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1977 Firecracker 400

The 1977 Firecracker 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 4, 1977, at Daytona International Speedway in the American community of Daytona Beach, Florida.

1977 Firecracker 400
Race details
Race 16 of 30 in the 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date July 4, 1977 (1977-July-04)
Official name Firecracker 400
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Hot with temperatures approaching 90.9 °F (32.7 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)[1]
Average speed 142.716 miles per hour (229.679 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Jim Stacy Racing
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 95
Winner
No. 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network ABC (tape delay)
Announcers Keith Jackson

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.

Contents

SummaryEdit

A racing grid of 41 drivers competed in this race; including Belgian driver Christine Beckers and Italian driving sensation Lella Lombardi. Out of this 160-lap racing event, D.K. Ulrich would be credited with the last-place finish due to an engine problem on the fourth lap. Janet Guthrie be the only American-born female driver on the grid; the rest of the American drivers were male. While A. J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip would monopolize the opening laps of the race, Donnie Allison and Richard Petty would fight it out for supremacy in the crucial final laps.[2] Lombardi and Beckers being invited to race as basically a publicity stunt by the powers that be in NASCAR at the time. The idea apparently was to pit the three women against each other on the track.

Richard Petty would go on to defeat Darrell Waltrip by almost 18 seconds in front of a live audience of 65,000 people. Engine and steering problems knocked most of the drivers out of the race before it could be finished. Neil Bonnett would qualify for the race with a solo qualifying speed of 187.191 miles per hour (301.255 km/h) while the actual speed of the race averaged around 147.216 miles per hour (236.921 km/h).[2]

There was two-hour rain delay about two laps before halfway, too. Actually, there was a storm covering from the tri-oval over turns one and two for about two hours while turns three and four were in sunshine due to the incessant hot and humid weather of Florida during the summer months.

Most of the vehicles at this event were Dodge or Chevrolet with some Ford vehicles and a single entry by a Matador vehicle.[2] Winnings for this race ranged from $19,075 ($75,388.67 when adjusted for inflation) for the winner to a meager $1,390 for the last-place finisher ($5,493.59 when adjusted for inflation).[3] Ramo Stott would retire from professional stock car racing after this event.[4]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 5 Neil Bonnett Dodge
2 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet
3 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
4 36 Ron Hutcherson Chevrolet
5 43 Richard Petty Dodge
6 51 A.J. Foyt Chevrolet
7 27 Sam Sommers Chevrolet
8 1 Donnie Allison Chevrolet
9 12 Bobby Allison Matador
10 81 Terry Ryan Chevrolet

Top ten finishersEdit

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Winnings Laps led Points
1 5 43 Richard Petty Dodge 160 $23,075 95 185
2 12 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 160 $16,350 21 175
3 3 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet 160 $12,300 1 170
4 14 21 David Pearson Mercury 160 $6,900 0 160
5 6 51 A. J. Foyt Chevrolet 160 $4,700 4 Unknown
6 8 1 Donnie Allison Ford 160 $4,570 12 155
7 32 15 Buddy Baker Ford 160 $6,670 0 146
8 1 5 Neil Bonnett Dodge 158 $4,020 1 147
9 30 90 Dick Brooks Ford 157 $5,220 0 138
10 7 27 Sam Sommers Chevrolet 156 $3,570 0 134

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Cale Yarborough 2630 0
2   Richard Petty 2613 -17
3   Benny Parsons 2426 -206
4   Darrell Waltrip 2315 -315
5   Buddy Baker 2196 -434
6   Dick Brooks 1992 -638
7   Cecil Gordon 1933 -697
8   Richard Childress 1851 -779
9   David Pearson 1809 -821
10   James Hylton 1726 -904

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1977 Firecracker 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e 1977 Firecracker 400 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ 1977 Firecracker 400 racing information at Driver Averages
  4. ^ '1977 Firecracker 400 racing information at Race Database
Preceded by
1976
Firecracker 400 races
1976
Succeeded by
1978
Preceded by
1977 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1977
Succeeded by
1977 Nashville 420
Preceded by
1977 NAPA 400
Richard Petty's Career Wins
1960-1984
Succeeded by
1979 Daytona 500