1980 Talladega 500

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1980 Talladega 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 20 of 31 in the 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date August 3, 1980 (1980-August-03)
Official name Talladega 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 Hot with temperatures approaching 97.9 °F (36.6 °C); wind speeds up to 11.8 miles per hour (19.0 km/h)
Average speed 166.894 miles per hour (268.590 km/h)
Attendance 70,000[3]
Pole position
Driver Ranier Racing
Most laps led
Driver Buddy Baker Ranier Racing
Laps 56
No. 21 Neil Bonnett Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network MRN TV
Announcers Eli Gold
Barney Hall

The 1980 Talladega 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on August 3, 1980, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in the American community of Talladega, Alabama.


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.[4]


188 laps were done on a paved oval track spanning 2.660 miles (4.281 km) for a grand total of 500.1 miles (804.8 km).[3][2] This race took two hours and fifty-nine minutes in order to resolve itself.[3][5] Neil Bonnett managed to defeat Cale Yarborough by six car lengths in front of 70000 live spectators.[3] Five cautions were given out by NASCAR officials for 25 laps while the average racing speed was 166.894 miles per hour (268.590 km/h).[3][2][5] Buddy Baker would qualify for the pole position with the speed of 198.545 miles per hour (319.527 km/h).[3] Bruce Hill would finish the race in last place due to an engine issue on lap 12.[3] He would only make $1,050 in race winnings ($3,052.04 when adjusted for inflation) while Bonnett would earn most of the prize money with $35,675 ($103,696.68 when adjusted for inflation).[6]

Mercury would make its last ever victory in this race. Coo Coo Marlin would retire from NASCAR after this race while Tennessee's Harry Dinwiddle would make his only NASCAR Cup Series appearance here. Country music singing legend and NASCAR Cup Series driver Marty Robbins would start the race in 37th and finish the race in 13th while driving a 1978 Dodge Magnum using the racing number 6.[7]

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.


Grid No. Driver Manufacturer
1 28 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile
2 21 Neil Bonnett Mercury
3 11 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile
4 30 Tighe Scott Oldsmobile
5 43 Richard Petty Oldsmobile
6 68 Lennie Pond Oldsmobile
7 88 Darrell Waltrip Oldsmobile
8 27 Benny Parsons Oldsmobile
9 12 Donnie Allison Oldsmobile
10 1 David Pearson Oldsmobile

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[3] Differential
1 Dale Earnhardt 3072 0
2 Cale Yarborough 2902 -150
3 Richard Petty 2872 -200
4 Benny Parsons 2787 -285
5 Darrell Waltrip 2709 -363


  1. ^ Weather information for the 1980 Talladega 500 at The Old Farmer's Almanac
  2. ^ a b c 1980 Talladega 500 race information at Database Racing
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 1980 Talladega 500 race information at Racing Reference
  4. ^ "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b 1980 Talladega 500 information at Decades of Racing
  6. ^ 1980 Talladega 500 information at Everything Stock Car
  7. ^ 1980 Talladega 500 information at MartyRobbins.net
Preceded by
1980 Coca-Cola 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1980 Champion Spark Plug 400
Preceded by
Talladega 500 races
Succeeded by