1976 Riverside 400

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1976 Riverside 400
Race details
Race 15 of 28 in the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside International Raceway
Date June 13, 1976; 38 years ago (1976-06-13)
Location Riverside International Raceway (Riverside, California)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.620 mi (4.216 km)
Distance 153 laps, 400.9 mi (645.1 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching a high of 84.9 °F (29.4 °C); winds reaching a maximum of 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)[1]
Average speed 106.279 miles per hour (171.039 km/h)
Pole position
Driver David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates
Laps 48
No. 21
David Pearson
Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier
Richard Petty

The 1976 Riverside 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on June 13, 1976, at Riverside International Raceway in the American community of Riverside, California.[2]

Most of the vehicles that raced in this event had Chevrolet as their manufacturer.[3] Roy Smith was the only Canadian competitor out of the 35-driver grid; the rest of them were American-born males.[2]


Pearson's qualifying speed of 114.437 miles per hour (184.168 km/h) would earn him the pole position while the average speed of the actual race was 106.279 miles per hour (171.039 km/h).[2][3] Richard Petty would become proficient on turn 6 throughout the race; despite ending the race outside of the "top five."

David Pearson managed to defeat Bobby Allison by a time of 1.6 seconds in front of 29,500 people.[2] The race took two hours and twenty minutes to complete; with the event's only caution flag lasting for a duration of four laps.[2] The victor would take home $15,150 in winnings ($62,788.33 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place paid a meager $665 ($2,756.06 when adjusted for inflation).[2][3] Ron Esau would acquire the last-place finish due to a clutch problem on lap 6 out of the 95 that made up the regulation length of the course.[2][3] Safe driving habits and remarkable efforts with keeping the oil products away from the track helped to keep most of the race under the green flag.

John Dineen and Ernie Stierly would make their NASCAR Cup Series debut at this racing event. Final NASCAR appearances by Jim Danielson, Bill Polich, and Don Reynolds were also memorable moments from this racing event.[4] A little known fact was that Darrell Waltrip was listed down as a resident of Daytona Beach, Florida for the purpose of tracking the starting grid instead of using his home town of Owensboro, Kentucky.[5] A race that Waltrip would end up winning later in his career would have him as listed as a resident Franklin, Tennessee - which is located exactly 127 miles (204 km) to the south of Owensboro.

Top ten finishers[edit]

  1. 21-David Pearson
  2. 2-Bobby Allison
  3. 72-Benny Parsons
  4. 96-Ray Elder
  5. 15-Buddy Baker
  6. 88-Darrell Waltrip
  7. 11-Cale Yarborough
  8. 38-Jimmy Insolo
  9. 43-Richard Petty
  10. 71-Dave Marcis


  • Start of race: David Pearson had the pole position to begin the race
  • Lap 5: Bobby Allison took over the lead from David Pearson
  • Lap 7: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 8: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 9: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 31: Bobby Allison took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • Lap 35: Cale Yarborough took over the lead from Bobby Allison
  • Lap 60: David Pearson took over the lead from Cale Yarborough
  • End of race: David Pearson won the race

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Benny Parsons 2161
2 Cale Yarborough 2138
3 Richard Petty 2036
4 Bobby Allison 1991
5 Dave Marcis 1827


  1. ^ 1976 Riverside 400 weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 1976 Riverside 400 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ a b c d 1976 Riverside 400 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  4. ^ Driver debuts at the 1976 Riverside 400 at Race Database
  5. ^ Darrell Waltrip home town information at TheVRL.com
Preceded by
1976 World 600
NASCAR Winston Cup Season
Succeeded by
1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400