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1977 Winston 500

The 1977 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on May 1, 1977, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama. The tenth of 30 races of the 1977 Winston Cup Grand National season, the Winston 500 started 41 cars.

1977 Winston 500
Race details[1]
Race 10 of 30 in the 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date May 1, 1977 (1977-May-01)
Official name Winston 500
Location Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Very hot with temperatures approaching 84 °F (29 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)
Average speed 164.887 miles per hour (265.360 km/h)
Attendance 90,000[2]
Pole position
Driver A.J. Foyt
Most laps led
Driver Donnie Allison Hoss Ellington
Laps 71
No. 88 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier

The race's pole was won by A. J. Foyt, driving a Chevrolet Laguna racecar. His pole speed was 192 miles per hour or 309 kilometres per hour. Benny Parsons qualified second while the race's defending champion Buddy Baker timed in 20th. Darrell Waltrip qualified 11th a month following a breakthrough win in the Rebel 500 at Darlington.



Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.[3]


The race was a very competitive event, as the lead changed 63 times among 11 drivers. Donnie Allison, driving a Chevrolet for Hoss Ellington, raced to the lead on the opening lap and would lead 71 laps total. Foyt fell out on Lap 18 when his engine blew and he spun through Turns Three and Four. Richard Petty, who passed seven cars on Lap Six to take the lead, fell out in the final 35 laps with engine failure, while Baker, who passed both Petty and Foyt for the lead on Lap Seven, fell out 90 laps in with engine failure.

Waltrip was leading on the final lap with Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Parsons in his draft; in the first turn Waltrip pinched his Chevy to the bottom lane of Turns One and Two and momentarily broke the draft; Allison caught him on the backstretch but Cale and Parsons blew past; Cale swung high entering Three but was sideswiped by Waltrip and lost just enough momentum that Waltrip cleared and Parsons raced nose to nose with Yarborough all the way to the stripe. The win was Waltrip's second of the 1977 season and second on a superspeedway.

Individual earnings for each driver varied from the winner's portion of $26,875 ($108,533.09 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's portion of $1,705 ($6,885.54 when adjusted for inflation). NASCAR allowed the officials to hand out a grand total of $211,405 for all the qualifying drivers ($853,746.50 when adjusted for inflation).[4] Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Top ten finishersEdit

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Points
1 11 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 188 18 180
2 5 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 188 29 175
3 2 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet 188 16 170
4 4 1 Donnie Allison Chevrolet 188 71 170
5 6 2 Dave Marcis Mercury 188 3 160
6 8 36 Ron Hutcherson Chevrolet 187 0 150
7 19 90 Dick Brooks Ford 187 0 146
8 17 14 Coo Coo Marlin Chevrolet 186 0 142
9 32 80 Terry Bivins Chevrolet 183 0 138
10 3 27 Sam Sommers Chevrolet 183 0 134

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Cale Yarborough 1725 0
2   Richard Petty 1558 -167
3   Darrell Waltrip 1502 -223
4   Benny Parsons 1497 -228
5   Buddy Baker 1302 -423
6   Dave Marcis 1300 -425
7   Richard Childress 1236 -489
8   Cecil Gordon 1217 -508
9   Dick Brooks 1187 -538
10   James Hylton 1156 -569


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1977 Winston 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c 1977 Winston 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "Track Facts". Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Winnings information for the 1977 Winston 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
Preceded by
1977 Virginia 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1977 Music City USA 420
Preceded by
1976 Winston 500
Talladega spring race
Succeeded by
1978 Winston 500