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1983 Winston 500

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Official name  Winston 500
1983 Winston 500
Date  May 1, 1983 (1983-May-01)
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  Warm with temperatures approaching 84.9 °F (29.4 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)

The 1983 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event that took place on May 1, 1983, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama.

Contents

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

Background

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 Monster Energy 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.

Race

Before the restrictor plates dramatically slowed down the cars, the restarts were considered to be fast and furious at what is now known as Talladega Superspeedway. There were 42 American-born drivers on the grid, representing manufacturers including Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Ford. Cale Yarborough qualified for the pole position with a speed of 202.650 miles per hour (326.134 km/h). Richard Petty defeated Benny Parsons by two car lengths after three hours and fourteen minutes to earn his 197th career win. Seven cautions for 42 laps were witnessed by 110,000 spectators in addition to 27 different lead changes. The average speed of the race was 153.936 miles per hour (247.736 km/h). There was a major incident involving Phil Parsons and ten other drivers. Two photographers managed to get Parsons out of the wreck before the vehicle exploded. The entire race purse was $361,820 ($870,036.26 when adjusted for inflation).

Dale Earnhardt was driving a Ford Thunderbird; an unexpected deviation from the Earnhardt family's Chevrolet heritage. Lowell Cowell would retire from NASCAR after this race.

Race summary

  • Lead changes: 27 among different drivers
  • Cautions/Laps: 7 for 43
  • Red flags: 0
  • Time of race: 3 hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds
  • Average speed: 153.936 miles per hour (247.736 km/h)
  • Television

    The television coverage of this race (on NBC) was more serious than today's broadcasts; telling people about the dangers of driving constantly at 185 miles per hour (298 km/h). Using the crude technology that was invested into driver safety back then, drivers had plenty of courage to complete the entire race. Only after Dale Earnhardt's death would NASCAR start to improve their safety standards; leading up to the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow.

    References

    1983 Winston 500 Wikipedia


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