1982 Champion Spark Plug 400

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1982 Champion Spark Plug 400
Race details
Race 20 of 30 in the 1982 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Map of the track
Map of the track
Date August 22, 1982 (1982-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 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)[1]
Average speed 136.454 miles per hour (219.601 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Bill Elliott Melling Racing
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Allison DiGard Motorsports
Laps 120
No. 88
Bobby Allison
DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1982 Champion Spark Plug 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event held on August 22, 1982, at Michigan International Speedway in the American community of Brooklyn, Michigan.

While the glory days of Richard Petty ended before this race, he was still more recognized to the general public than Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip during the early 1980s. Between 1974 and 1982, the troika of Waltrip, Cale Yarborough and Richard Petty were considered to be the "elite three drivers" of the NASCAR scene. The rest of 1982 would see a NASCAR Winston Cup Championship slip out of Richard Petty's grasp and into the hands of a young Darrell Waltrip for the second time in his entire career.


It took two hours and forty-five minutes to complete this event. 38 American-born drivers competed on this 200-lap event; Joe Ruttman would become the last-place finisher due to a problem with his vehicle's oil pump on the second lap. Bill Elliott would end up finishing the race 96 laps behind the leaders while Tim Richmond would see the conclusion of his racing weekend by inflicting some damage to the back of his stock car on lap 161.[2]

Buicks, Pontiacs and Ford vehicles would rule the racing grid on this day. Thirty thousand people would come to the race live to watch Bobby Allison best Richard Petty by two car lengths. Bill Elliott brought some fast thrills to the solo qualifying position by driving at speeds up to 162.995 miles per hour (262.315 km/h). While a wide variety of drivers would lead the opening 50 laps, the final 50 laps would be monopolized by three different drivers (Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison). Terry Labonte would keep a close lead in championship points after this race; trailing by a mere 50 points to Bobby Allison. Drivers in the actual race drove an average speed of 136.545 miles per hour (219.748 km/h).[2] Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. and Robin McCall would make their respective departures from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series after the conclusion of this event.[3]

Individual race earnings ranged from the winner's share of $26,900 ($65,738.03 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $1,850 ($4,521.02 when adjusted for inflation). NASCAR officials on the track were authorized by the board of directors to hand out a grand total of $222,875 to all the qualifying drivers of this racing event ($544,660.39 when adjusted for inflation).[4]

Top ten drivers[edit]

  1. 88-Bobby Allison
  2. 43-Richard Petty
  3. 33-Harry Gant
  4. 50-Geoffrey Bodine
  5. 55-Benny Parsons
  6. 67-Buddy Arrington
  7. 11-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 71-Dave Marcis
  9. 21-Neil Bonnett
  10. 47-Ron Bouchard

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Bobby Allison 2962
2 Terry Labonte 2912
3 Darrell Waltrip 2842
4 Richard Petty 2537
5 Buddy Arrington 2524


Preceded by
1982 Talladega 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1982 Busch 500