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1982 Champion Spark Plug 400

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1982 Champion Spark Plug 400
Date  August 22, 1982 (1982-August-22)
Official name  Champion Spark Plug 400
Location  Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance  200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather  Mild with temperatures approaching 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)

The 1982 Champion Spark Plug 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event held on August 22, 1982, at Michigan International Speedway in the American community of Brooklyn, Michigan.


While the glory days of Richard Petty ended before this race, he was still more recognized to the general public than Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip during the early 1980s. Between 1974 and 1982, the troika of Waltrip, Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty were considered to be the "elite three drivers" of the NASCAR scene. The rest of 1982 would see a NASCAR Winston Cup Championship slip out of Richard Petty's grasp and into the hands of a young Darrell Waltrip for the second time in his entire career.


Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long. Opened in 1968, the track's turns are banked at eighteen degrees, while the 3,600-foot-long front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at twelve degrees. The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.


It took two hours and forty-five minutes to complete this event. 38 American-born drivers competed on this 200-lap event; Joe Ruttman would become the last-place finisher due to a problem with his vehicle's oil pump on the second lap. Bill Elliott would end up finishing the race 96 laps behind the leaders while Tim Richmond would see the conclusion of his racing weekend by inflicting some damage to the back of his stock car on lap 161.

Buicks, Pontiacs and Ford vehicles would rule the racing grid on this day. Thirty thousand people would come to the race live to watch Bobby Allison best Richard Petty by two car lengths. Bill Elliott brought some fast thrills to the solo qualifying position by driving at speeds up to 162.995 miles per hour (262.315 km/h). While a wide variety of drivers would lead the opening 50 laps, the final 50 laps would be monopolized by three different drivers (Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison). Terry Labonte would keep a close lead in championship points after this race; trailing by a mere 50 points to Bobby Allison. Drivers in the actual race drove an average speed of 136.545 miles per hour (219.748 km/h). Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. and Robin McCall would make their respective departures from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series after the conclusion of this event.

Individual race earnings ranged from the winner's share of $26,900 ($66,758.38 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $1,850 ($4,591.19 when adjusted for inflation). NASCAR officials on the track were authorized by the board of directors to hand out a grand total of $222,875 to all the qualifying drivers of this racing event ($553,114.27 when adjusted for inflation).


  • Start of race: Bill Elliott has the pole position to begin the race with
  • Lap 2: Joe Ruttman's oil pump became problematic, forcing him to become the last-place finisher
  • Lap 3: Caution for spun tire on turn 3, green flag racing resumed on lap 6
  • Lap 7: Earle Canavan's engine stopped working properly
  • Lap 18: Al Loquasto had a terminal crash
  • Lap 21: Caution due to a 5-car accident, green flag racing resumed on lap 26
  • Lap 42: H.B. Bailey couldn't handle his vehicle properly, forcing him to exit the race
  • Lap 45: Mark Martin lost the rear end of his vehicle
  • Lap 47: Robin McCall had a terminal crash
  • Lap 51: Caution due to Robin McCall's accident, green flag racing resumed on lap 26
  • Lap 68: The sway bar from Morgan Shepherd's vehicle came off, ending his race weekend early
  • Lap 75: David Pearson's oil pump stopped working properly
  • Lap 76: Dale Earnhardt's vehicle developed serious brake issues
  • Lap 84: Caution due to rain, green flag racing resumed on lap 92
  • Lap 96: Dave Simko's engine became more than a nuisance for him, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 103: Cale Yarborough's transmission problems ended his hopes of finishing the race
  • Lap 108: Jody Ridley managed to blow the engine of his vehicle
  • Lap 109: Buddy Baker's radiator stopped working properly
  • Lap 115: Caution due to debris; green flag racing resumed on lap 118
  • Lap 139: Tony Bettenhausen, Jr.'s engine caused him to end his race weekend prematurely
  • Lap 161: Tim Richmond managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle
  • Finish: Bobby Allison was officially declared the winner of the event
  • References

    1982 Champion Spark Plug 400 Wikipedia

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