hour and 54-minute race. His average speed was 128.12 miles per hour.
1. Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
2. David Pearson, Spartanburg, S.C.
3. Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C.
4. Fred Lorenzen, Elmhurst, Ill.
5. H.B. Bailey, Houston, Tex.
6. Buddy Arrington, Martinsville, Va.
7. Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis.
8. Jim Vandiver, Charlotte, N.C.
9. Marty Robbins, Nashville, Tenn.
10.Coo Coo Marlin, Columbia, Tenn.
11.James Hylton, Inman, S.C.
12.Walter Ballard, Houston, Tex.
13.Bill Champion, Norfolk, Va.
14.Ed Negre, Concord, N.C.
15.J.D. McDuffie, Sanford, N.C.
16.Tom Gale, McKeesport, Penn.
17.Frank Warren, Harrisburg, N.C.
18.David Boggs, Mooresville, N.C.
19.G.C. Spencer, Bluff City, Tenn.
20.Jabe Thomas, Christiansburg, Va.