1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400
|Race 15 of 30 in the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
|Date||June 20, 1976|
|Official name||Cam 2 Motor Oil 400|
|Location||Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan|
Permanent racing facility|
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
|Distance||200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)|
|Weather||Warm with temperatures of 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)|
|Average speed||141.149 miles per hour (227.157 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Cale Yarborough||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|No. 43||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing|
|Television in the United States|
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.
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.
David Pearson managed to defeat Cale Yarborough by three car lengths in front of an audience of 46,000 members. There were 17 lead changes and three cautions were done in 20 laps out of the 200 laps of regulation racing. It took two hours and fifty minutes for the checkered flag to end the race. While Richard Petty earned the pole position with a speed of 158.569 miles per hour (255.192 km/h), the average speed of the race was 141.148 miles per hour (227.156 km/h). Joe Frasson "earned" his last-place finish due to an engine problem on lap 2. All 36 of the drivers on the racing grid were American-born males. The field was dominated by Chevrolet vehicles because they were cheaper to operate in the 1970s as opposed to Ford and Mercury vehicles.
Cale Yarborough dominated most of this race, with radio announcer Ken Squire saying it was one of the best runs he'd ever seen Cale have, but in the closing stages of this one it was David Pearson was out front and cruising to a win in this one when a late caution came out for Coo Coo Marlin's blown engine, the McLaren motor Kellen mentioned going kaboom while he was running seventh in the closing laps. Under the yellow the leaders all pitted with Yarborough regaining the lead only for Pearson to blow by him on the backstretch right after the restart and take the win. Overall it was still a good day for Yarborough as he capitalized on a 74-point swing in the point standings to vault back into the points lead as a result of Benny Parsons' issues. He would eventually become the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion.
Bobby Allison was running second very late in this race when he was black flagged for the Penske team having put tape over parts of the grill of his Cam 2 #2 Mercury. That aerodynamic improvement was illegal at the time but later became common place in later years. Allison still recovered to finish third in part due to how few cars were left on the lead lap and the late caution.
David Pearson would also consider the 1976 NASCAR Cup Series season to be his "personal playground" with fast and consistent results throughout the year.
The grand total of this race's prize purse would be $105,355 ($463,870 when considering inflation).
|1||43||Richard Petty||Dodge||Petty Enterprises|
|2||2||Bobby Allison||Mercury||Roger Penske|
|3||15||Buddy Baker||Ford||Bud Moore|
|4||71||Dave Marcis||Dodge||Nord Krauskopf|
|5||72||Benny Parsons||Chevrolet||L.G. DeWitt|
|6||11||Cale Yarborough||Chevrolet||Junior Johnson|
|7||54||Lennie Pond||Chevrolet||Ronnie Elder|
|8||21||David Pearson||Mercury||Wood Brothers|
|9||52||Jimmy Means||Chevrolet||Bill Gray|
|10||88||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet||DiGard Racing|
|11||24||Cecil Gordon||Chevrolet||Cecil Gordon|
|12||48||James Hylton||Chevrolet||James Hylton|
|13||90||Dick Brooks||Ford||Junie Donlavey|
|14||60||Jackie Rogers||Chevrolet||Lou Viglione|
|15||81||Terry Ryan||Chevrolet||Bill Monaghan|
|16||05||David Sisco||Chevrolet||David Sisco|
|17||47||Bruce Hill||Chevrolet||Bruce Hill|
|18||79||Frank Warren||Dodge||Frank Warren|
|19||3||Richard Childress||Chevrolet||Richard Childress|
|20||14||Coo Coo Marlin||Chevrolet||H.B. Cunningham|
Top ten finishersEdit
|2||6||11||Cale Yarborough||Chevrolet||200||129||180||+3 car lengths|
|3||2||2||Bobby Allison||Mercury||200||4||170||Lead lap under green flag|
|4||1||43||Richard Petty||Dodge||200||3||165||Lead lap under green flag|
|5||3||15||Buddy Baker||Ford||199||20||160||+1 lap|
|6||13||90||Dick Brooks||Ford||197||0||150||+3 laps|
|7||7||54||Lennie Pond||Chevrolet||196||0||146||+4 laps|
|8||16||05||David Sisco||Chevrolet||196||0||142||+4 laps|
|9||14||60||Jackie Rogers||Chevrolet||194||2||143||+6 laps|
|10||11||24||Cecil Gordon||Chevrolet||193||0||134||+7 laps|
Standings after the raceEdit
- "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Michigan International Speedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
| Motor State 400/Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 races
1976 Riverside 400
| NASCAR Winston Cup Season
1976 Firecracker 400