Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1983 Talladega 500

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Official name  Talladega 500
1983 Talladega 500
Date  July 31, 1983 (1983-July-31)
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  Hot with temperatures approaching 90.9 °F (32.7 °C); wind speeds up to 10.9 miles per hour (17.5 km/h)

The 1983 Talladega 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that occurred on July 31, 1983, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama.


With ten laps remaining, a large variety of clouds started popping up in the sky and the wind became wild. The sky got blood red because of all the dirt being blown around.


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.


Forty skilled drivers made the grid; Trevor Boys was the only driver not to be born in the United States of America. The race lasted almost three hours for a duration of 188 laps. Dick Skillen was the last-place finisher due to a crash on the first lap with Travis Tiller, Tommy Gale, Billie Harvey, Grant Adcox, and Neil Bonnett. J.D. McDuffie was the lowest-finishing driver to actually finish the race; he was 44 laps behind the leaders. Richard Petty and his son Kyle managed to qualify for this racing event. 95,000 people would come to see rising stars like Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, and Sterling Marlin perform. Bonnett was leading the race with 12 laps to go when he pitted for fuel only. The car stalled and it took long enough to get it re-fired that Earnhardt and Waltrip were able to get by.

Cale Yarborough would qualify for the pole position with a top speed of 201.744 miles per hour (324.675 km/h). Dale Earnhardt would defeat Darrell Waltrip by four car lengths in this race; securing his last victory for an owner other than Richard Childress. Harvey and Tiller would retire from NASCAR after this race. Individual earnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $46,950 ($112,896.48 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $1,450 ($3,486.69 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse handed out to all of the qualifying drivers was $316,700 ($761,540.23 when adjusted for inflation).

Wind speeds for the area reached a maximum sustained speed of less than 11 miles per hour (18 km/h). Less than 0.1 inches (2.5 mm) of rain was reported 24 hours prior to the race.

Race summary

  • Lead changes: 46 among different drivers
  • Cautions/Laps: 2 for 16
  • Red flags: 0
  • Time of race: 2 hours, 55 minutes and 52 seconds
  • Average speed: 170.611 miles per hour (274.572 km/h)
  • References

    1983 Talladega 500 Wikipedia