1977 Champion Spark Plug 400

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1977 Champion Spark Plug 400
Race details
Race 20 of 30 in the 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Map of the track
Map of the track
Date August 22, 1977 (1977-August-22)
Location Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, Michigan, USA)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)[1]
Average speed 137.944 miles per hour (221.999 km/h)
Pole position
Driver David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates
Laps 120
No. 88
Darrell Waltrip
DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 is a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on August 22, 1977, at Michigan International Speedway in the American community of Brooklyn, Michigan.


There were 36 drivers on the racing grid; all of them were born in the United States of America. While Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip would duel for the lead during the opening laps of this racing event, Waltrip would eventually battle against Benny Parsons for supremacy during the closing laps. David Pearson would end up losing to Darrell Waltrip by a mere two car lengths in front of a live audience of 35,000 stock car racing fans.[2] Waltrip's crew chief for this race would be Buddy Parrott.[3]

Janet Guthrie was the only female representative in this race; finishing an outstanding tenth place and securing a spot as one of the "top ten" finishers. Earle Canavan would secure the last-place finish in this 200-lap racing event due to an engine issue on the first lap. Most of the DNFs in this race would be due to serious engine issues. The lowest finishing driver to finish the race was Dave Marcis. Only six drivers would end the race on the lead lap; with Yarborough being the slowest driver on the lead lap.[2] After this race, Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty would be 50 points of each other; gunning for a championship opportunity.[2]

The entire winning purse for this race was $108,825 ($423,527.06 when adjusted for inflation); Waltrip brought home $16,820 to his family ($65,460.37 when adjusted for inflation) while Canavan was barely able to profit by taking home a meager $600 ($2,335.09 when adjusted for inflation).[4] Terry Ryan would retire from NASCAR Cup Series racing after this event was over.[5]

Top twenty finishers[edit]

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Cale Yarborough 3290
2 Richard Petty 3240
3 Benny Parsons 2989
4 Darrell Waltrip 2952
5 Buddy Baker 2656


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ Crew chief information for the 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 at Racing Reference
  4. ^ 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  5. ^ 1977 Champion Spark Plug 400 racing information at Race Database
Preceded by
1977 Talladega 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1977 Volunteer 400
Preceded by
Champion Spark Plug 400 races
Succeeded by