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The 1977 Nashville 420 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that took place on July 16, 1977, at Nashville Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee.

1977 Nashville 420
Race details[1][2]
Race 17 of 30 in the 1977 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Date July 16, 1977 (1977-July-16)
Official name Nashville 420
Location Nashville Speedway, Nashville, Tennessee
Course Permanent racing facility
0.596 mi (0.959 km)
Distance 420 laps, 250.3 mi (402.8 km)
Weather Hot with temperature approaching 98.1 °F (36.7 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
Average speed 78.999 miles per hour (127.137 km/h)
Pole position
Driver DeWitt Racing
Most laps led
Driver Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Laps 300
No. 88 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none



Nashville Speedway was converted to a half-mile paved oval in 1957, when it began to be a NASCAR series track. The speedway was lengthened between the 1969 and 1970 seasons. The corners were cut down from 35 degrees to their present 18 degrees in 1972.[citation needed]


Four hundred and twenty laps were done on a paved oval track spanning .596 miles (0.959 km) for a grand total of 250.3 miles (402.8 km).[2] The race took three hours, ten minutes, and nine seconds to successfully complete.[2] Darrell Waltrip defeated Bobby Allison by more than one lap[3] in front of seventeen thousand and five hundred people.[2] This race was important to Waltrip as this track was considered his "local" Winston Cup Series track at the time. Ten cautions were given for fifty-four laps.[2] Notable speeds were: 78.999 miles per hour (127.137 km/h) as the average speed[4] and 104.21 miles per hour (167.71 km/h) as the pole position speed.[2] Total winnings for this race were $56,175[4] ($232,257.87 when adjusted for inflation) and the winner walked away with $9,415 of that amount ($38,926.71 when adjusted for inflation).

Waltrip was overcome by the excessive heat shortly after the race. As a result, he took oxygen while on top of his vehicle's hood and wasn't lucid enough to give a post-race interview. Ronnie Thomas was supposed to make his debut on this track but got into a wreck and didn't get it fixed in time to qualify. He would make his debut in the 1977 running of the Old Dominion 500 (now Tums Fast Relief 500) instead.

Mike Kempton made his official NASCAR debut in this event while Henley Gray would retire from professional stock car racing as a driver after this event.[5]


Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
2 5 Neil Bonnett Dodge
3 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet
4 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet
5 12 Bobby Allison Matador
6 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
7 43 Richard Petty Dodge
8 15 Buddy Baker Ford
9 90 Dick Brooks Ford
10 52 Jimmy Means Chevrolet
11 27 Sam Sommers Chevrolet
12 48 James Hylton Chevrolet
13 92 Skip Manning Chevrolet
14 70 J.D. McDuffie Chevrolet
15 68 Janet Guthrie Chevrolet
16 64 Elmo Langley Ford
17 22 Ricky Rudd Chevrolet
18 67 Buddy Arrington Dodge
19 41 Grant Adcox Chevrolet
20 40 D.K. Ulrich Chevrolet


† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race


Section reference:[2]

  • Start: Benny Parsons was leading the racing grid as the green flag was waved in the air
  • Lap 12: Mike Kempton overheated his vehicle, making him the last-place finisher
  • Lap 15: Ignition problems knocked Jimmy Means out of the race
  • Lap 18: Elmo Langley blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 30: Richard Childress had a terminal crash
  • Lap 33: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Benny Parsons
  • Lap 37: The rear end of Gary Myers' vehicle came off in an unsafe manner
  • Lap 71: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 80: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 122: Grant Adcox blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 128: The rear end of Sam Sommers' vehicle came off in an unsafe manner
  • Lap 129: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 131: Richard Petty took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 137: Ralph Jones managed to ruin his vehicle's brakes while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 141: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 146: David Sisco blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 170: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 187: Neil Bonnett blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 381: Benny Parsons blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Finish: Darrell Waltrip was officially declared the winner of the race

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Cale Yarborough 2795 0
2   Richard Petty 2738 -12
3   Benny Parsons 2538 -257
4   Darrell Waltrip 2500 -295
5   Buddy Baker 2346 -449
6   Dick Brooks 2147 -648
7   Cecil Gordon 2036 -759
8   Richard Childress 1933 -862
9   Bobby Allison 1870 -925
10   James Hylton 1832 -963


  1. ^ "1977 Nashville 420 temperature information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "1977 Nashville 420 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  3. ^ "1977 Nashville 420 racing results (fourth reference)". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  4. ^ a b "1977 Nashville 420 racing results (second reference)". Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  5. ^ "1977 Nashville 420 racing results (fifth reference)". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  6. ^ "Richard Petty scoring enigma". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
Preceded by
1977 Firecracker 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1977 Coca-Cola 500