Supriya Ghosh

1977 Winston 500

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Official name  Winston 500
1977 Winston 500
Date  May 1, 1977 (1977-May-01)
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  Warm with temperatures approaching 84 °F (29 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)

The 1977 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on May 1, 1977, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama. The tenth of 30 races of the 1977 Winston Cup Grand National season, the Winston 500 started 41 cars.

Contents

The race's pole was won by A.J. Foyt, driving a Chevrolet Laguna racecar. His pole speed was 192 miles per hour or 309 kilometres per hour. Benny Parsons qualified second while the race's defending champion Buddy Baker timed in 20th. Darrell Waltrip qualified 11th a month following a breakthrough win in the Rebel 500 at Darlington.

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

The race was a very competitive event, as the lead changed 63 times among 11 drivers. Donnie Allison, driving a Chevrolet for Hoss Ellington, raced to the lead on the opening lap and would lead 71 laps total. Foyt fell out on Lap 18 when his engine blew and he spun through Turns Three and Four. Richard Petty, who passed seven cars on Lap Six to take the lead, fell out in the final 35 laps with engine failure, while Baker, who passed both Petty and Foyt for the lead on Lap Seven, fell out 90 laps in with engine failure.

Waltrip was leading on the final lap with Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Parsons in his draft; in the first turn Waltrip pinched his Chevy to the bottom lane of Turns One and Two and momentarily broke the draft; Allison caught him on the backstretch but Cale and Parsons blew past; Cale swung high entering Three but was sideswiped by Waltrip and lost just enough momentum that Waltrip cleared and Parsons raced nose to nose with Yarborough all the way to the stripe. The win was Waltrip's second of the 1977 season and second on a superspeedway.

Individual earnings for each driver varied from the winner's portion of $26,875 ($106,216.02 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's portion of $1,705 ($6,738.54 when adjusted for inflation). NASCAR allowed the officials to hand out a grand total of $211,405 for all the qualifying drivers ($835,519.93 when adjusted for inflation). Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

References

1977 Winston 500 Wikipedia


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