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1976 Gwyn Staley 400

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Official name  Gwyn Staley 400
1976 Gwyn Staley 400

Date  April 4, 1976 (1976-April-04)
Location  North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Course  Permanent racing facility 0.625 mi (1.005 km)
Distance  400 laps, 250 mi (402 km)
Weather  Temperatures reaching as warm as 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds up to 18.8 miles per hour (30.3 km/h)

The 1976 Gwyn Staley 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series stock car race held on April 4, 1976, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Contested over 400 laps, it was the seventh race of the 30-event 1976 season. Cale Yarborough of Junior Johnson Motorsports took his second win of the season, while Richard Petty finished second and Bobby Allison third. Benny Parsons left the event with the season points lead.


There were 28 American-born drivers who participated in this race; Jeff Handy finished in last-place due to an engine problem on the third lap of this 400-lap race. Jabe Thomas was the lowest-finishing driver to finish the race. He was 51 laps behind the leaders. Cale Yarborough defeated Richard Petty after two and a half hours of racing in front of 18000 people; it was the first time any driver other than Petty had won the event since 1969. Yarborough won the race by a margin of one lap "and about 100 feet" over Petty; Petty had been ten seconds behind Yarborough before being trapped a lap down during a pit stop under caution, when Yarborough managed to beat the pace car out of the pits while the slower Petty had to wait. Benny Parsons, Yarborough, and Petty had been exchanging the lead amongst each other up to that point. The other drivers who finished in the top ten were Bobby Allison, Parsons, J.D. McDuffie, Lennie Pond, Dick Brooks, Dave Marcis, Richard Childress and Walter Ballard. Yarborough set an average speed of 96.858 miles per hour (155.878 km/h) for the event; he described the race as a turnaround for his team, which had struggled, by his standards, up to that point in the 1976 season.

Marcis, who was described as having his "best season ever" to that point in the year, earned the pole position for the event, setting a speed of 108.585 miles per hour (174.751 km/h) in his Dodge during solo qualifying runs; Marcis' time set a new track record speed, with Parsons and Darrell Waltrip also breaking the old track record. Only two caution periods slowed the race, one for an accident by James Hylton, another for a crash by Junior Miller, who was making his first appearance in professional stock car racing. Bill Champion would retire from NASCAR competition following the event, along with last-place finisher Jeff Handy.


1976 Gwyn Staley 400 Wikipedia