1976 Winston 500

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1976 Winston 500
Race details[1]
Race 10 of 30 in the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date May 2, 1976 (1976-May-02)
Official name Winston 500
Location Alabama International Motor Speedway , Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures reaching a maximum of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)
Average speed 169.887 miles per hour (273.407 km/h)
Attendance 80,000[2]
Pole position
Driver K&K Insurance Racing
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 135
No. 15 Buddy Baker Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier

The 1976 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on May 2, 1976, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Alabama. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.


Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.[3]


Dave Marcis won the pole position for the race with a lap of 189.197 miles per hour (304.483 km/h). 40 cars started the race. Buddy Baker defeated Cale Yarborough by 35 seconds, in an average speed of 167.887 miles per hour (270.188 km/h). His record of winning three races in a row at Talladega would not be broken until 2002 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. recorded his fourth consecutive victory at that track. There were 24 different leaders and three cautions for 14 laps. Attendance was 80,000.[2]

Baker had qualified 12th, and two days before the race Bud Moore's team transported the engine for the team's 1976 Ford Torino back to their shop in Spartanburg, SC for examination. The engine was brought back to Talladega the day before the race.

Through his second-place finish, Yarborough managed to take the lead in championship points over Benny Parsons; who finished in 26th place during this event.[4] Parsons was eliminated when Dick Brooks spun out of the lead group and was hit by David Pearson, Marcis, and Parsons.[4] Petty finished fourth after losing a lap when he stalled out his car on pit road.

Prize winnings for this race varied from $25,285 for the winner ($106,418.80 when considering inflation) all the way to $1,205 for last-place finisher Darrell Bryant ($5,071.57 when considering inflation).[5]


Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 71 Dave Marcis Dodge
2 43 Richard Petty Dodge
3 28 Donnie Allison Chevrolet
4 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
5 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet
6 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
7 48 James Hylton Chevrolet
8 12 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet
9 81 Terry Ryan Chevrolet
10 21 David Pearson Mercury

Top ten finishers[edit]

  1. Buddy Baker (No. 15)
  2. Cale Yarborough (No. 11)
  3. Bobby Allison (No. 2), 1 lap behind
  4. Richard Petty (No. 43), 2 laps behind
  5. Terry Ryan (No. 81), 4 laps behind
  6. Cecil Gordon (No. 24), 4 laps behind
  7. Donnie Allison (No. 28), 4 laps behind
  8. Bruce Hill (No. 47), 6 laps behind
  9. Dave Marcis (No. 71), 6 laps behind
  10. Frank Warren (No. 79), 8 laps behind

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 Cale Yarborough 1535 0
2 Benny Parsons 1486 -49
3 Richard Petty 1398 -137
4 Bobby Allison 1331 -204
5 Dave Marcis 1291 -244
5 Lennie Pond 1291 -244
7 Richard Childress 1270 -265
8 Darrell Waltrip 1179 -356
9 Cecil Gordon 1155 -380
10 J.D. McDuffie 1115 -420


  1. ^ 1976 Winston 500 weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c 1976 Winston 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b 1976 Winston 500 racing information at Race Database
  5. ^ 1976 Winston 500 racing information at Driver Averages
Preceded by
1976 Virginia 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Season
Succeeded by
1976 Music City USA 420
Preceded by
1975 Winston 500
Talladega spring race
Succeeded by
1977 Winston 500