1979 Northwestern Bank 400

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1979 Northwestern Bank 400
Race details
Race 6 of 31 in the 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Date March 25, 1979 (1979-March-25)
Official name Northwestern Bank 400
Location North Wilkesboro Speedway
(North Wilkesboro, North Carolina)
Course Permanent racing facility
0.625 mi (1.005 km)
Distance 400 laps, 250 mi (402 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching a high of 61 °F (16 °C); wind speeds up to 10.9 miles per hour (17.5 km/h)[1]
Average speed 88.400 miles per hour (142.266 km/h)
Pole position
Driver M.C. Anderson
Most laps led
Driver Richard Petty Petty Enterprises
Laps 211
No. 11 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1979 Northwestern Bank 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on March 25, 1979, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

A crowd of exactly 17,500 live racing fans would attend this historic racing event; approximately 44% of the track's most recent capacity (before it closed in 2011). Admission to one of the premium seats for this event set back a person exactly $15 USD with taxes included ($48.74 in current US dollars).


Parsons would earn the pole position for the race after successfully making it through solo qualifying runs at speeds of up to 108.136 miles per hour or 174.028 kilometres per hour while the winner of the actual race would post average speeds of exactly 88.400 miles per hour or 142.266 kilometres per hour.[2] Twenty different drivers exchanged the first-place position with each other over the course of this 400-lap event. Bobby Allison would defeat Richard Petty by three and a half seconds after racing for almost two hours and fifty minutes. Chevrolet vehicles filled up the majority of the 30-car racing grid and the last-place finisher of this race was Jimmy Means (of Jimmy Means Racing). Only four drivers would be on the lead lap at the of this race: Allison, Petty, Benny Parsons, and Dale Earnhardt. Darrell Waltrip would finish in the "top five" and would go on to become a multiple Winston Cup champion during the 1980s.

J.D. McDuffie would also accomplish a rare "top ten" finish here; being more known for his last-place finishes at the end of NASCAR Cup Series races. At the end of the race, Bobby Allison would be a mere nine points ahead of Darrell Waltrip in championship standings.[2] Earl Brooks would make his final official NASCAR appearance at this event.[3] This race started at 2:00 PM and would finish around 4:50 PM. Prize money for each finishing contestants varied from $13,750 for the winner ($44,679.62 in current US dollars) to a meager $625 for the last-place finisher ($2,030.89 in current US dollars).[4] When all the prize winnings for this racing event are combined, the total prize purse for this race was $80,375 ($261,172.68 in current US dollars).[5]

This would be the final race in NASCAR history before the Earnhardt family's legacy of winning began to take center stage. Before his death, Earnhardt would rack up 76 wins in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series while his son Dale Jr. would add 19 more victories into the Earnhardt family's résumé. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was only four years old when this event took place but would go on to almost the same level of success in his NASCAR Cup Series as his father. Meanwhile, the Petty family began to see their fortunes reverse as Richard Petty was unable to compete for championships after the end of the 1990s. Richard Petty's son Kyle would clinch the final win for the Petty family at the 1995 MBNA RacePoints 400.

Finishing order[edit]

† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Bobby Allison 971
2 Darrell Waltrip 962
3 Cale Yarborough 932
4 Benny Parsons 823
5 Donnie Allison 817


Preceded by
1979 Atlanta 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1979 Southeastern 500