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The 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event that took place on August 19, 1979, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

1979 Champion Spark Plug 400
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 21 of 31 in the 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Date August 19, 1979 (1979-August-19)
Official name Champion Spark Plug 400
Location Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
Course Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 130.367 miles per hour (209.805 km/h)
Attendance 60,000[4]
Pole position
Driver Osterlund Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker Ranier Racing
Laps 115
Winner
No. 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long.[5] Opened in 1968, the track's turns are banked at eighteen degrees, while the 3,600-foot-long front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at twelve degrees.[5] The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.[5]

SummaryEdit

There were 36 American-born male drivers on the grid.[4][3]

Richard Petty defeated Buddy Baker[3] by one second in front of 60,000.[4][2] There were 21 lead changes and five caution flags for 35 laps; making the race three hours and four minutes long.[4][2] David Pearson earned the pole position with a speed of 162.992 miles per hour (262.310 km/h) while the average speed was 130.376 miles per hour (209.820 km/h).[4][2] Blackie Wangerin would receive the last-place finish due to a crash with H.B. Bailey on lap 2 which resulted in Wangerin's car flipping outside of the track. John Anderson got his only top five finish in his Cup debut.[4][2][3]

Al Rudd, Jr. would race his only NASCAR event here. The entire purse was $142,905 ($493,320.38 when adjusted for inflation).[6] Notable crew chiefs for this race were Buddy Parrott, Joey Arrington, Kirk Shelmerdine, Darrell Bryant, Dale Inman, Harry Hyde, Bud Moore, Tim Brewer, and Jake Elder.[7]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 2 David Pearson Chevrolet Rod Osterlund
2 15 Bobby Allison Ford Bud Moore
3 21 Neil Bonnett Mercury Wood Brothers
4 44 Terry Labonte Chevrolet Billy Hagan
5 43 Richard Petty Chevrolet Petty Enterprises
6 27 Benny Parsons Chevrolet M.C. Anderson
7 72 Joe Millikan Chevrolet L.G. DeWitt
8 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet Junior Johnson
9 47 Harry Gant Chevrolet Jack Beebe
10 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet DiGard

Failed to qualify: Jan Opperman (#96)[8]

Finishing orderEdit

  1. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  2. Buddy Baker (No. 28)
  3. Benny Parsons (No. 27)
  4. David Pearson (No. 2)
  5. John Anderson (No. 08)
  6. Joe Millikan (No. 72)
  7. Ricky Rudd (No. 90)
  8. Tighe Scott (No. 30)
  9. J.D. McDuffie (No. 70)
  10. Richard Childress (No. 70)
  11. Bill Elliott (No. 17)
  12. James Hylton (No. 48)
  13. Kyle Petty (No. 42)
  14. Tommy Gale (No. 64)
  15. John Kennedy (No. 0)
  16. Frank Warren (No. 79)
  17. Cale Yarborough* (No. 11)
  18. Cecil Gordon (No. 24)
  19. Darrell Waltrip (No. 88)
  20. Buddy Arrington* (No. 67)
  21. Baxter Price (No. 42)
  22. Jimmy Means (No. 54)
  23. Bobby Allison* (No. 15)
  24. Ronnie Thomas* (No. 25)
  25. Harry Gant* (No. 47)
  26. Terry Labonte* (No. 44)
  27. Marty Robbins* (No. 6)
  28. D.K. Ulrich (No. 40)
  29. Dick Brooks* (No. 05)
  30. Dave Marcis* (No. 71)
  31. Lennie Pond* (No. 19)
  32. Al Rudd, Jr.* (No. 22)
  33. Neil Bonnett* (No. 21)
  34. Earle Canavan* (No. 01)
  35. H.B. Bailey* (No. 36)
  36. Blackie Wangerin* (No. 39)

* Driver failed to finish race

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[4] Differential
1   Darrell Waltrip 3352 0
2   Richard Petty 3197 -155
3   Cale Yarborough 3063 -289
4   Bobby Allison 3023 -329
5   Benny Parsons 2827 -525
6   Joe Millikan 2719 -633
7   Dale Earnhardt 2588 -764
8   Richard Childress 2524 -828
9   J.D. McDuffie 2510 -842
10   Buddy Arrington 2415 -937

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather for the 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Race Database
  3. ^ a b c d 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Driver Averages
  4. ^ a b c d e f g 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Racing Reference
  5. ^ a b c "Michigan International Speedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  6. ^ 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing purse at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  7. ^ 1979 Champion Spark Plug 400 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  8. ^ Qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1979 Talladega 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1979
Succeeded by
1979 Volunteer 500
Preceded by
1979 Virginia 500
Richard Petty's Career Wins
1960-1984
Succeeded by
1979 CRC Chemicals 500