Sunday 17th November 1968
Richard Petty took the lead from David Pearson with 21 laps remaining to win the Georgia 500 at Middle Georgia Raceway’s (US) half-mile asphalt track in Macon. Petty dominated by leading 362 of 500 laps, but finished just five seconds ahead of Pearson’s pole-starting Holman-Moody Ford. James Hylton finished third, 10 laps behind the lead pair.
Thirty drivers qualified for this 500-lap racing event that took three hours and eight minutes to complete. Most of the field was driving vehicles made by Ford. J.D. McDuffie ended up becoming the last-place finisher due to a problem with his engine on lap 20. Ed Negre was the lowest finishing driver to complete the race regardless of being 206 laps behind the drivers on the lead lap. Friday Hassler’s engine problems were unfortunate enough to kick him out of the race on lap 476 with a “fortunate” sixth-place finish. Six thousand excited NASCAR fans were eager to see Richard Petty defeat David Pearson by a margin of five seconds.
From the halfway point (lap 251) to the end of the event, Petty and Pearson didn’t allow the lead to escape their collective grasps. David Pearson, Bobby Isaac, and Bobby Allison all dominated the opening 100 laps of this racing event. The average racing speed was 85.121 miles per hour (136.989 km/h); which was overshadowed by David Pearson’s solo qualifying speed of 95.472 miles per hour (153.647 km/h).
Individual driver earnings from this racing event ranged from the winner’s share of $3,500 ($24,104.78 when considering inflation) to the lowest possible earnings of $150 ($1,033.06 when considering inflation). Organizers were authorized to hand over a grand total of $16,935 for all the qualifying drivers ($116,632.72 when considering inflation).