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1978 Delaware 500

The 1978 Delaware 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) racing event that took place on September 17, 1978, at Dover Downs International Speedway (now Dover International Speedway) in Dover, Delaware.

1978 Delaware 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 24 of 30 in the 1978 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Date September 17, 1978 (1978-September-17)
Official name Delaware 500
Location Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 500 laps, 500.0 mi (804.6 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures of 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 119.323 miles per hour (192.032 km/h)
Pole position
Driver McDuffie Racing
Time 26.572
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 267
Winner
No. 15 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
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 any more.

BackgroundEdit

Dover Downs International Speedway, now called Dover International Speedway, is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway.[3] The NASCAR race makes use of the track's standard configuration, a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, and both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the backstretch are banked at nine degrees.[4]

Race reportEdit

Five hundred laps were completed on a paved oval track spanning 1.000 mile (1.609 km).[2] The race took four hours, eleven minutes, and twenty seconds to complete.[2] Three cautions slowed the race for eighteen laps.[2] Thirty thousand stock car racing fans attended this live event.[2] Notable speeds were: 119.323 miles per hour (192.032 km/h) for the average speed and 135.480 miles per hour (218.034 km/h) for the pole position speed (accomplished by J.D. McDuffie[5]).[2]

Bobby Allison defeated Cale Yarborough by 11½ seconds.[2] Other notable names in the event included: Darrell Waltrip (now a NASCAR on Fox broadcaster), Richard Childress (now the owner of Richard Childress Racing), Richard Petty, and J.D. McDuffie.[2] J.D. McDuffie established the pole position[2] while using tires manufactured by the McCreary Tire Company. This pole position start also got him a guaranteed ride in the first running of the Busch Clash (now the Sprint Unlimited);[6] Buddy Baker would ultimately win that race on February 1979. The Busch Clash consisted of a racing event with a single twenty-lap (50-mile) green flag sprint with no pit stops required.

Jabe Thomas would retire from NASCAR after this race. Bobby Allison would gain his 50th career Winston Cup Series victory from this race. Although McDuffie would never win a race with a Winston Cup Series vehicle, his best overall finish would come at the 1979 Sun-Drop Music City USA 420 in Nashville, Tennessee.[7]

Notable crew chiefs who actively participated in the race included Darrell Bryant, Junie Donlavey, Buddy Parrott, Jake Elder, Joey Arrington, Herb Nab, Dale Inman, Walter Ballard, Kirk Shelmerdine, and Bud Moore.[8]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Speed[9] Qualifying time[9] Owner
1 70 J.D. McDuffie Chevrolet 135.480 26.572 J.D. McDuffie
2 15 Bobby Allison Ford 134.866 26.693 Bud Moore
3 3 Richard Childress Oldsmobile 134.806 26.705 Richard Childress
4 5 Neil Bonnett Oldsmobile 134.713 26.723 Rod Osterlund
5 21 David Pearson Mercury 134.695 26.727 Wood Brothers
6 27 Buddy Baker Chevrolet 134.468 26.772 M.C. Anderson
7 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 134.393 26.787 DiGard
8 11 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile 134.353 26.795 Junior Johnson
9 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet 133.546 26.957 L.G. DeWitt
10 2 Dave Marcis Chevrolet 133.298 27.007 Rod Osterlund

Finishing orderEdit

Section reference: [2]

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

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: J.D. McDuffie had the pole position to start the event
  • Lap 3: Ferrel Thomas quit the race due to unknown reasons
  • Lap 5: Louis Gatto was black flagged due to unsportsmanlike conduct
  • Lap 10: James Hylton quit the race due to unknown reasons
  • Lap 11: Bobby Allison took over the lead from J.D. McDuffie
  • Lap 21: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 80: J.D. McDuffie blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 98: Darrell Waltrip took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 99: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 110: Caution due to Nestor Peles spinning into turn two, ended on lap 112
  • Lap 140: Jimmy Means blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 143: Joey Arrington managed to lose the rear end of his vehicle
  • Lap 213: Caution due to Ralph Jones' problematic engine, ended on lap 220
  • Lap 224: Caution due to an accident involving Neil Bonnett and four other drivers on turn three, ended on lap 230
  • Lap 238: Dave Dion blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 243: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 269: The ignition on Richard Petty's vehicle stopped working, ending his day on the track
  • Lap 311: Benny Parsons blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 318: Buddy Baker took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 319: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Buddy Baker
  • Lap 320: The oil pan on Tighe Scott's vehicle developed some major issues
  • Lap 335: Nelson Oswald blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Lap 438: Gary Myers blew his engine while driving at high speeds
  • Finish: Bobby Allison was officially declared the winner of the event

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Cale Yarborough 3867 0
2   Dave Marcis 3482 -385
3   Benny Parsons 3479 -388
4   Darrell Waltrip 3423 -444
5   Bobby Allison 3361 -506
6   Richard Petty 3156 -711
7   Lennie Pond 2986 -881
8   Dick Brooks 2948 -919
9   Buddy Arrington 2936 -931
10   Richard Childress 2843 -1024

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1978 Delaware 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1978 Delaware 500 racing results". Racing Reference. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Dover International Speedway". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Dover International Speedway - Racing Records". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  6. ^ "Old #70 - The J.D. McDuffie Story" (PDF). CarolinaCountry.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  7. ^ "J.D. McDuffie information". Legends of NASCAR. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  8. ^ "1978 Delaware 500 crew chiefs information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  9. ^ a b "1978 Delaware 500 qualifying results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
Preceded by
1978 Capital City 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1978
Succeeded by
1978 Old Dominion 500