1977 Firecracker 400
|Race 16 of 30 in the 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
|Date||July 4, 1977|
|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||Extremely hot with temperatures approaching 90.9 °F (32.7 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)|
|Average speed||142.716 miles per hour (229.679 km/h)|
|Driver||Jim Stacy Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises|
|No. 43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||ABC (tape delay)|
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.
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. 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).
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. Winnings for this race ranged from $19,075 ($77,033.25 when adjusted for inflation) for the winner to a meager $1,390 for the last-place finisher ($5,613.43 when adjusted for inflation). Ramo Stott would retire from professional stock car racing after this event.
|1||5||Neil Bonnett||Dodge||Jim Stacy|
|2||11||Cale Yarborough||Chevrolet||Junior Johnson|
|3||72||Benny Parsons||Chevrolet||L.G. DeWitt|
|4||36||Ron Hutcherson||Chevrolet||John Gwinn|
|5||43||Richard Petty||Dodge||Petty Enterprises|
|6||51||A.J. Foyt||Chevrolet||A.J. Foyt|
|7||27||Sam Sommers||Chevrolet||M.C. Anderson|
|8||1||Donnie Allison||Chevrolet||Hoss Ellington|
|9||12||Bobby Allison||Matador||Bobby Allison|
|10||81||Terry Ryan||Chevrolet||Bill Monaghan|
Top ten finishersEdit
|5||6||51||A. J. Foyt||Chevrolet||160||$4,700||4||Unknown|
Standings after the raceEdit
|Firecracker 400 races
1977 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1977 Nashville 420
1977 NAPA 400
|Richard Petty's Career Wins
1979 Daytona 500