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The 1979 World 600, the 20th running of the event, was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that was held on May 27, 1979, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

1979 World 600
Race details[1]
Race 13 of 31 in the 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Date May 27, 1979 (1979-May-27)
Official name World 600
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.414 km)
Distance 400 laps, 600 mi (965 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 75.9 °F (24.4 °C); wind speeds of 18.1 miles per hour (29.1 km/h)
Average speed 136.674 miles per hour (219.955 km/h)
Attendance 135,000
Pole position
Driver Wood Brothers Racing
Most laps led
Driver Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Laps 175
No. 88 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier
David Hobbs

Before the performance, a skydiver was brought in to bring thrills to the audience; he would parachute into one of the turns. There was also an invocation service followed by the national anthem.

Race reportEdit

Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt would fight it out on the closing laps of this race; Richard Petty would make a comeback and lose to Darrell Waltrip by six seconds.[2]

Dick Brooks had terminal damage to his vehicle on lap 10. Blackie Wangerin would spin his vehicle out on lap 29 but would ultimately finish the race. Bill Elliott blew his engine on lap 36. Connie Saylor ended up crashing his vehicle on lap 114 while Bobby Fisher's race would end on lap 136. Glenn Jarrett spun his vehicle out on lap 167. Bobby Allison's had engine problems on lap 186 but he would finish the race.[2]

While Earnhardt led 122 laps, Waltrip would mount an incredible racing strategy; leading at the most opportune times in the race. While Bobby Allison had engine problems, Tighe Scott had a tie rod issue on lap 372. Ron Hutcherson and Chuck Bown would fail to start the race due to various issues with their vehicle. There were 41 drivers on the starting grid. The duration of this race was 263 minutes with an audience of 136,000 in attendance for what would become a race loaded with lead changes. Chevrolet vehicles dominated the starting grid.[2]

Winnings for this event ranged from the winner's portion of $55,400 ($191,246 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place of $1,165 ($4,022 when adjusted for inflation). from a grand total of $321,780 ($1,110,812 when adjusted for inflation).[3]

On May 16, 18-year-old Kyle Petty crashed twice during private tests. Two Dodges were badly damaged and his father Richard withdrew him from the race because he was not ready.[4]


Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer
1 21 Neil Bonnett Mercury
2 43 Richard Petty Chevrolet
3 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
4 27 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
5 11 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile
6 1 Donnie Allison Chevrolet
7 15 Bobby Allison Ford
8 28 Buddy Baker Chevrolet
9 9 Bill Elliott Mercury
10 90 Ricky Rudd Mercury
11 72 Joe Millikan Chevrolet
12 14 Coo Coo Marlin Chevrolet
13 71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet
14 44 Terry Labonte Chevrolet
15 2 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet

Withdrew from race: Kyle Petty[4]

Finishing orderEdit

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Darrell Waltrip 2066 0
2   Bobby Allison 2013 -53
3   Cale Yarborough 1897 -169
4   Richard Petty 1887 -179
5   Dale Earnhardt 1756 -310
6   Benny Parsons 1749 -317
7   Joe Millikan 1730 -336
8   D.K. Ulrich 1582 -484
9   Terry Labonte 1576 -490
10   Richard Childress 1541 -525


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1979 World 600 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f 1979 World 600 at Racing Reference
  3. ^ 1979 World 600 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  4. ^ a b Qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1979 Mason-Dixon 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Season
Succeeded by
1979 Texas 400
Preceded by
World 600 races
Succeeded by