Open main menu

The 1984 Daytona 500, the 26th running of the event, was held February 19, 1984, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cale Yarborough, who won the pole, completed a lap of 201.848 miles per hour (324.843 km/h), officially breaking the 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) barrier at Daytona. He won the race for the second year in a row, and the fourth time in his career, with an identical last-lap pass as the previous year, this time victimizing Darrell Waltrip who would later go on to win the same race in 1989.

1984 Daytona 500
Race details
Race 1 of 30 in the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Track map of Daytona International Speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway.
Date February 19, 1984 (1984-02-19)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Temperatures of 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds of 11.6 miles per hour (18.7 km/h)[1]
Average speed 150.994 miles per hour (243.001 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Ranier-Lundy
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy
Duel 2 Winner Bobby Allison DiGard Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy
Laps 89
No. 28 Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier and David Hobbs
Nielsen Ratings 8.7/23
(12.3 million viewers)

First Daytona 500 starts for Ken Ragan, Greg Sacks, Mike Alexander, Connie Saylor, Doug Heveron, Bobby Hillin, Jr., and Trevor Boys.[2] Only Daytona 500 start for Dean Combs.[2] Last Daytona 500 starts for Dean Roper, Ronnie Thomas, and Tommy Gale.[2]


Cale Yarborough and his crew chief Waddell Wilson were ready to repeat as Daytona 500 champion as Speedweeks got underway. Yarborough won the pole with a new track record. In the first Twin 125, he won after 1980 Daytona 500 champ Buddy Baker failed to outfox the cagey veteran. Baker was leading with 8 laps to go but did not want to be passed on the last lap. Baker slowed and forced Yarborough to pass. Yarborough took off and Baker could not catch him, winning by 1.8 seconds. In the second race, 1982 Daytona 500 champ Bobby Allison held off Harry Gant. A total of 72 cars participated in the Twin 125 mile qualifiers, with 36 in each race.[3]

Calamity CornerEdit

In 1984 Daytona's 4th turn was dubbed Calamity Corner after three vicious weeks. Ricky Rudd was battered and bruised in a wild, tumbling, sidewinding crash in the Busch Clash, but he won two weeks later in Richmond (despite a concussion suffered in the Clash; there was no concussion rule, implemented in 2014, at the time). In the second Twin 125, Randy LaJoie spun off turn four. His car began flying and went underside-first into the inside wall before flipping end over end to a hard stop. LaJoie suffered back injuries. The next day, in a consolation race, Natz Peters's car ricocheted off the inside wall into the path of another car, driven by Jim Hurlbert. Both cars exploded in flames. Neither driver was seriously injured.

Along with Waltrip's vicious crash at Daytona the previous year, by the time the Series returned to Daytona for the Firecracker 400 in July, the entire Turn 4 apron was paved over, the beginning of tracks paving aprons for cars to scrub off speed on asphalt aprons instead of grass, which did little to slow spinning cars. The backstretch apron was paved in 2015, and following a serious incident at the 2015 Saturday support race for the Daytona 500 that injured Kyle Busch, the section of track past the tri-oval to Turn 1 was paved over and barriers realigned to temporarily seal off the road course during oval races.


Qualifying resultsEdit

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Speed
1 28 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 201.848mph
2 44 Terry Labonte Chevrolet
3 9 Bill Elliott Ford
4 22 Bobby Allison Buick
5 21 Buddy Baker Ford
6 33 Harry Gant Chevrolet
7 12 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet
8 55 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
9 5 Geoff Bodine Chevrolet
10 27 Tim Richmond Pontiac
11 16 David Pearson Chevrolet
12 90 Dick Brooks Ford
13 66 Phil Parsons Chevrolet
14 15 Ricky Rudd Ford
15 7 Kyle Petty Ford
16 1 Lake Speed Chevrolet
17 77 Ken Ragan Chevrolet
18 47 Ron Bouchard Buick
19 89 Dean Roper Pontiac
20 51 Greg Sacks Chevrolet
21 42 Dick Trickle Chevrolet
22 8 Bobby Hillin Jr. Chevrolet
23 01 Doug Heveron Chevrolet
24 4 Lennie Pond Chevrolet
25 97 Dean Combs Oldsmobile
26 11 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
27 88 Rusty Wallace Pontiac
28 67 Buddy Arrington Chrysler
29 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet
30 64 Tommy Gale Ford
31 98 Joe Ruttman Chevrolet
32 14 A.J. Foyt Oldsmobile
33 98 Jody Ridley Chevrolet
34 43 Richard Petty Pontiac
35 48 Trevor Boys Chevrolet
36 29 Connie Saylor Chevrolet
37 17 Clark Dwyer Chevrolet
38 41 Ronnie Thomas Chevrolet
39 75 Dave Marcis Pontiac
40 10 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet
41 52 Jimmy Means Chevrolet
42 71 Mike Alexander Oldsmobile



The raceEdit

The drivers expressed their concern by staging a safe 500, which had no serious incidents. President Ronald Reagan gave the command "Gentlemen, start your engines!" by phone from the White House. Yarborough, Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty took turns leading the early laps of the race, but Petty and Allison fell out early with mechanical problems. Yarborough clearly had the strongest car, leading 51 of the first 100 laps. Yarborough's car was so fast, he twice passed leading cars on the outside of the third turn.

Yarborough led most of the second half of the race, but Earnhardt and Terry Labonte were also strong, as well as Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip, who lead for the first time on lap 142. Waltrip took the lead again on lap 162 during green flag pit stops. The race's final caution came at lap 177, but four leaders, Waltrip, Yarborough, Labonte and Earnhardt-decided to remain on the track and hold their positions.

After the race resumed on lap 183, six cars pulled away from the field. And as the final lap started, it was Waltrip, Yarborough, Earnhardt, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, and Bill Elliott. For 38 laps, Waltrip had grimly hung onto the point. But he knew how fast Yarborough was. Yarborough made his move on the backstretch-the same move that had failed spectacularly in 1979 against Donnie Allison but worked perfectly in 1983 against Baker. Waltrip moved to the middle of the track but did not aggressively block. Yarborough made the pass without drafting help.

Earnhardt also moved on Waltrip but didn't begin his pass until turn four. He nipped Waltrip at the line, while Bonnett held off Elliott for fourth. Yarborough won by eight car lengths. For the sixth time in his career, Yarborough had a chance to make a last-lap pass for victory in a NASCAR race. For the sixth time, he did it. And for the first time since Fireball Roberts in 1962, a single driver had won the pole, his qualifying race, and the 500. This made Yarborough become the only driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole more than once until Elliott joined him after winning the following year and in 1987.

Finishing OrderEdit

Pos No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Status
1 28 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 200 Running
2 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 200 Running
3 11 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 200 Running
4 12 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet 200 Running
5 9 Bill Elliott Ford 200 Running
6 33 Harry Gant Chevrolet 200 Running
7 15 Ricky Rudd Ford 199 Running
8 5 Geoffrey Bodine Chevrolet 199 Running
9 16 David Pearson Chevrolet 198 Running
10 84 Jody Ridley Chevrolet 198 Running
11 66 Phil Parsons Chevrolet 198 Running
12 44 Terry Labonte Chevrolet 198 Running
13 4 Lennie Pond Chevrolet 197 Running
14 77 Ken Ragan Chevrolet 197 Running
15 10 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet 197 Running
16 89 Dean Roper Pontiac 196 Running
17 52 Jimmy Means Chevrolet 196 Running
18 51 Greg Sacks Chevrolet 195 Running
19 97 Dean Combs Oldsmobile 194 Running
20 17 Clark Dwyer Chevrolet 191 Running
21 71 Mike Alexander Oldsmobile 187 Engine failure
22 29 Connie Saylor Chevrolet 186 Vehicle overheated
23 01 Doug Heveron Chevrolet 173 Ignition problems
24 41 Ronnie Wood Chevrolet 173 Missing rear end
25 67 Buddy Arrington Chrysler 170 Connecting rod problems
26 90 Dick Brooks Ford 158 Terminal vehicle damage
27 47 Ron Bouchard Buick 158 Terminal vehicle damage
28 98 Joe Ruttman Chevrolet 146 Terminal vehicle damage
29 55 Benny Parson Chevrolet 108 Cylinder head problems
30 88 Rusty Wallace Pontiac 95 Terminal vehicle damage
31 43 Richard Petty Pontiac 92 Camshaft problems
32 64 Tommy Gale Ford 69 Engine failure
33 27 Tim Richmond Pontiac 66 Engine failure
34 22 Bobby Allison Buick 61 Camshaft problems
35 8 Bobby Hillin Jr. Chevrolet 60 Engine failure
36 42 Dick Trickle Chevrolet 53 Ignition problems
37 1 Lake Speed Chevrolet 46 Push rod problems
38 21 Buddy Baker Ford 30 Vibration problems
39 14 A.J. Foyt Oldsmobile 24 Suspension problems
40 7 Kyle Petty Ford 21 Engine failure
41 48 Trevor Boys Chevrolet 17 Engine failure
42 75 Dave Marcis Pontiac 3 Engine failure



  1. ^ Weather information for the 1984 Daytona 500 at Old Farmers Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d "1984 Daytona 500". Racing-Reference.Info. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "1984 Daytona 500 (SPEED Channel's NASCAR Classics)". Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  5. ^ "NASCAR DAYTONA 500 RACE RESULTS". CBS Sports. Retrieved 1 July 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
1983 Winston Western 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1984 Miller High Life 400