| Summer 500|
| July 21, 1985 (1985-July-21)|
Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (3.400 km)
200 laps, 501.0 mi (804 km)
Hot with temperatures approaching 86.0 °F (30.0 °C); wind speeds reaching 6.10 miles per hour (9.82 km/h)
The 1985 Summer 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 21, 1985, at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.
1985 Summer 500 Wikipedia
Pocono Raceway is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races; the others are Daytona International Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The standard track at Pocono Raceway is a three-turn superspeedway that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long. The track's turns are banked differently; the first is banked at 14°, the second turn at 8° and the final turn with 6°. However, each of the three straightaways are banked at 2°.
Temperatures for this race would hover between 62.1 °F (16.7 °C) and 86.0 °F (30.0 °C); while the average temperature was 74.1 °F (23.4 °C). Wind speeds would reach 6.10 miles per hour (9.82 km/h) for most of the day. Visibility for the area was an at impressive 9.8 miles (15.8 km). Two hundred laps were done on a paved track spanning 2.500 miles (4.023 km).
The race took three hours and forty-two seconds to resolve itself with Bill Elliott defeating Neil Bonnett by five seconds. Six cautions were given out by NASCAR officials for 24 laps. Bill Elliott won the pole with a qualifying speed of 151.973 miles per hour (244.577 km/h) while the average speed of the race was 134.008 miles per hour (215.665 km/h). Darrell Waltrip originally earned the pole position award but was stripped for using illegal fuel two weeks after the race was finished. There were 40 drivers in the race; 39 of them were American-born while Trevor Boys was born in Canada. J.D. McDuffie would "earn" a last-place finish on lap 10 due to an engine problem.
Bill Elliott's win for Melling Racing would earn him $44,025 in total winnings ($98,034.63 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher McDuffie would walk away with a meager $2,675 for McDuffie Racing ($5,956.68 when adjusted for inflation). The street version of the 1985 Thunderbird was a smaller car and more aerodynamic than the street 1985 Monte Carlo with its square rear window; the race versions also suffered from these advantages and disadvantages. Elliott's 1985 Thunderbird was the same size as the Thunderbird vehicles that Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty and Cale Yarborough drove during the season. They all fit the 1985 Thunderbird NASCAR templates and were considered valid for Winston Cup Series racing throughout 1985.