1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
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The 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Season was the 36th season of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 13th modern-era Cup series season. It began on Sunday February 19 and ended on Sunday November 18. Terry Labonte was crowned champion at the end of the season. This was the final year for Chrysler until Dodge returned in 2001.

Teams and drivers[edit]

Team Make No. Driver Car Owner Crew Chief
All-Star Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 5 Geoff Bodine Rick Hendrick Harry Hyde
Arrington Racing Chrysler Imperial 67 Buddy Arrington Buddy Arrington
Petty Enterprises Pontiac Grand Prix 7 Kyle Petty Richard Petty Mike Beam
Benfield Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 98 Joe Ruttman 25 Ron Benfield
Morgan Shepherd 3
Blue Max Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 27 Tim Richmond Raymond Beadle Barry Dodson
Bobby Hawkins Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 16 David Pearson Bobby Hawkins
Branch-Ragan Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 77 Ken Ragan Marvin Ragan
Bud Moore Engineering Ford Thunderbird 15 Ricky Rudd Bud Moore Bud Moore
Cliff Stewart Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 88 Rusty Wallace (R) Cliff Stewart
Curb Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 43 Richard Petty Mike Curb Buddy Parrott
DiGard Motorsports Buick Regal 22 Bobby Allison Bill Gardner Gary Nelson
Donlavey Racing Ford Thunderbird 90 Dick Brooks Junie Donlavey
Ellington Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1 Lake Speed Hoss Ellington Runt Pittman
Hagan Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 44 Terry Labonte Billy Hagan Dale Inman
Hamby Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
17 Clark Dwyer (R) Roger Hamby
Heveron Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 01 Doug Heveron (R) Tom Heveron
Hylton Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 48 Trevor Boys James Hylton
Irv Sanderson Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
97 Dean Combs (R) Irv Sanderson
Johnny Hayes Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 55 Benny Parsons Johnny Hayes Cliff Champion
66 Phil Parsons (R) David Ifft
Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet Monte Carlo 11 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson Jeff Hammond
12 Neil Bonnett Doug Richert
Langley Racing Ford Thunderbird 64 Tommy Gale Elmo Langley
Mach 1 Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 33 Harry Gant Hal Needham Travis Carter
Marcis Auto Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass 71 Mike Alexander 19 Dave Marcis
Lennie Pond 7
McDuffie Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 70 J.D. McDuffie J.D. McDuffie
Means Racing Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
52 Jimmy Means Jimmy Means
Melling Racing Ford Thunderbird 9 Bill Elliott Harry Melling Ernie Elliott
Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4 Tommy Ellis27 (R) Larry McClure Tony Glover
Joe Ruttman3
Race Hill Farm Team Buick Regal 47 Ron Bouchard Jack Beebe Mike Beam
RahMoc Enterprises Pontiac Grand Prix 75 Dave Marcis Bob Rahilly
Ranier-Lundy Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 28 Cale Yarborough Harry Ranier Waddell Wilson
Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Kirk Shelmerdine
Robert McEntyre Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 84 Jody Ridley Robert McEntyre
Sacks & Sons Chevrolet Monte Carlo 51 Greg Sacks (R) Arnie Sacks
Sadler Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 95 Sterling Marlin Earl Sadler
Stavola Brothers Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Buick Regal
8 Bobby Hillin Jr. Billy Stavola
Thomas Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 41 Ronnie Thomas Ronnie Thomas
Ulrich Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Buick Regal
6 D.K. Ulrich D.K. Ulrich
Wood Brothers Racing Ford Thunderbird 7 Kyle Petty Glen Wood Glen Wood
21 Buddy Baker20 Leonard Wood
Bobby Rahal1

Schedule[edit]

No. Race Title Track Date
Busch Clash Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach February 9
UNO Twin 125 Qualifiers February 12
February 17
1 Daytona 500 February 19
2 Richmond 400 Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway, Richmond February 26
3 Carolina 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham March 4
4 Coca-Cola 500 Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton March 18
5 Valleydale 500 Bristol International Speedway, Bristol April 1
6 Northwestern Bank 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro April 8
7 TranSouth 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington April 15
8 Sovran Bank 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway April 29
9 Winston 500 Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega May 6
10 Coors 420 Nashville Speedway, Nashville May 12
11 Budweiser 500 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover May 20
12 World 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord May 27
13 Budweiser 400 Riverside International Raceway, Riverside June 3
14 Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500 Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond June 10
15 Miller High Life 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn June 17
16 Firecracker 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach July 4
17 Pepsi 420 Nashville Speedway, Nashville July 14
18 Like Cola 500 Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond July 22
19 Talladega 500 Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega July 29
20 Champion Spark Plug 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn August 12
21 Busch 500 Bristol International Speedway, Bristol August 25
22 Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington September 2
23 Wrangler Sanfor-Set 400 Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway, Richmond September 9
24 Delaware 500 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover September 16
25 Goody's 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway September 23
26 Miller High Life 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord October 7
27 Holly Farms 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro October 14
28 Warner W. Hodgdon American 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham October 21
29 Atlanta Journal 500 Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton November 11
30 Winston Western 500 Riverside International Raceway, Riverside November 18

Races[edit]

Several cars at Pocono, including #90 Dick Brooks

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 1984 Daytona 500

Cale Yarborough completed a lap of 201.848 mph (324.828 km/h), officially breaking the 200 mph barrier at Daytona. He drafted past Darrell Waltrip on the final lap, winning for the second year in a row, and fourth time in his career. Richard Petty, making his debut with Curb Motorsports, stormed from 34th to lead over 20 laps before a camshaft broke.

Richmond 400[edit]

Ricky Rudd, still sporting swelling in his face from his bad Daytona crash, ran down Darrell Waltrip for his first win with Bud Moore Engineering.

Carolina 500[edit]

Bobby Allison grabbed his first win of the season, while a vicious four-car crash swept up rookie Rusty Wallace on Lap 372; the guardrail was damaged to where it took half an hour to repair it. Before the race controversy erupted between the track and sponsor Warner Hodgdon over late payment of sponsorship fees; the fees were paid in full March 19.

Atlanta 500[edit]

Benny Parsons fought off Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough in a three-car race; the win was Parsons' final Winston Cup win. Darrell Waltrip was dropped from fifth to 10th after the race when NASCAR ruled he'd passed illegally to get a lap back late in the race.

Valleydale 500[edit]

Waltrip passed Tim Richmond with 44 laps to go for his seventh-straight Bristol International Raceway win. He was pressured by Bobby Allison, who led 190 laps to Waltrip's 205; Allison faltered with 57 laps to go and finished 19th.

Northwestern Bank 400[edit]

Ricky Rudd led 290 laps but North Wilkesboro Speedway would not see him win as he faltered in the final 28 laps. Tim Richmond pounced to the win, what would be his last with Raymond Beadle's team.

TranSouth 500[edit]

Two thunderstorms and multiple crashes permeated Darlington's annual spring race as Darrell Waltrip took his fourth Rebel 500 win. Pole-sitter Benny Parsons hit the wall on the opening lap; on Lap Three a three-abreast stack-up for second led to a four-car crash involving Bobby Allison, Richard Petty (who led seven laps and still finished seventh), Geoff Bodine, and Dick Brooks. Around Lap 137 following a Bobby Hillin, Jr. crash Joe Ruttman, Terry Labonte, Buddy Baker, and Rusty Wallace crashed on the backstretch on the yellow. In a later five-car melee in the second turn D.K. Ulrich climbed over Greg Sacks's hood; Tim Richmond crashed twice while Dave Marcis crashed while leading (he still finished 13th) after being sideswiped by Buddy Baker. In all some thirty cars were involved in wrecks.

Sovran Bank 500[edit]

Ricky Rudd led 121 laps and Bobby Allison led 266 laps, but both were knocked out of contention in the final 60 laps as Geoff Bodine took his first career Winston Cup win and gave Charlotte car dealer Rick Hendrick his first win. Ron Bouchard, a longtime adversary of Bodine on NASCAR's Modified Tour, finished second.

Winston 500[edit]

Main article: 1984 Winston 500

The Winston 500 at Talladega was the 2nd most competitive race in the history of NASCAR Winston Cup. The race had 75 different lead changes, a record that stood until the 2010 Aaron's 499 with 88 changes, which was matched in 2011. Cale Yarborough passed Harry Gant in the final lap to take the win.

Music City 420[edit]

Nashville's Fairgrounds race track had seen numerous controversies over the years, but 1984's controversy may have topped all of them. On lap 418 three cars crashed on the backstretch; Darrell Waltrip led laps 418 and 419 but Junior Johnson teammate Neil Bonnett passed him on the final lap under yellow; Dick Beaty of NASCAR initially ruled Bonnett the race winner; the following Monday, however, NASCAR reversed the decision since the yellow had flown before the last-lap pass.

Budweiser 500[edit]

Richard Petty had not won at Dover Downs International Speedway since 1979 and had not won the track's spring/early summer race since 1969. But he battled Bill Elliott, Tim Richmond, and Harry Gant to the win, his 199th Winston Cup win. Gant led 218 laps but fell out while running in the top five 108 laps from the end, while Elliott cut a tire while running second with 40 to go. It was Petty's first win not with Petty Enterprises since driving a Don Robertson Plymouth to two wins in 1970.

World 600[edit]

Main article: 1984 World 600

Yarborough's engine failure sealed a win for Bobby Allison; it proved to be his final win for DiGard Motorsports

Budweiser 400[edit]

Terry Labonte passed Bobby Allison and led the final 23 laps for his first win of the season and first win at Riverside International Raceway barely two years after a very serious crash there.

Van Scoy Diamond 500[edit]

Cale Yarborough outlasted his competitors to take the win at Pocono Raceway. David Pearson drove Neil Bonnett's Chevrolet in qualifying and won the pole; he relieved Bonnett and finished 14th; ironically David finished just behind arch-rival Richard Petty, who led early before finishing 13th.

Michigan 400[edit]

Yarborough led 67 laps but faltered late as Bill Elliott achieved a breakthrough win, his second career win but first on a superspeedway and first with Coors sponsorship.

Firecracker 400[edit]

Main article: 1984 Firecracker 400

Richard Petty's last win. In the 1984 Firecracker 400, Richard Petty edged out Cale Yarborough by about 8 inches to visit Victory Lane for the 200th and what turned out to be the final time.

Pepsi 420[edit]

Geoff Bodine led 327 laps to the win at Nashville - it would turn out to be the final Winston Cup race at the Fairgrounds as Warner Hodgedon's racing empire began cracking. Richard Petty started third but fell out after 212 laps with engine failure; it was his first race having to get engines from suppliers other than the DiGard team after the Gardners ended their engine deal with Curb Motorsports.

Summer 500[edit]

At Pocono Harry Gant burst past pole-sitter Bill Elliott on the opening lap and edged Cale Yarborough and Elliott at the stripe after leading 107 laps. Bobby Allison led one lap but climbed the wall hard in the Tunnel Turn (one of nine yellows during the day) and finished a distant 28th.

Talladega 500[edit]

Main article: 1984 Talladega 500

Dale Earnhardt fought off a ten car pack, passing Terry Labonte on the last lap to win his second consecutive Talladega 500. The race featured 68 lead changes among 16 drivers.

Champion Spark Plug 400[edit]

Terry Labonte led 117 laps as he, Darrell Waltrip, and pole-sitter Bill Elliott led 194 of 200 laps at Michigan International Speedway. With no yellows, pitstops became the key as Waltrip stretch his fuel mileage for the win.

Busch 500[edit]

Darrell Waltrip led 144 laps but after halfway he fell out and finished 12th, ending his win streak at Bristol International Raceway. Terry Labonte led the final 124 laps but had to withstand a challenge from Bobby Allison to grab the win, his fourth career win and first on a short track.

Southern 500[edit]

Amid numerous crashes Harry Gant led 277 laps to an easy win. He thus moved into second place in points behind Terry Labonte.

Capital City 400[edit]

Darrell Waltrip, despite more wins than any other driver, found himself a distant fifth in points; he led 321 laps for the win but was still 185 points out of the lead. Dale Earnhardt grabbed third in the race and second in points behind Labonte (eighth at the end) while Harry Gant finished ninth.

Delaware 500[edit]

Harry Gant and Terry Labonte combined to lead 385 of 500 laps at Dover Downs International Speedway en route to a 1-2 finish, Gant's third win of the season, as numerous crashes thinned the field; among those involved in wrecks were Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Tim Richmond, and defending race champ Bobby Allison. Dale Earnhardt led 35 laps but finished three laps down; Ron Bouchard led 68 laps but finished five laps down. Richard Petty, winner at Dover in May, fell out with oil pump failure.

Goody's 500[edit]

Despite leading 313 laps to the win, Darrell Waltrip was now 215 points out of the lead following Martinsville's early-autumn race. Terry Labonte finished second and held a 91-point lead over Harry Gant (fourth). Pole-sitter Geoff Bodine led the first 37 laps before his oil pump failed. Joe Ruttman fell out with engine failure and left Ron Benfield's team after two potent but ultimately futile seasons.

Miller High Life 500[edit]

Benny Parsons and Bill Elliott claimed the front row and combined to lead 284 of 334 laps. Cale Yarborough and point leaders Harry Gant and Terry Labonte led 37 laps between them and finished 3-4-5 at the end. Elliott grabbed the lead with 60 to go and pulled away to his second win of the season. Gant finished fourth and stood 86 points behind Labonte.

Holly Farms 400[edit]

Junior Johnson's Chevrolets led 305 of 400 laps as Darrell Waltrip took his seventh win of the season and Neil Bonnett finished fifth. But he was 246 points out of the lead and realistically was eliminated from the championship; the story fell to Harry Gant as he finished a close second in the race; combined with a ninth-place finish by Terry Labonte the finish helped Gant close to 59 points out.

Warner W. Hodgdon American 500[edit]

North Carolina Motor Speedway saw its final race under Warner Hodgdon sponsorship as the racing magnate's business empire was deteriorating more and more. Numerous crashes erupted; a multicar melee on a restart eliminated Geoff Bodine and Tim Richmond. The most spectacular crash came when Jerry Bowman flipped over and slid on his roof down the backstretch. Bill Elliott and Harry Gant combined to lead 299 laps; in the final 55 laps Gant ran down Elliott and took the lead with two to go, but Elliott dove back under Gant and the two raced abreast the final two miles; they hit the stripe abreast and Elliott won by less than a wheel. Labonte finished third and held a 49-point lead on Gant with two races to go.

Atlanta Journal 500[edit]

Geoff Bodine stormed into the lead on the opening lap and led 125 laps before his engine failed with 36 laps to go; this put Dale Earnhardt into the lead for his second win of the season, while pole-sitter Bill Elliott finished second. Terry Labonte and Harry Gant fell out with engine failures and the points race stood with Labonte holding a 42-point lead on Gant. Tragedy blackened the event when Terry Schoonover crashed some 200 miles in and was killed.

Winston Western 500[edit]

Geoff Bodine grabbed his third win of the season as Terry Labonte won the pole and finished third, finally clinching the Winston Cup title. Harry Gant finished eighth and finished second in points. Lame duck series champ Bobby Allison led 56 laps but slid off the track with four to go and finished seventh; arch-rival Darrell Waltrip led 33 laps but blew his engine and finished 34th. Bodine referenced budding rumors about Riverside International Raceway's future when he said he was glad to have won as "they're going to tear this place down."

Season recap[edit]

Race # Date Event Circuit Winner
February 9 Busch Clash Daytona International Speedway Neil Bonnett
1 February 19 Daytona 500 Cale Yarborough
2 February 26 Miller High Life 400 Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway Ricky Rudd
3 March 4 Hodgdon Carolina 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway Bobby Allison
4 March 18 Coca-Cola 500 Atlanta International Raceway Benny Parsons
5 April 1 Valleydale 500 Bristol International Raceway Darrell Waltrip
6 April 8 Northwestern Bank 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway Tim Richmond
7 April 15 TranSouth 500 Darlington International Raceway Darrell Waltrip
8 April 29 Sovran Bank 500 Martinsville Speedway Geoff Bodine
9 May 6 Winston 500 Alabama International Motor Speedway Cale Yarborough
10 May 12 Coors 420 Nashville Speedway Darrell Waltrip
11 May 20 Mason-Dixon 500 Dover Downs International Speedway Richard Petty
12 May 27 World 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway Bobby Allison
13 June 5 Budweiser 400 Riverside International Raceway Terry Labonte
14 June 10 Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500 Pocono Raceway Cale Yarborough
15 June 17 Miller 400 Michigan International Speedway Bill Elliott
16 July 4 Firecracker 400 Daytona International Speedway Richard Petty
17 July 14 Pepsi 420 Nashville Speedway Geoff Bodine
18 July 22 Summer 500 Pocono Raceway Harry Gant
19 July 29 Talladega 500 Alabama International Motor Speedway Dale Earnhardt
20 August 12 Champion Spark Plug 400 Michigan International Speedway Darrell Waltrip
21 August 25 Busch 500 Bristol International Raceway Terry Labonte
22 September 2 Southern 500 Darlington International Raceway Harry Gant
23 September 9 Wrangler SanforSet 400 Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway Darrell Waltrip
24 September 16 Delaware 500 Dover Downs International Speedway Harry Gant
25 September 23 Goody's 500 Martinsville Speedway Darrell Waltrip
26 October 7 Miller 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway Bill Elliott
27 October 14 Holly Farms 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway Darrell Waltrip
28 October 21 Hodgdon American 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway Bill Elliott
29 November 11 Atlanta Journal 500 Atlanta International Raceway Dale Earnhardt
30 November 18 Winston Western 500 Riverside International Raceway Geoff Bodine

Final points standings[edit]

Cup cars at Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500 at Pocono
  1. 44-Terry Labonte 4508
  2. 33-Harry Gant 4443
  3. 9-Bill Elliott 4377
  4. 3-Dale Earnhardt 4265
  5. 11-Darrell Waltrip 4230
  6. 22-Bobby Allison 4094
  7. 15-Ricky Rudd 3918
  8. 12-Neil Bonnett 3802
  9. 5-Geoff Bodine 3734
  10. 43-Richard Petty 3643

References[edit]