1980 Firecracker 400

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1980 Firecracker 400
Race details
Race 17 of 31 in the 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date July 4, 1980 (1980-July-04)
Official name Firecracker 400
Location Daytona Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida, USA)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.500 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching a maximum of 88.9 °F (31.6 °C); wind speeds reaching a maximum of 10.1 miles per hour (16.3 km/h)[1]
Average speed 173.473 miles per hour (279.178 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Junior Johnson & Associates
Most laps led
Driver Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 63
No. 15 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Keith Jackson

The 1980 Firecracker 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on July 4, 1980, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

One hundred and sixty laps of stock car racing would result in a final win for Mercury in the Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series)[2] before the manufacturer was "legislated out of NASCAR" due to rule changes reducing the wheelbase of the tires from 110 inches (9.2 ft) to 105 inches (8.8 ft).[3]


Bobby Allison would be the final driver to win for the Mercury brand name for the Ford Motor Company; he would beat David Pearson by six car lengths.[2] Other notable competitors included Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Richard Childress and Bill Elliott.[2] Out of forty participants, eleven competitors failed to finish the race.[2] Cale Yarborough would be credited for finishing last place with an overheated engine.[2] The race took two hours, eighteen minutes, and eleven seconds to complete.[2] All drivers were born in the United States of America.[2] Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.

Safety regulations made within the 1980s and 1990s would slow down the speed of vehicles in both the Firecracker 400 and the Daytona 500. The average speed for this race was a race record 173.473 miles per hour (279.178 km/h) while the pole position speed was 194.670 miles per hour (313.291 km/h). Three cautions were given out for eleven laps.[2] Fifty-four thousand spectators were in attendance.[2] Out of the forty drivers in the grid, ten of them would fail to finish the race due to car problems.[2] On the day after the race, Lennie Pond would make a celebrity appearance at a Burger King in nearby South Daytona; entertaining customers for three hours in the days before celebrity appearances were mainstream in the racing community.[4]

Rick Wilson made his NASCAR debut in this event while Phil Finney and John Greenwood would retire from all forms of NASCAR racing after participating in this race.[5]

Finishing order[edit]

  1. Bobby Allison (his only victory during a Mercury in 1980[3])
  2. David Pearson (highest finishing Oldsmobile)
  3. Dale Earnhardt†
  4. Buddy Baker
  5. Richard Petty
  6. Benny Parsons
  7. Jody Ridley
  8. Richard Childress
  9. John Anderson(highest finishing Buick)
  10. Buddy Arrington (highest finishing Dodge vehicle)
  11. Lennie Pond
  12. Bill Elliott
  13. Ricky Rudd
  14. Coo Coo Marlin(highest finishing Chevrolet)
  15. Rick Wilson
  16. Harry Gant
  17. Ronnie Thomas
  18. Steve Moore
  19. Donnie Allison
  20. Phil Finney* (highest finishing driver not to finish the race)
  21. John Greenwood
  22. Don Whittington
  23. J.D. McDuffie
  24. James Hylton
  25. Jim Vandiver
  26. Jimmy Means
  27. Roger Hamby
  28. Tommy Gale(only Ford entry in the race)
  29. Cecil Gordon
  30. Marty Robbins*†
  31. Darrell Waltrip*
  32. Terry Labonte*
  33. Dave Marcis*
  34. Neil Bonnett*†
  35. Bruce Hill*
  36. Tighe Scott*
  37. Chuck Bown*
  38. Lake Speed*
  39. Connie Saylor*†
  40. Cale Yarborough*

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

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2]
1 Dale Earnhardt 2557
2 Richard Petty 2529
3 Cale Yarborough 2397
4 Bobby Allison 2354
5 Benny Parsons 2349


  1. ^ "1980 Firecracker 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1980 Firecracker 400 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  3. ^ a b "Mercury's Final Race". NASCAR. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Ol'e Days: Lennie Pond's 'Burger King Specials'-1979-81". Randy Ayers Modeling. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Drivers entering/leaving NASCAR". Race Database. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
Preceded by
1980 Gabriel 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1980 Busch Nashville 420
Preceded by
Firecracker 400 races
Succeeded by