1985 Winston 500
|Race 9 of 28 in the 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Bill Elliott (in victory circle) after winning the 1985 Winston 500
|Date||May 5, 1985|
|Official name||Winston 500|
|Location||Alabama International Motor Speedway, Talladega, Alabama|
Permanent racing facility|
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
|Distance||188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)|
|Weather||Very hot with temperatures of 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds of 4.1 miles per hour (6.6 km/h)|
|Average speed||186.288 miles per hour (299.801 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Cale Yarborough||Ranier-Lundy Racing|
|No. 9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing|
|Television in the United States|
Paul Page |
Prior to this event, two-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip complained to NASCAR about how Bill Elliott was ruining the parity of the sport and he needed to be slowed down. As a result, NASCAR raised the height of the Ford vehicles by half an inch. The roof of the GM race cars was lowered by the same amount in order to improve their speed performance.
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.
There were 39 drivers who qualified for this race; the pole position winner was Bill Elliott who qualified at a then-track record speed of 209.398 miles per hour (336.993 km/h) in a Ford Thunderbird. He would go on to beat Kyle Petty by nearly two seconds at a then-record average speed of 186.288 miles per hour (299.801 km/h) for the race; even though the record would broken at the 1997 Winston 500 by Mark Martin. Early in the race, a broken oil fitting would put Elliott nearly two laps out of the lead before he managed his comeback. Elliott would return to the track and begin consistently running laps near 205 mph. He would make up the two laps lost due to the broken oil fitting without the aide of a yellow flag or the draft. At the end of the year, Elliott would go on to become the first Winston Million winner.
More than 100,000 live spectators would see more than two and a half hours of racing with two cautions periods (lasting for only eight laps). This relatively clean race would see 28 different lead changes. Canadian driver Trevor Boys would finish in last place due to a problem with the engine on lap 6. Bosco Lowe and Dick Skillen would exit NASCAR after this race while Geoff Bodine would lose the championship points lead to Terry Labonte. The cars being used for NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing back then were closer to the production models and no common templates were used.
Failed to qualify
Top ten finishers
|2||4||7||Kyle Petty||Ford||188||9||175||+1.72 seconds|
|3||2||28||Cale Yarborough||Ford||188||97||175||Lead lap under green flag|
|4||17||22||Bobby Allison||Buick||187||3||165||+1 lap|
|5||15||15||Ricky Rudd||Ford||187||0||155||+1 lap|
|6||32||88||Buddy Baker||Oldsmobile||185||0||150||+3 laps|
|7||3||44||Terry Labonte||Chevrolet||185||2||151||+3 laps|
|8||18||71||Dave Marcis||Chevrolet||185||0||142||+3 laps|
|9||7||8||Bobby Hillin, Jr.||Chevrolet||184||0||138||+4 laps|
|10||20||75||Lake Speed||Pontiac||183||0||134||+5 laps|
Standings after the race
- 1985 Winston 500 weather conditions at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- 1985 Winston 500 at Racing Reference
- Elliott Was Awesome At Talladega In 1985 at GeorgiaRacingHistory.com
- "Track Facts". talladegasuperspeedway.com. Talladega Superspeedway. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- 1985 Winston 500 at Race Database
- 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Recap at Auto.Howstuffworks.com
- "Bill Elliott". The Crittenden Automotive Library. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
- Elliott wins 1985 Winston 500 at Talladega; races closer to becoming "Million Dollar Bill" Archived 2001-06-20 at the Wayback Machine at Ford.com
1985 Sovran Bank 500
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1985 Budweiser 500
| Winston 500 races