1980 CRC Chemicals 500

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1980 CRC Chemicals 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 25 of 31 in the 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Date September 14, 1980 (1980-September-14)
Official name CRC Chemicals 500
Location Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 500 laps, 500.0 mi (804.6 km)
Weather Very hot with temperatures reaching up to 88 °F (31 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)
Average speed 116.024 miles per hour (186.723 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Junior Johnson & Associates
Most laps led
Driver Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Laps 264
No. 88 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1980 CRC Chemicals 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on September 14, 1980, at Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series was also plagued with top teams running big engines and finishing in third place to avoid inspection around the early-1980s.

This would be the last of 26 wins for Darrell Waltrip at DiGard, Inc.. Darrell won many races but the team struggled with reliability issues which cost Darrell every year except 1979. Darrell had a contract with DiGard that ran through 1982 but with the help of his father-in-law, Junior Johnson, and sponsor Mountain Dew he was able to get out of the contract at the end of 1980 and finally win his first Winston Cup title in 1981.


Dover Downs International Speedway, now called Dover International Speedway, is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway.[3] The NASCAR race makes use of the track's standard configuration, a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, and both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the backstretch are banked at nine degrees.[4]

Race report[edit]

Twenty-nine lead changes were noticed amongst 11 different drivers.[5] Kenny Hemphill, in his penultimate start, leads a Cup race for the only time.[2]

A combination of racing veterans and relative newcomers to the sport made the 1980 NASCAR Cup Series racing amongst the closest ever seen within the 1970s and 1980s decades.[6] The 1980 NASCAR season was also a rare period in time where the "little teams" could compete almost on a completely equal level against the "big organizations" of stock car racing.[6] Today, independent organizations like NEMCO Motorsports and Robby Gordon Motorsports have a very harsh degree of difficulty to overcome when trying to overtake powerhouses like Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing. The approximate time it took to complete the race was four hours and fourteen minutes using 500 laps of racing.[2][5] Eight yellow flags slowed the race for 39 laps while Darrell Waltrip defeated Harry Gant[7][8] by almost ½ of a second.[2][5] The attendance for this paved oval track race was 35,500 live audience members.[2][8] Waltrip would earn $22,900 just by winning this race ($71,058 when adjusted for inflation).[6]

Frank Warren would retire from NASCAR after this race along with Eddie Dickerson.[5] Meanwhile, John Callis and Joel Stowe used this racing event to make their respective NASCAR debuts.[5] Steve Gray was the last-place driver with a head gasket incident; earning only a meager prize amount of $450 for his 35 laps of racing ($1,396 when adjusted for inflation).[2] Speeds for this race were: 116.024 miles per hour (186.723 km/h) as the average racing speed[8] and 137.583 miles per hour (221.418 km/h) for the pole position winner Cale Yarborough.[2] This would be one of the few races where Bobby Allison didn't win at the track that is now known as Dover International Speedway.[2] Dale Earnhardt would have the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship after this race.[9] This would eventually lead to his 1980 NASCAR championship.[10]

Top 10 finishers[edit]

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Led Winnings Points Time/Status
1 2 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 500 264 $22,900 185 4:18:34
2 10 47 Harry Gant Chevrolet 500 140 $12,930 175 +0.47 seconds
3 3 28 Buddy Baker Chevrolet 500 16 $8,150 170 Lead lap under green flag
4 1 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 499 30 $10,700 165 +1 lap
5 6 27 Benny Parsons Chevrolet 499 1 $8,425 160 +1 lap
6 8 21 Neil Bonnett Mercury 499 5 $3,175 155 +1 lap
7 13 12 Donnie Allison Chevrolet 498 34 $2,325 151 +2 laps
8 5 68 Lennie Pond Chevrolet 493 0 $2,175 Unknown +7 laps
9 16 90 Jody Ridley Ford 491 0 $4,980 138 +9 laps
10 21 25 Ronnie Thomas Chevrolet 489 0 $4,235 134 +11 laps

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 1rightarrow.png Dale Earnhardt 3692 0
2 1rightarrow.png Richard Petty 3632 -60
3 1rightarrow.png Cale Yarborough 3618 -74
4 1rightarrow.png Benny Parsons 3558 -134
5 1rightarrow.png Darrell Waltrip 3487 -205
6 1rightarrow.png Bobby Allison 3352 -340
7 1rightarrow.png Jody Ridley 3135 -557
8 Increase Harry Gant 3082 -610
9 Decrease Richard Childress 3019 -673
10 1rightarrow.png Terry Labonte 2937 -755


  1. ^ "1980 CRC Chemicals 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1980 CRC Chemicals 500 racing information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Dover International Speedway". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e "People entering/exiting NSACAR after the 1980 CRC Chemicals 500 race w/ other information". Race Database. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
  6. ^ a b c "General summary of the 1980 NASCAR Cup Series season" (PDF). Dover Speedway. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  7. ^ "1980 CRC Chemicals 500 racing information (second reference)". Everything Stock Car. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  8. ^ a b c "1980 CRC Chemicals 500 racing information (third reference)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  9. ^ "Dale Earnhardt's championship hopes". Driver Averages. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  10. ^ "Dale Earnhardt's 1980 Championship Win". Driver Averages. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
Preceded by
1980 Capital City 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1980 Holly Farms 400