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The 1978 Capital City 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on September 10, 1978, at Richmond Fairgrounds (now Richmond Raceway) in Richmond, Virginia.

1978 Capital City 400
Race details[1][2][3][4]
Race 23 of 30 in the 1978 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Richmond Speedway
Layout of Richmond Speedway
Date September 10, 1978 (1978-September-10)
Official name Capital City 400
Location Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway, Richmond, Virginia
Course Permanent racing facility
0.542 mi (0.872 km)
Distance 400 laps, 216.8 mi (348.9 km)
Weather Extremely hot with temperatures up to 95 °F (35 °C); wind speeds up to 17.26 miles per hour (27.78 km/h)
Average speed 79.568 miles per hour (128.052 km/h)
Attendance 18,000
Pole position
Driver DiGard Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Neil Bonnett Osterlund Motorsports
Laps 276
Winner
No. 5 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

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.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

In 1953, Richmond International Raceway began hosting the Grand National Series with Lee Petty winning that first race in Richmond.[5] The original track was paved in 1968.[6] In 1988, the track was re-designed into its present D-shaped configuration

The name for the raceway complex was "Strawberry Hill" until the Virginia State Fairgrounds site was bought out in 1999 and renamed the "Richmond International Raceway".

SummaryEdit

Four hundred laps were completed on an oval track spanning 0.546 miles (0.879 km) per lap for a grand total of 216.8 miles (348.9 km) of racing.[2] The race was completed within two hours and forty-three minutes of the first official green flag of the race.[2] Darrell Waltrip would end up defeating Bobby Allison (who drove a 1978 Ford Thunderbird) by only one second.[2][4] Neil Bonnett started chasing down Waltrip on pit road and slammed into Waltrip's vehicle; creating a rather brutal race ending battle and forcing Bill France, Jr. to put them on probation for the remainder of the year. The spectators were incredibly disgruntled after Darrell Waltrip's victory so Waltrip needed police protection in order to make it to the post-race interviews.[7]

When I passed Neil, I was on the inside and he was on the outside. It think it's pretty poor strategy when he doesn't move up. He actually cut into me.

— Darrell Waltrip

Eighteen thousand people were a live witness to five yellow flags being used for twenty-seven laps in addition to 16 lead changes by the drivers.[2] The pole position speed was acquired by Darrell Waltrip's Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a qualifying speed of 91.964 miles per hour (148.002 km/h) during his solo run.[2][4] Meanwhile, the average speed of the actual race would be 79.568 miles per hour (128.052 km/h).[2][4]

Dave Dion had his best start of fourth place and had a fast car in the race until an incident took him out of the race on lap 85.[2][4] Roger Hamby matches his best Cup finish of tenth place.[2][4]

Notable crew chiefs for this race included Darrell Bryant, Junie Donlavey, Buddy Parrott, Jake Elder, Kirk Shelmerdine, Dale Inman, Bud Moore, and Tim Brewer.[8]

Ed Negre would receive the last-place finish for a brake problem acquired on lap 6 of the race.[2][3][4] The top prize of the race was $13,800 ($53,010 when adjusted for inflation) while last placed awarded the driver with a meager $300 ($1,152 when adjusted for inflation).[2][3][4] Cale Yarborough would retain his lead in the championship points after this race.[2][3] 30 drivers would attend this race; all of them were born in the United States of America.[2]

QualifyingEdit

Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet DiGard Racing
2 15 Bobby Allison Ford Bud Moore
3 5 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet Rod Osterlund
4 29 Dave Dion Ford Dave Dion
5 43 Richard Petty Chevrolet Petty Enterprises
6 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet L.G. DeWitt
7 90 Dick Brooks Ford Junie Donlavey
8 48 James Hylton Chevrolet James Hylton
9 54 Lennie Pond Chevrolet Harry Ranier
10 11 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile Junior Johnson
11 2 Dave Marcis Chevrolet Rod Osterlund
12 70 J.D. McDuffie Chevrolet J.D. McDuffie
13 92 Terry Labonte Chevrolet Billy Hagan
14 17 Roger Hamby Chevrolet Roger Hamby
15 3 Richard Childress Oldsmobile Richard Childress
16 30 Tighe Scott Chevrolet Walter Ballard
17 25 Ronnie Thomas Chevrolet Don Robertson
18 67 Buddy Arrington Dodge Buddy Arrington
19 4 Gary Myers Chevrolet Gary Myers
20 45 Baxter Price Chevrolet Baxter Price
21 52 Jimmy Means Chevrolet Jimmy Means
22 64 Tommy Gale Ford Elmo Langley
23 81 Ferrel Harris Chevrolet Robert Gee
24 1 Ed Negre Chrysler Ed Negre
25 24 Cecil Gordon Chevrolet Cecil Gordon

Top ten finishersEdit

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Points Time/Status
1 1 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 400 65 180 2:43:19
2 2 15 Bobby Allison Ford 400 44 175 +1 seconds
3 3 5 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet 400 276 175 Lead lap under green flag
4 10 11 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile 399 0 160 +1 lap
5 7 90 Dick Brooks Oldsmobile 397 0 155 +3 laps
6 6 72 Benny Parsons Ford 397 0 150 +3 laps
7 13 92 Terry Labonte Chevrolet 392 0 146 +8 laps
8 12 70 J.D. McDuffie Chevrolet 391 0 142 +9 laps
9 11 2 Dave Marcis Chevrolet 388 1 143 +12 laps
10 14 17 Roger Hamby Chevrolet 388 0 134 +12 laps

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Darrell Waltrip started the race with the pole position
  • Lap 6: Ed Negre abused his vehicle's brakes, causing him to exit the race prematurely
  • Lap 16: Wayne Morgan's vehicle overheated, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 28: Ferrel Harris' vehicle also overheated, with the same consequences
  • Lap 49: Tighe Scott had a terminal crash, causing him to withdraw from the event
  • Lap 52: Dave Marcis gained the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 53: Lennie Pond gained the lead from Dave Marcis
  • Lap 54: Neil Bonnett gained the lead from Lennie Pond
  • Lap 85: The rear end of Dave Dion's vehicle was unserviceable, causing him to leave the race
  • Lap 172: Nelson Oswald's vehicle overheated, ending his day on the track early
  • Lap 182: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 183: Bobby Allison gained the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 184: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 191: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 198: Tommy Gale's engine became problematic, causing him not to finish the race
  • Lap 256: Frank Warren's vehicle had some handling issues, ending his race prematurely
  • Lap 265: Richard Petty took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 266: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 267: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 274: Richard Petty took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 286: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Richard Petty
  • Lap 343: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Neil Bonnett
  • Lap 356: Issues with his vehicle's rear end would make Richard Petty humble, settling for a disrespectful 20th place "finish"
  • Lap 385: Neil Bonnett took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 395: Darrell Waltrip gained the lead from Neil Bonnett, making this the final lead change of the event
  • Finish: Darrell Waltrip won the race, shortly before disrespecting former race champion Neil Bonnett

Championship standingsEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Cale Yarborough 3692 0
2   Benny Parsons 3394 -298
3   Dave Marcis 3340 -352
4   Darrell Waltrip 3263 -429
5   Bobby Allison 3176 -516
6   Richard Petty 3074 -618
7   Lennie Pond 2840 -852
8   Buddy Arrington 2839 -853
9   Dick Brooks 2798 -894
10   Richard Childress 2176 -976

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1978 Capital City 400 weather information". Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "1978 Capital City 400 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  3. ^ a b c d "1978 Capital City 400 racing results". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "1978 Capital City 400 racing results". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  5. ^ http://racing.ballparks.com/Richmond/index.htm "Richmond International Raceway has hosted the NASCAR Winston Cup Series since 1953. Lee Petty won the first race that year. "
  6. ^ http://racing.ballparks.com/Richmond/index.htm "The original track was paved in 1968."
  7. ^ "Racing History Minute - September 10, 1978". Racers Reunion. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  8. ^ "1978 Capital City 400 crew chiefs information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
Preceded by
1978 Southern 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1978
Succeeded by
1978 Delaware 500