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1984 in NASCAR

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Title: 1984 in NASCAR  
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Subject: Ricky Rudd, Talladega Superspeedway, Budweiser Duel, Sprint Unlimited, Subway 400, Bojangles' Southern 500, Cale Yarborough, Morgan Shepherd, Ken Schrader, Bank of America 500
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1984 in NASCAR

1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Previous: 1983 Next: 1985

The 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Season began on Sunday February 19 and ended on Sunday November 18. Terry Labonte was crowned champion at the end of the season.

1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Drivers

Team Make # Driver Sponsor Car Owner Crew Chief
Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 5 Geoff Bodine Northwestern Security Life Rick Hendrick Harry Hyde
Arrington Racing Chrysler Imperial 67 Buddy Arrington Affordable Car Rentals Buddy Arrington
Petty Enterprises Pontiac Grand Prix 7 Kyle Petty 7-Eleven Richard Petty Mike Beam
Benfield Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 98 Joe Ruttman
Morgan Shepherd
Levi Garrett Ron Benfield
Blue Max Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 27 Tim Richmond Old Milwaukee Raymond Beadle Barry Dodson
Bobby Hawkins Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 16 David Pearson Chattanooga Chew Bobby Hawkins
Branch-Ragan Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 77 Ken Ragan McCord Gaskets Marvin Ragan
Bud Moore Engineering Ford Thunderbird 15 Ricky Rudd Wrangler Jeans Bud Moore Bud Moore
Cliff Stewart Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 88 Rusty Wallace (R) Gatorade Cliff Stewart
Curb Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 43 Richard Petty STP Mike Curb Buddy Parrott
DiGard Motorsports Buick Regal 22 Bobby Allison Miller American Bill Gardner Gary Nelson
Donlavey Racing Ford Thunderbird 90 Dick Brooks Chameleon Sunglasses Junie Donlavey
Ellington Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1 Lake Speed Bull Frog Knits Hoss Ellington Runt Pittman
Hagan Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 44 Terry Labonte Piedmont Airlines Billy Hagan Dale Inman
Hamby Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
17 Clark Dwyer (R) Hesco Exhaust Systems Roger Hamby
Heveron Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 01 Doug Heveron (R) Syracuse Classic Tom Heveron
Hylton Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 48 Trevor Boys Hylton-McCaig James Hylton
Irv Sanderson Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
97 Dean Combs (R) Best Products Irv Sanderson
Johnny Hayes Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 55 Benny Parsons Copenhagen Johnny Hayes Cliff Champion
66 Phil Parsons (R) Skoal Bandit David Ifft
Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet Monte Carlo 11 Darrell Waltrip Budweiser Junior Johnson Jeff Hammond
12 Neil Bonnett Doug Richert
Langley Racing Ford Thunderbird 64 Tommy Gale Sunny King Ford & Honda Elmo Langley
Mach 1 Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 33 Harry Gant Skoal Bandit Hal Needham Travis Carter
Marcis Auto Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass 71 Mike Alexander Action Vans Dave Marcis
McDuffie Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 70 J.D. McDuffie Wilder's J.D. McDuffie
Means Racing Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
52 Jimmy Means Broadway Motors Jimmy Means
Melling Racing Ford Thunderbird 9 Bill Elliott Coors Harry Melling Ernie Elliott
Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4 Tommy Ellis (R)
Joe Ruttman
Morgan-McClure Motorsports Larry McClure Tony Glover
Race Hill Farm Team Buick Regal 47 Ron Bouchard Hawaiian Punch Jack Beebe Mike Beam
RahMoc Enterprises Pontiac Grand Prix 75 Dave Marcis RahMoc Enterprises Bob Rahilly
Ranier-Lundy Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 28 Cale Yarborough Hardee's Harry Ranier Waddell Wilson
Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 3 Dale Earnhardt Wrangler Jeans Richard Childress Kirk Shelmerdine
Robert McEntyre Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 84 Jody Ridley Cumberland Carpet Mills Robert McEntyre
Sacks & Sons Chevrolet Monte Carlo 51 Greg Sacks (R) Sacks & Sons Arnie Sacks
Sadler Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 95 Sterling Marlin Sadler Racing Earl Sadler
Stavola Brothers Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Buick Regal
8 Bobby Hillin Jr. Trap Rock Industries Billy Stavola
Thomas Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 41 Ronnie Thomas Thomas Racing Ronnie Thomas
Ulrich Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Buick Regal
6 D.K. Ulrich Ulrich Racing D.K. Ulrich
Wood Brothers Racing Ford Thunderbird 7 Kyle Petty 7-Eleven Glen Wood Glen Wood
21 Buddy Baker Valvoline Leonard Wood

Notable Races

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 and a four-car crash crunched up Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Ron Bouchard, and Dick Brooks; Joe Ruttman was then involved in a four-car crash during the ensuing yellow; in a later five-car melee D.K. Ulrich climbed the pit wall abutment; Tim Richmond crashed twice while Dave Marcis crashed while leading (he still finished 13th). In all some thirty cars were involved in wrecks.

Sovran Bank 500

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

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

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

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

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

Budweiser 400

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

Cale Yarborough outlasted his competitors to take the win at Pocono Raceway.

Michigan 400

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.

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.

Talladega 500

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.

Busch 500

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

North Carolina Motor Speedway saw its final race under Warner Hodgdon sponsorship as the racing magnate's business empire began cracking. 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

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.

Season recap

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

Final Point Standings

  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


  • (links to race results)
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