1979 Firecracker 400

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1979 Firecracker 400
Race details
Race 17 of 31 in the 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway
Date July 4, 1979 (1979-July-04)
Location Daytona Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida, USA)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching a maximum of 93.9 °F (34.4 °C); wind speeds of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) with 0.28 inches (7.1 mm) of rain reported within 24 hours of the racing event[1]
Average speed 172.89 miles per hour (278.24 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Buddy Baker Ranier Racing
Most laps led
Driver Neil Bonnett Wood Brothers Racing
Laps 77
No. 21
Neil Bonnett
Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Keith Jackson

The 1979 Firecracker 400 is a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 4, 1979, at Daytona International Speedway in the American community of Daytona Beach, Florida.


There were 41 drivers on the starting grid of this race; Bruce Hill was credited with the last-place finish due to an engine problem on the first lap.[2] Fifteen drivers would fail to finish the race with problems varying from engine trouble, blown tires, and crashes.[2] Foreign-born competitor Claude Ballot-Léna from France would make his final NASCAR Cup Series appearance here; winning $1,130 in American dollars after this race ($3,671.85 when adjusted for inflation).[2][3] His race ended on lap 83 of 160 with engine problems.[2]

Forty-five thousand fans were in attendance. The average speed was race record 172.89 miles per hour (278.24 km/h).[2] The green flag waved at 10 a.m. Buddy Baker earned the pole position during the solo qualifying runs with a top speed of 193.196 miles per hour (310.919 km/h).[2] Darrell Waltrip would become a frequent contender for the first-place position of this race along with Buddy Baker and Neil Bonnett.[2] Bonnett would go on to defeat Benny Parsons by a single second.[2]

A souvenir program was sold for $3 USD ($9.75 when adjusted for inflation). Kyle Petty attempted to qualify for this race, but crashed during qualifying. He would make his NASCAR debut at Talladega.

Top twenty finishers[edit]

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Darrell Waltrip 2720
2 Bobby Allison 2587
3 Richard Petty 2522
4 Cale Yarborough 2500
5 Dale Earnhardt 2342


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1979 Firecracker 400 at The Old Farmer's Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i 1979 Firecracker 400 racing information at Racing-Reference
  3. ^ 1979 Firecracker 400 racing results at Race-Database
Preceded by
1979 Gabriel 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1979 Busch Nashville 420
Preceded by
Firecracker 400 races
Succeeded by