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1976 Winston 500

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Official name  Winston 500
1976 Winston 500
Date  May 2, 1976 (1976-May-02)
Location  Alabama International Motor Speedway , Talladega, Alabama
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance  188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather  Mild with temperatures reaching a maximum of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)

The 1976 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on May 2, 1976, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.

Contents

Background

Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.

Summary

Dave Marcis won the pole position for the race with a lap of 189.197 miles per hour (304.483 km/h). 40 cars started the race. Buddy Baker defeated Cale Yarborough by 35 seconds, in an average speed of 167.887 miles per hour (270.188 km/h). His record of winning three races in a row at Talladega would not be broken until 2002 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. recorded his fourth consecutive victory at that track. There were 24 different leaders and three cautions for 14 laps. Attendance was 80,000.

Baker had qualified 12th, and two days before the race Bud Moore's team transported the engine for the team's 1976 Ford Torino back to their shop in Spartanburg, SC for examination. The engine was brought back to Talladega the day before the race.

Through his second-place finish, Yarborough managed to take the lead in championship points over Benny Parsons; who finished in 26th place during this event. Parsons was eliminated when Dick Brooks spun out of the lead group and was hit by David Pearson, Marcis, and Parsons. Petty finished fourth after losing a lap when he stalled out his car on pit road.

Prize winnings for this race varied from $25,285 for the winner ($106,418.80 when considering inflation) all the way to $1,205 for last-place finisher Darrell Bryant ($5,071.57 when considering inflation).

Top ten finishers

  1. Buddy Baker (No. 15)
  2. Cale Yarborough (No. 11)
  3. Bobby Allison (No. 2), 1 lap behind
  4. Richard Petty (No. 43), 2 laps behind
  5. Terry Ryan (No. 81), 4 laps behind
  6. Cecil Gordon (No. 24), 4 laps behind
  7. Donnie Allison (No. 28), 4 laps behind
  8. Bruce Hill (No. 47), 6 laps behind
  9. Dave Marcis (No. 71), 6 laps behind
  10. Frank Warren (No. 79), 8 laps behind

References

1976 Winston 500 Wikipedia


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