1983 Winston Western 500
|Race 30 of 30 in the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Layout of Riverside International Raceway (1969-1988 version)
|Date||November 20, 1983|
|Official name||Winston Western 500|
|Location||Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California|
|Course||2.700 mi (4.345 km)|
|Distance||119 laps, 311.8 mi (501.7 km)|
|Weather||Chilly with temperatures of 64.9 °F (18.3 °C); wind speeds of 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)|
|Average speed||95.859 miles per hour (154.270 km/h)|
|Driver||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|No. 9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Ken Squier, Cale Yarborough|
Ricky Rudd starts on the front row but retires from the lead with a blown engine in his last outing for Richard Childress in the #3 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt would make his final NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in a Ford; bringing home Bud Moore's #15 Wrangler Thunderbird home with a top-5 finish. Jim Stacy would mark his final race as an official NASCAR team owner at this race. Stacy came in with promises and a lot of cash but got bored when he got impatient with his drivers and crew members.
Sterling Marlin and Trevor Boys battle for record of the year comes down to the last race of the year with the Canadian Boys leading coming into the final race by approximately 16 points. Marlin came from behind to claim the honor after scoring a top-20 finish while mechanical problems in this final race doomed Boys' hopes.
Meanwhile, Bobby Allison managed to secure his only Winston Cup Championship during the course of the race.
Jimmy Insolo quit the race on the first lap due to team issues. Joe Ruttman blew his engine on lap 12 while Bill Schmidt would ruin his engine on lap 13. Rick McCray's engine would stop working on lap 29. Meanwhile, ignition problems would take out Ron Esau on lap 32 at the same time Ricky Rudd suffered from a faulty engine. The ignition on Roy Smith's vehicle stopped working on lap 36 while the throttle on Jim Bown's vehicle gave out on lap 37. Between lap 38 and lap 61, four drivers were forced to exit the race due to engine concerns.
Bill Elliott would defeat Benny Parsons under the final caution flag in front of 24,000 loyal NASCAR spectators for his first ever Cup Series victory on a rain-soaked road course that would have required Formula One vehicles to use their "wet" tires. This was Elliott's only road course win but he was pretty good when the course got twisty; he would eventually get four top-5s here at Riverside. There were 13 lead changes and five caution flags for 26 laps; making the race last three hours and fifteen minutes long. While the average speed of the race was 95.859 miles per hour (154.270 km/h), Darrell Waltrip qualified for the pole position with a top speed of 116.782 miles per hour (187.942 km/h). The regulation length of this race was 119 laps - the equivalent of 311.8 miles (501.8 km).
Drivers who failed to qualify were: Bobby Hillin, Jr. (#6), Dan Noble (#37), Tony Settember (#58), Harry Goularte (#17), Steve Pfeifer (#8), St. James Davis (#02), Mark Perry (#1) and Bob Kennedy (#94).
Top ten finishersEdit
|2||5||55||Benny Parsons||Chevrolet||119||33||175||Lead lap under caution|
|3||11||75||Neil Bonnett||Chevrolet||119||0||165||Lead lap under caution|
|4||9||15||Dale Earnhardt||Ford||119||4||165||Lead lap under caution|
|5||26||27||Tim Richmond||Pontiac||119||31||160||Lead lap under caution|
|6||1||11||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet||119||34||160||Lead lap under caution|
|7||3||44||Terry Labonte||Chevrolet||119||0||146||Lead lap under caution|
|8||22||04||Hershel McGriff||Buick||119||0||142||Lead lap under caution|
|9||6||22||Bobby Allison||Buick||119||1||143||Lead lap under caution|
|10||8||43||Richard Petty||Pontiac||118||10||139||Lead lap under caution|
Standings after the raceEdit
- Weather information for the 1983 Winston Western 500 at the Old Farmers' Almanac
- 1983 Winston Western 500 racing information at Racing Reference
- 1983 Winston Western 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
- NASCAR Retirements at Race Database
- Qualifying information at Racing Reference
1983 Atlanta Journal 500
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1984 Daytona 500
| Winston Western 500 races