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1977 Wilkes 400

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Official name  Wilkes 400
1977 Wilkes 400
Date  October 2, 1977 (1977-October-02)
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  Hot with temperatures approaching 86 °F (30 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)

The 1977 Wilkes 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on October 2, 1977, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.


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.


Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, and Cale Yarborough would constantly compete for the lead in this 400-lap event. After two hours and fifty-nine minutes of racing, Darrell Waltrip would defeat Cale Yarborough by slightly more than seven seconds in front of a live audience of eleven thousand people. There were 26 drivers on the starting grid; all of them were American-born. Junior Miller withdrew from the race on lap 5 and would become the last-place finisher in the race.

Petty ended up in 24th place due to a crash on lap 240; he was the pole position starter by virtue of driving up to 108.35 miles per hour (174.37 km/h) during his solo qualifying run. The winner of the race would drive at speeds averaging up to 86.713 miles per hour (139.551 km/h) in the actual event. This would become Waltrip's fifth win of the 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. However, he would not become a credible challenger for the Winston Cup Championship until the 1980s.

Monetary awards for this event ranged from $12,500 ($49,402.80 when adjusted for inflation) to a meager $390 ($1,541.37 when adjusted for inflration). The total prize purse for this racing event was $64,055 ($253,159.71 when adjusted for inflation).


  • Start of race: Richard Petty started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 5: Junior Miller quit the race for personal reasons
  • Lap 77: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 105: Richard Petty took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 113: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Richard Petty; Petty took it back on the following lap
  • Lap 114: Ferrel Harris managed to overheat his vehicle, forcing him to exit the event early
  • Lap 136: Darrell Waltrip took the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 137: Benny Parsons took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 148: Richard Petty took over the lead from Benny Parsons
  • Lap 240: Richard Petty had a terminal crash; causing him to withdraw from the event
  • Lap 241: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 286: The rear end of J.D. McDuffie vehicle stopped being useful, sending him home early
  • Lap 290: D.K. Ulrich's engine became problematic; forcing him to exit the race prematurely
  • Lap 311: Cale Yarborough took the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 312: Darrell Waltrip took the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Finish: Darrell Waltrip was officially declared the winner of the event
  • References

    1977 Wilkes 400 Wikipedia

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