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The 1980 Firecracker 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 4, 1980, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

1980 Firecracker 400
Race details
Race 17 of 31 in the 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Track map of Daytona International Speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway.
Date July 4, 1980 (1980-July-04)
Official name Firecracker 400
Location Daytona Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Temperatures of 88.9 °F (31.6 °C); wind speeds of 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)[1]
Average speed 173.473 miles per hour (279.178 km/h)
Attendance 54,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Junior Johnson & Associates
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 63
No. 15 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Keith Jackson

One hundred and sixty laps of racing would result in a final win for Mercury in the Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series)[2] before the manufacturer left NASCAR due to rule changes reducing the wheelbase of the tires from 110 inches (9.2 ft) to 105 inches (8.8 ft).[3]

Race reportEdit

Bobby Allison would be the final driver to win in a Mercury for the Ford Motor Company; he would beat David Pearson by six car lengths.[2] Pearson would have a strong runner-up performance here despite leading only three laps.[2] Other notable competitors included Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Richard Childress and Bill Elliott.[2] Out of forty participants, eleven competitors failed to finish the race.[2] Cale Yarborough would be credited for finishing last place with an overheated engine.[2] The race took two hours, eighteen minutes, and eleven seconds to complete.[2] Phil Finney had a violent crash off turn 4 and inflicted terminal damage to his vehicle on lap 152.[2]

All drivers were born in the United States of America.[2]

Safety regulations made within the 1980s and 1990s would slow down the speed of vehicles in both the Firecracker 400 and the Daytona 500. The average speed for this race was a race record 173.473 miles per hour (279.178 km/h) while the pole position speed was 194.670 miles per hour (313.291 km/h). Three cautions slowed the race for 11 laps.[2] Fifty-four thousand spectators were in attendance.[2] Out of the forty drivers in the grid, ten of them would fail to finish the race due to car problems.[2] On the day after the race, Lennie Pond would make a celebrity appearance at a Burger King in nearby South Daytona; entertaining customers for three hours in the days before celebrity appearances were mainstream in the racing community.[4]

Rick Wilson made his NASCAR debut in this event while Phil Finney and John Greenwood would retire from NASCAR racing after this race.[5]

Finishing orderEdit

Section reference: [2]

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

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Dale Earnhardt 2557 0
2   Richard Petty 2529 -28
3   Cale Yarborough 2397 -160
4   Bobby Allison 2354 -203
5   Benny Parsons 2349 -208
6   Darrell Waltrip 2319 -238
7   Jody Ridley 2204 -353
8   Harry Gant 2055 -502
9   Richard Childress 2054 -503
10   Terry Labonte 1985 -572


  1. ^ "1980 Firecracker 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "1980 Firecracker 400 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  3. ^ "Mercury's Final Race". NASCAR. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  4. ^ "Ol'e Days: Lennie Pond's 'Burger King Specials'-1979-81". Randy Ayers Modeling. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  5. ^ "Drivers entering/leaving NASCAR". Race Database. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
Preceded by
1980 Gabriel 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1980 Busch Nashville 420
Preceded by
Firecracker 400 races
Succeeded by