The first race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway was one for the history books. Scheduled for Sept. 14, 1969, the inaugural Talladega 500 was supposed to feature NASCAR’s top stars. However, the Professional Drivers Ass’n led by Richard Petty boycotted the race because of tire failures during practice, resulting in several top stars like Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison not competing in the race.
Enter Richard Brickhouse. The Rocky Mount, N.C., native started the No. 99 Nichels Engineering Dodge from ninth position and led the final 11 laps to win the race. The strike was the only such labor strike in NASCAR history by drivers and the win was the only triumph of Brickhouse’s NASCAR Cup Series career.