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1979 Firecracker 400

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Official name  Firecracker 400
1979 Firecracker 400
Date  July 4, 1979 (1979-July-04)
Location  Daytona Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance  160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather  Hot with temperatures approaching 93.9 °F (34.4 °C); wind speeds of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) with 0.28 inches (7.1 mm) of rain reported within 24 hours of the racing event

The 1979 Firecracker 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 4, 1979, at Daytona International Speedway in the American community of Daytona Beach, Florida.

By the following season, 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. Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Summary

There were 41 drivers on the starting grid of this race; Bruce Hill was credited with the last-place finish due to an engine problem on the first lap. Fifteen drivers would fail to finish the race with problems varying from engine trouble, blown tires, and crashes. Foreign-born competitor Claude Ballot-Léna from France would make his final NASCAR Cup Series appearance here; winning $1,130 in American dollars after this race ($3,728.84 when adjusted for inflation). His race ended on lap 83 of 160 with engine problems.

Forty-five thousand fans were in attendance. The average speed was race record 172.89 miles per hour (278.24 km/h). The green flag waved at 10 a.m. Buddy Baker earned the pole position during the solo qualifying runs with a top speed of 193.196 miles per hour (310.919 km/h). Darrell Waltrip would become a frequent contender for the first-place position of this race along with Buddy Baker and Neil Bonnett. Bonnett would go on to defeat Benny Parsons by a single second.

A souvenir program was sold for $3 USD ($9.90 when adjusted for inflation). Kyle Petty attempted to qualify for this race, but crashed during qualifying. He would make his NASCAR debut at Talladega.

References

1979 Firecracker 400 Wikipedia


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