1980 Winchester 400
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The 1980 Winchester 400 motor race, the eleventh annual (run yearly since 1970), was held as the "Dri-Power 400" under American Speed Association sanction on October 5, 1980, at the Winchester Speedway, in Indiana (USA).
The wildest Winchester 400 in history, the 1980 race had a familiar name in victory, but a surprise winner as Terry Senneker, younger brother of five-time winner Bob Senneker, captured the 1980 running of the fall classic. Battling for the lead, with just eight laps to go, ASA standouts Mark Martin and Mike Eddy tangled while racing side-by-side and crashed out of the event. That allowed the third-place machine of Terry Senneker to take the victory.
Martin’s Dillon Chevrolet flew around the "World's Fastest Half Mile" in 15.741 seconds (114.351 MPH) and was the fastest qualifier among the 44 competitors. The "400" began in very clean fashion as Martin led the initial 45 laps before giving way to Bob Sensiba. The first caution did not appear until lap 50, when Dick Dunlevy Jr. exploded an engine. Sensiba remained in the lead until he pitted on lap 134, giving the lead to Martin for the second time. Martin then led until he headed for pit road on lap 175, turning over control of the field to Terry Senneker for the first time.
Defending race winner Don Gregory passed T. Senneker for the lead on lap 197 and remained in front until he too headed pit-side for a stop on lap 239. Those stops cycled Martin back to the race lead, but tire problems caused him to slow and give the point back to T. Senneker on lap 276. The stage for the final drama began to be set when Eddy passed T. Senneker to make his first appearance at the top of the leader board on lap 289. Lurking just behind the race lead, five-time winner Bob Senneker saw his chances end as a blown tire sent him into the fourth-turn wall and out of the race on lap 300. Under that caution, Eddy pitted for tires, giving the lead back to Gregory. Charging back through the field on fresh tires, Eddy retook the lead on lap 325 as Gregory’s machine began to suffer from overheating problems.
On lap 341, Terry Senneker looped his Chevrolet off turn four and narrowly missed hitting the inside retaining wall on the main straight. This caution period allowed Martin to make up a lost lap and have a shot at race leader Eddy. The lead duo began their battle within the final 25 laps of the event. Picking his spots carefully, Martin repeatedly dove under Eddy’s mount, but was unable to complete the maneuver for the lead. On the 391st lap, Martin again ducked under Eddy heading into the third turn. The duo raced side-by-side through the corner and down the front stretch into the first and second turns. Coming off turn two onto the back straight, Martin’s car broke loose and shot up the track into the side of Eddy. The contact sent Eddy bouncing hard off the back stretch wall and back into Martin, severely damaging and knocking both cars out of the race.
T. Senneker, who was a lap behind the leaders at the time of their crash, motored to the lead under the caution as Eddy and Martin were being towed back to the pits. Back under green and suddenly seven laps ahead of his nearest running competitor, Senneker cruised around the final few laps to collect the biggest win of his career and a $9,200 payday. Ray Young picked up his second-consecutive runner-up finish. Despite not finishing, Eddy and Martin completed enough laps to be scored third and fourth respectively, with Carl Smith rounding out the top five.
Table of results
|Results of the 11th Annual DRI-POWER Winchester 400|
|1||7||37||Terry Senneker / Wayland, MI||Anastor Enterprises / Chevrolet||400||$9,200||running|
|2||35||99||Ray Young / Dolton, IL||Chevy Shop / Chevrolet||393||$6,650||running|
|3||4||88||Mike Eddy / Midland, MI||Moenning Brothers / Chevrolet||392||$3,900||accident|
|4||1||2||Mark Martin / Batesville, AR||Dillon/Baker/AMSoil / Chevrolet||392||$3,450||accident|
|5||28||2||Carl Smith / West Jefferson, OH||Tim’s Auto Parts / Chevrolet||392||$2,000||running|
|6||24||0||Lonnie Breedlove / Indianapolis, IN||M & M Automotive / Chevrolet||384||$1,800||running|
|7||32||17||John Jutila / Grand Rapids, MI||Jerry’s Body & Frame / Chevrolet||373||$1,600||running|
|8||22||29||Dave Sorg / Fort Wayne, IN||Neal’s Truck Parts / Chevrolet||371||$1,400||running|
|9||27||6||Gary Williams / Orient, OH||Seely’s Body Shop / Chevrolet||359||$1,200||running|
|10||14||7||Don Gregory / Columbus, OH||A-1 Auto Service/Jeg’s / Chevrolet||349||$1,900||head gasket|
|11||5||3||Bob Sensiba / Middleville, MI||M & M Automotive / Chevrolet||348||$1,800||clutch|
|12||33||11||Ryl Magoon / Grand Rapids, MI||J & H Oil, Co. / Chevrolet||338||$900||running|
|13||18||27||Don Wilbur / West Carrollton, OH||Jessie’s Hair Fashions / Chevrolet||308||$800||ignition|
|14||3||84||Bob Senneker / Dorr, MI||Baker Engines / Chevrolet||300||$1,550||accident|
|15||23||10||Buddy Cole / Indianapolis, IN||Dill’s Auto Parts / Chevrolet||295||$700||running|
|16||36||57||Jack Shanklin / Camby, IN||Emberson / Chevrolet||272||$650||running|
|17||19||99||Dick Trickle / Wisconsin Rapids, WI||Superamerica / Chevrolet||237||$1,400||dry sump|
|18||13||39||John Martin / Irvine, CA||Martin Auto Parts / Chevrolet||230||$550||running|
|19||25||99||Bob Stansell / Kettering, OH||Rheinhardt Painting / Chevrolet||215||$500||running|
|20||17||10||Doug Klein / Fairview Heights, IL||Klein TV & Appliance / Chevrolet||170||$450||accident|
|21||12||16||Jerry Sisco / Madison, TN||31-W Insulation / Chevrolet||168||$425||accident|
|22||21||82||Dave Brandenburg / Springfield, OH||Foxy Lady / Chevrolet||168||$400||accident|
|23||20||38||Jeep Pflum / Cincinnati, OH||Don’s Crankshaft / Chevrolet||137||$390||accident|
|24||26||4||Tom Harrington / Loveland, OH||BFI Industries / Chevrolet||133||$380||oil pump|
|25||29||30||Mickey Flora / Anderson, IN||D & F Racing Equipment / Chevrolet||129||$370||running|
|26||34||77||Ken Harrison / Indianapolis, IN||The Roost #1 Bar / Chevrolet||127||$360||accident|
|27||9||24||Dave Jensen / Independence, MO||Jensen Racing / Chevrolet||126||$350||accident|
|28||10||56||Chuck Roumell / Brooklyn, MI||Fox Engines / Chevrolet||117||$350||accident|
|29||2||88||Bob Strait / Flossmoor, IL||Bee Line / Chevrolet||99||$1,200||accident|
|30||31||70||Larry Brooks / Indianapolis, IN||Brooks / Chevrolet||96||$350||rocker arm|
|31||15||14||Ron Hayes / Brownsburg, IN||Love’s Body Shop / Chevrolet||94||$325||accident|
|32||30||85||Gil Tarbutton / Lake Eliza, IN||Tarbutton Racing / Chevrolet||83||$325||engine|
|33||8||5||Randy Sweet / Edwardsburg, MI||Gaerte Engines / Chevrolet||63||$1,125||accident|
|34||6||76||L.J. Lines / Indianapolis, IN||Unipak, Inc. / Chevrolet||53||$325||rocker arm|
|35||11||5||Dick Dunlevy Jr. / Dayton, OH||Mall Builders / Pontiac||48||$300||valve|
|36||16||96||Harold Scott / New Castle, IN||Dan’s Auto Ranch / Chevrolet||32||$1,100||accident|
- Average Speed: 65.877 mph (106.019 km/h)
- Margin of Victory: 7 laps
- Time of Race: Three hours, 2 minutes and 9.738 seconds
- Lead Changes: 13 among 6 drivers
- Lap Leaders: Mark Martin 1-45; Bob Sensiba 46-133; M. Martin 134-175; T. Senneker 176-196; Don Gregory 197-239; Bob Senneker 240; M. Martin 241; Terry Senneker 242-246; M. Martin 247-276; T. Senneker 277-288; Mike Eddy 289-304; Gregory 305-324; Eddy 325-392; T. Senneker 393-400.
- Cautions: 15 for 122 laps
- Entries: 47 Qualifiers: 46
1979 Winchester 400
|1980 Winchester 400
Winner: Terry Senneker
1981 Winchester 400