Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400
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The Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup event that took place in November at the North Carolina Motor Speedway from 1965 to 2003. It was the first NASCAR Cup Series victory for three drivers including Mark Martin in 1989, Ward Burton in 1995, and Johnny Benson in 2002. It was the final race win for Bill Elliott in 2003 and Neil Bonnett in 1988.
|Venue||North Carolina Speedway|
|Location||Rockingham, North Carolina, United States|
|Corporate sponsor||Pop Secret|
|Distance||399.681 miles (643.224 km)|
|Previous names||American 500 (1965–1981)|
Walter W. Hodgdon American 500 (1982–1984)
Nationwise 500 (1985–1986)
AC Delco 500 (1987–1994)
AC Delco 400 (1995–1998)
Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 (1999–2003)
|Most wins (driver)||Richard Petty|
Cale Yarborough (4)
|Most wins (team)||Junior Johnson & Associates (8)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Ford (12)|
|Length||1.017 mi (1.637 km)|
This race, typically run as the penultimate race of the NASCAR season, was dropped from the schedule after the 2003 season. The Pop Secret sponsorship was moved over to the newly acquired Labor Day date at Auto Club Speedway, while the late season date was originally taken over by the Southern 500 at Darlington and is now occupied by the AAA Texas 500 at Texas.
|Year||Date||No.||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1965||October 31||41||Curtis Turner||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||500||500 (804.672)||4:54:17||101.942||Report|
|1966||October 30||28||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||500||500 (804.672)||4:47:30||104.348||Report|
|1967||October 29||11||Bobby Allison||Holman-Moody||Ford||500||500 (804.672)||5:04:49||98.42||Report|
|1968||October 27||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Plymouth||500||500 (804.672)||4:45:33||105.06||Report|
|1969||October 26||98||LeeRoy Yarbrough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:28:12||111.938||Report|
|1970||November 15||21||Cale Yarborough||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:14:24||117.811||Report|
|1971||October 24||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Plymouth||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:24:43||113.405||Report|
|1972||October 22||12||Bobby Allison||Richard Howard||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:13:49||118.275||Report|
|1973||October 21||21||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:14:57||117.749||Report|
|1974||October 20||21||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:13:21||118.493||Report|
|1975||October 19||11||Cale Yarborough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:09:54||120.129||Report|
|1976||October 24||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:15:01||117.718||Report|
|1977||October 23||1||Donnie Allison||Ellington Racing||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:24:18||113.584||Report|
|1978||October 22||11||Cale Yarborough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Oldsmobile||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:15:58||117.288||Report|
|1979||October 21||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:37:04||108.356||Report|
|1980||October 19||11||Cale Yarborough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:22:59||114.159||Report|
|1981||November 1||11||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Buick||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:39:32||107.399||Report|
|1982||October 31||11||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Buick||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:20:47||115.122||Report|
|1983||October 30||44||Terry Labonte||Billy Hagan||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:11:36||119.324||Report|
|1984||October 21||9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:26:35||112.617||Report|
|1985||October 20||11||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:13:40||118.344||Report|
|1986||October 19||12||Neil Bonnett||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||3:57:33||126.381||Report|
|1987||October 25||9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:13:52||118.258||Report|
|1988||October 23||27||Rusty Wallace||Blue Max Racing||Pontiac||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:29:07||111.557||Report|
|1989||October 22||6||Mark Martin||Roush Racing||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:23:10||114.079||Report|
|1990||October 21||7||Alan Kulwicki||AK Racing||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||3:57:25||126.452||Report|
|1991||October 20||28||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||492||500.364 (805.257)||3:55:51||127.292||Report|
|1992||October 25||42||Kyle Petty||SABCO Racing||Pontiac||492||500.364 (805.257)||3:49:37||130.748||Report|
|1993||October 24||2||Rusty Wallace||Penske Racing||Pontiac||492||500.364 (805.257)||4:23:16||114.036||Report|
|1994||October 23||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||492||500.364 (805.257)||3:57:30||126.408||Report|
|1995||October 22||22||Ward Burton||Bill Davis Racing||Pontiac||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:28:56||114.778||Report|
|1996||October 20||10||Ricky Rudd||Rudd Performance
|1997||October 27||43||Bobby Hamilton||Petty Enterprises||Pontiac||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:17:00||121.73||Report|
|1998||November 1||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:06:44||128.423||Report|
|1999||October 24||99||Jeff Burton||Roush Racing||Ford||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:02:55||131.103||Report|
|2000||October 22||88||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:37:11||110.418||Report|
|2001||November 4||33||Joe Nemechek||Andy Petree Racing||Chevrolet||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:05:59||128.941||Report|
|2002||November 3||10||Johnny Benson Jr.||MB2 Motorsports||Pontiac||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:06:35||128.526||Report|
|2003||November 9||9||Bill Elliott||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||393||399.681 (643.224)||3:34:44||111.677||Report|
Multiple winners (drivers)Edit
|# Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|4||Richard Petty||1968, 1971, 1976, 1979|
|Cale Yarborough||1970, 1975, 1978, 1980|
|3||Darrell Waltrip||1981–1982, 1985|
|Bill Elliott||1984, 1987, 2003|
|2||Bobby Allison||1967, 1972|
|Rusty Wallace||1988, 1993|
Multiple winners (manufacturers)Edit
|# Wins||Manufacturer||Years Won|
|12||Ford||1965–1967, 1969, 1984, 1987, 1989–1991, 1996, 1999–2000|
|11||Chevrolet||1972, 1975, 1977, 1979–1980, 1983, 1985–1986, 1994, 1998, 2001|
|6||Pontiac||1988, 1992–1993, 1995, 1997, 2002|
- 1965: Curtis Turner posted his final Grand National win, driving the Wood Brothers Racing #21 following his reinstatement to NASCAR.
- 1967: Bobby Allison posted his first Rockingham win.
- 1968: Richard Petty outlasted Cale Yarborough and Bobby Isaac for his only win of the season on a track bigger than a short track.
- 1972: Bobby Allison battled Richard Petty, David Pearson, and Buddy Baker, ultimately leading 217 laps for his tenth win of 1972 and final win with the Richard Howard team led by Junior Johnson.
- 1973: Pearson posted his eleventh win of the 1973 season while Benny Parsons won the season championship despite severe damage in an early crash.
- 1976: Richard Petty defeated Lennie Pond for the win, despite several green-flag pitstops — Petty won despite 125 total seconds in the pits to Pond's 54 seconds.
- 1977: Donnie Allison outclassed the field for his second win of the season.
- 1979: Darrell Waltrip, entering the race with the Winston Cup point lead, finished a distant sixth as Petty grabbed the win and the point lead.
- 1980: Multiple crashes thinned the field as Cale Yarborough took the win in a close points race with sophomore Dale Earnhardt. The race lead changed 35 times.
- 1981: Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, locked in a bitter point battle, finished 1-2; the lead changed 33 times in total and five times over the final 32 laps between Waltrip and Allison.
- 1982: Allison spun out of the pits on his final pitstop and Waltrip seized the win.
- 1983: Terry Labonte broke out of a duel with Tim Richmond for the win, his first in three years.
- 1984: Bill Elliott edged Harry Gant in a photo finish after Gant seized the lead with two to go.
- 1994: In addition to winning the race, Dale Earnhardt clinched his 7th title at the Rock.
- 1995: Ward Burton won his first race at the Rock after a late season change to Bill Davis Racing.
- 2001: Joe Nemechek gave Andy Petree Racing their last win in NASCAR by leading the most laps.
- 2002: Johnny Benson finally clinched the win at the Rock for his first win over a hard-charging Mark Martin.
- 2003: Bill Elliott's victory in this race was the last win of his career.