| Dixie 500|
| November 7, 1976 (1976-November-07)|
Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Chilly with temperatures approaching 66.9 °F (19.4 °C); wind speeds up to 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)
The 1976 Dixie 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) race that took place on November 7, 1976, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.
1976 Dixie 500 Wikipedia
Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate track to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.
The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long. The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.
Three hundred and twenty eight laps were done on a paved oval track spanning 1.522 miles (2.449 km) for a grand total of 499.2 miles (803.4 km). The total time of the race was three hours and fifty-five minutes. Four cautions were made for forty-one laps. Dave Marcis defeated David Pearson by two car lengths. Chevrolet vehicles managed to fill out the majority of the racing grid.
Speeds for this race were: 127.396 miles per hour (205.024 km/h) as the average and 161.652 miles per hour (260.154 km/h) for the pole position. Forty-six thousand fans attended this live race. Total winnings for this race were $132,625 ($558,188.38 when adjusted for inflation). Canadian driver Jack Donohue would finish the race in last place without completing any laps of the race due to an engine problem; he was granted 55 championship points just for qualifying. Richie Panch, son of Marvin Panch, would retire after the end of this race while Billy McGinnis would make his official NASCAR Cup Series debut.
Dale Earnhardt survived a huge crash when Richard Brooks slid down the banking of Turn 3; Earnhardt hit Brooks and tumbled to Turn 4. Future NASCAR superstar Bill Elliott had a role wiping the windshield of 16th-place finisher Gene Felton's stock car; Elliott would go on to have a successful Cup Series career of his own 14 years later.
† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race