1976 Winston 500

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1976 Winston 500
Race details[1]
Race 10 of 30 in the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date May 2, 1976 (1976-May-02)
Official name Winston 500
Location Alabama International Motor Speedway , Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds of 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)
Average speed 169.887 miles per hour (273.407 km/h)
Attendance 80,000[2]
Pole position
Driver K&K Insurance Racing
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 135
No. 15 Buddy Baker Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier

The 1976 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on May 2, 1976, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama.

Coo Coo Marlin had a serious crash the weekend before while attempting a qualifying run for the ARCA race and was unable to compete in any of the weekend's competition due to a shoulder injury.


Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.[3]

Race report[edit]

Dave Marcis won the pole position for the race with a lap of 189.197 miles per hour (304.483 km/h). 40 cars started the race. Buddy Baker defeated Cale Yarborough by 35 seconds, in an average speed of 167.887 miles per hour (270.188 km/h). His record of winning three races in a row at Talladega would not be broken until 2002 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. recorded his fourth consecutive victory at that track. There were 24 different leaders and three cautions for 14 laps. Attendance was 80,000.[2]

Baker had qualified 12th, and two days before the race Bud Moore's team transported the engine for the team's 1976 Ford Torino back to their shop in Spartanburg, SC for examination. The engine was brought back to Talladega the day before the race.[citation needed]

Through his second-place finish, Yarborough managed to take the lead in championship points over Benny Parsons; who finished in 26th place during this event.[4] Parsons was eliminated when Dick Brooks spun out of the lead group and was hit by David Pearson, Marcis, and Parsons.[4] Petty finished fourth after losing a lap when he stalled out his car on pit road.

Prize winnings for this race varied from $25,285 for the winner ($113,605 when considering inflation) all the way to $1,205 for last-place finisher Darrell Bryant ($5,414 when considering inflation).[5]


Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 71 Dave Marcis Dodge Nord Krauskopf
2 43 Richard Petty Dodge Petty Enterprises
3 28 Donnie Allison Chevrolet Hoss Ellington
4 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet L.G. DeWitt
5 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet Junior Johnson
6 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet DiGard Racing
7 48 James Hylton Chevrolet James Hylton
8 12 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet Neil Bonnett
9 81 Terry Ryan Chevrolet Bill Monaghan
10 21 David Pearson Mercury Wood Brothers
11 2 Bobby Allison Mercury Roger Penske
12 15 Buddy Baker Ford Bud Moore
13 90 Dick Brooks Ford Junie Donlavey
14 79 Frank Warren Dodge Frank Warren
15 05 David Sisco Chevrolet David Sisco
16 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet Richard Childress
17 18 Joe Frasson Chevrolet Joe Frasson
18 24 Cecil Gordon Chevrolet Cecil Gordon
19 41 Grant Adcox Chevrolet Herb Adcox
20 22 Ricky Rudd Chevrolet Al Rudd
21 92 Skip Manning Chevrolet Billy Hagan
22 67 Buddy Arrington Dodge Buddy Arrington
23 33 Buck Baker Chevrolet Hiram Handy
24 19 Ed Negre Chevrolet Henley Gray
25 30 Tighe Scott Chevrolet Walter Ballard

Top 10 finishers[edit]

Section reference: [2]

  1. Buddy Baker (No. 15), with an official time of 2:56:37
  2. Cale Yarborough (No. 11), 35 seconds down
  3. Bobby Allison (No. 2), 1 lap down
  4. Richard Petty (No. 43), 2 laps down
  5. Terry Ryan (No. 81), 4 laps down
  6. Cecil Gordon (No. 24), 4 laps down
  7. Donnie Allison (No. 28), 4 laps down
  8. Bruce Hill (No. 47), 6 laps down
  9. Dave Marcis (No. 71), 6 laps down
  10. Frank Warren (No. 79), 8 laps down

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 Increase Cale Yarborough 1535 0
2 Decrease Benny Parsons 1486 -49
3 1rightarrow.png Richard Petty 1398 -137
4 Increase Bobby Allison 1331 -204
5 Increase Dave Marcis 1291 -244
5 1rightarrow.png Lennie Pond 1291 -244
7 Decrease Richard Childress 1270 -265
8 1rightarrow.png Darrell Waltrip 1179 -356
9 Increase Cecil Gordon 1155 -380
10 Decrease J.D. McDuffie 1115 -420


  1. ^ 1976 Winston 500 weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e 1976 Winston 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  4. ^ a b 1976 Winston 500 racing information at Race Database
  5. ^ 1976 Winston 500 Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine racing information at Driver Averages
Preceded by
1976 Virginia 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Season
Succeeded by
1976 Music City USA 420
Preceded by
1975 Winston 500
Talladega spring race
Succeeded by
1977 Winston 500