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1980 Warner W. Hodgdon 400

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Official name  Warner W. Hodgdon 400
1980 Warner W. Hodgdon 400
Date  June 8, 1980 (1980-June-08)
Location  Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.700 mi (4.345 km)
Distance  119 laps, 211.8 mi (401.7 km)
Weather  Hot with temperatures approaching 87.1 °F (30.6 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)

The 1980 Warner W. Hodgdon 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on June 8, 1980, at Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California.

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. Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day. Road courses were one of the more attractive features for NASCAR during the 1980 Winston Cup Series season. NASCAR would develop a liking for mile and a half tracks by the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.


Darrell Waltrip would beat Neil Bonnett by less than half a second in front of 18000 fans in attendance. There were 18 different changes in the first-place position while there would be five different caution periods for 15 laps. Cale Yarborough would qualify for the pole position with a qualifying speed of 113.792 miles per hour (183.130 km/h) while the average speed of the race would be 101.846 miles per hour (163.905 km/h). Cecil Gordon would earn his last top-ten finish at this race. Other famous drivers who raced here included: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Terry Labonte, and Richard Childress (now the owner of Richard Childress Racing).

D.K. Ulrich would finish last in the race due to an engine issue on the pace laps of this 95-lap race. He would make $1,000 just for qualifying ($2,906.70 when adjusted for inflation) while Waltrip went home with an extra $22,100 in his bank account ($64,238.17 when adjusted for inflation).

The race was named after famous race team owner/sponsor, owner of 12 race tracks, local city redeveloper, and philanthropist Warner Hodgdon.

Roy Smith was the only Canadian to appear in a 36-driver grid of mostly American-born competitors. He would drive for NASCAR team owner Robert Beadle. Don Waterman would make his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at this race. The only driver who failed to qualify for the race was Gene Thoensen; an independent driver who was the driver of the unsponsored No. 77 machine.


1980 Warner W. Hodgdon 400 Wikipedia