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1978 Capital City 400

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Official name  Capital City 400
1978 Capital City 400
Date  September 10, 1978 (1978-September-10)
Location  Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway, Richmond, Virginia
Course  Permanent racing facility 0.542 mi (0.872 km)
Distance  400 laps, 216.8 mi (348.9 km)
Weather  Hot with temperatures approaching 95 °F (35 °C); wind speeds up to 17.26 miles per hour (27.78 km/h)

The 1978 Capital City 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on September 10, 1978, at Richmond Fairgrounds in Richmond, Virginia.

Contents

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.

Background

In 1953, Richmond International Raceway began hosting the Grand National Series with Lee Petty winning that first race in Richmond. The original track was paved in 1968. In 1988, the track was re-designed into its present D-shaped configuration

The name for the raceway complex was "Strawberry Hill" until the Virginia State Fairgrounds site was bought out in 1999 and renamed the "Richmond International Raceway". The Strawberry Hill Races, which are a series of steeplechase horse races were formerly held the third Saturday of April at the Richmond Raceway Complex. In 2001, the races were moved to Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia's first Thoroughbred racetrack.

Summary

Four hundred laps were completed on an oval track spanning 0.546 miles (0.879 km) per lap for a grand total of 216.8 miles (348.9 km) of racing. The race was completed within two hours and forty-three minutes of the first official green flag of the race. Darrell Waltrip would end up defeating Bobby Allison (who drove a 1978 Ford Thunderbird) by only one second. Neil Bonnett started chasing down Waltrip on pit road and slammed into Waltrip's vehicle; forcing Bill France, Jr. to put them on probation for the remainder of the year. The spectators were incredibly disgruntled after Darrell Waltrip's victory so Waltrip needed police protection in order to make it to the post-race interviews.

When I passed Neil, I was on the inside and he was on the outside. It think it's pretty poor strategy when he doesn't move up. He actually cut into me.

Eighteen thousand people were a live witness to five yellow flags being used for twenty-seven laps in addition to 16 lead changes by the drivers. The pole position speed was acquired by Darrell Waltrip's Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a qualifying speed of 91.964 miles per hour (148.002 km/h) during his solo run. Meanwhile, the average speed of the actual race would be 79.568 miles per hour (128.052 km/h).

Ed Negre would receive the last-place finish for a brake problem acquired on lap 6 of the race. The top prize of the race was $13,800 ($50,672.76 when adjusted for inflation) while last placed awarded the driver with a meager $300 ($1,101.58 when adjusted for inflation). Cale Yarborough would retain his lead in the championship points after this race. 30 drivers would attend this race; all of them were born in the United States of America.

Timeline

  • Start of race: Darrell Waltrip started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 6: Ed Negre abused his vehicle's brakes, causing him to exit the race prematurely
  • Lap 16: Wayne Morgan's vehicle overheated, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 28: Ferrel Harris' vehicle also overheated, with the same consequences
  • Lap 49: Tighe Scott had a terminal crash, causing him to withdraw from the event
  • Lap 52: Dave Marcis gained the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 53: Lennie Pond gained the lead from Dave Marcis
  • Lap 54: Neil Bonnett gained the lead from Lennie Pond
  • Lap 85: The rear end of Dave Dion's vehicle was unserviceable, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 172: Nelson Oswald's vehicle overheated, ending his day on the track early
  • Lap 182: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 183: Bobby Allison gained the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 184: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 191: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 198: Tommy Gale's engine became problematic, causing him not to finish the race
  • Lap 256: Frank Warren's vehicle had some handling issues, ending his race prematurely
  • Lap 265: Richard Petty took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 266: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 267: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 274: Richard Petty took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 286: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 343: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 356: Issues with his vehicle's rear end would make Richard Petty humble, settling for a disrepectful 20th place "finish"
  • Lap 385: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 395: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Neil Bonnett, making this the final lead change of the event
  • Finish: Darrell Waltrip won the race, shortly before disrespecting former race champion Neil Bonnett
  • References

    1978 Capital City 400 Wikipedia


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