| August 22, 1977 (1977-August-22)|
Champion Spark Plug 400
Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Mild with temperatures approaching 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
The 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on August 22, 1977, at Michigan International Speedway in the American community of Brooklyn, Michigan.
During this era, Michigan International Speedway was a Mercury-dominated track. It was also a track that suited a smooth driver or a driver that could change his driving tactics for Michigan International Speedway.
1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 Wikipedia
Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long. Opened in 1968, the track's turns are banked at eighteen degrees, while the 3,600-foot-long front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at twelve degrees. The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.
There were 36 drivers on the racing grid; all of them were born in the United States of America. While Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip would duel for the lead during the opening laps of this racing event, Waltrip would eventually battle against Benny Parsons for supremacy during the closing laps. David Pearson would end up losing to Darrell Waltrip by a mere two car lengths in front of a live audience of 35,000 stock car racing fans. Waltrip's crew chief for this race would be Buddy Parrott.
Janet Guthrie was the only female representative in this race; finishing an outstanding tenth place and securing a spot as one of the "top ten" finishers. Earle Canavan would secure the last-place finish in this 200-lap racing event due to an engine issue on the first lap. Most of the DNFs in this race would be due to serious engine issues. The lowest finishing driver to finish the race was Dave Marcis. Only six drivers would end the race on the lead lap; with Yarborough being the slowest driver on the lead lap. After this race, Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty would be 50 points of each other; gunning for a championship opportunity.
The entire winning purse for this race was $108,825 ($430,100.78 when adjusted for inflation); Waltrip brought home $16,820 to his family ($66,476.41 when adjusted for inflation) while Canavan was barely able to profit by taking home a meager $600 ($2,371.33 when adjusted for inflation). Terry Ryan would retire from NASCAR Cup Series racing after this event was over.Lap 1: Cale Yarborough was officially leading the race as the green flag was waved
Lap 5: Baxter Price managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 41: Richard Childress managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 61: Ed Negre managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 68: Buddy Baker managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 76: Bill Elliott managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 85: Harold Miller's vehicle suffered from a problematic driveshaft
Lap 114: Jocko Maggiacomo managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 117: Bobby Allison managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 125: Butch Hartman managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Lap 134: Joey Mihalic's wheel started acting funny
Lap 141: Frank Warren managed to blow his vehicle's engine
Finish: Darrell Waltrip was officially declared the winner of the race