|Race 1 of 30 in the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
|Date||February 20, 1983|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida|
Permanent racing facility|
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
|Distance||200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 70 °F (21 °C); wind speeds approaching 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)|
|Average speed||155.979 miles per hour (251.024 km/h)|
|Driver||Richard Childress Racing|
|Qualifying race winners|
|Duel 1 Winner||Dale Earnhardt||Bud Moore Engineering|
|Duel 2 Winner||Neil Bonnett||RahMoc Enterprises|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Joe Ruttman||Benfield Racing|
|No. 28||Cale Yarborough||Ranier-Lundy|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Ken Squier and David Hobbs|
(11 million viewers)
The 1983 Daytona 500, the 25th running of the event, was held February 20 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida as the first race of the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup season. A crowd of 115,000 people watched the lead change 58 times among 11 drivers. A total of six cautions were handed out by NASCAR officials for a duration of 36 laps.
Dale Earnhardt drove a Ford vehicle because of how aerodynamically advanced it was supposed to be in 1983, but got beaten out by Bobby Allison that same year. While the 1983 Ford Thunderbird was a very aerodynamic car for the early-1980s, Dale Earnhardt just couldn't figure the Thunderbird out as a race car. Eventually, Earnhardt had moved on to Richard Childress Racing's team with its Chevrolet vehicles later in the 1980s.
Cale Yarborough was the first driver to run a qualifying lap of more than 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) at the 1983 Daytona 500 in his #28 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. However, on his second of two qualifying laps, Yarborough crashed and flipped his car in turn four. The car had to be withdrawn, and the lap did not count (unlike current rules). Despite the crash, Yarborough drove a Hardee's Show Car (a Pontiac LeMans) in second-round qualifying and made the field.
Ricky Rudd wound up with the pole, driving Richard Childress' Chevrolet in what would become a breakthrough season for the longtime independent driver Childress. The early laps were a battle between Geoff Bodine, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Petty, and a resurgent Dick Brooks. Richard broke away from the field before his engine failed after 47 laps and the race became a showdown between Bodine, Yarborough, Joe Ruttman, Brooks, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, and little-noticed Bill Elliott, while former Talladega 500 winner Ron Bouchard was also in contention.
On Lap 63, the engine on the Bud Moore Engineering Ford driven by Earnhardt failed. As the race went on the lead bounced back and forth, and Bobby Allison, who'd lost a lap, crowded the leaders most of the day. Past halfway Kyle Petty blew his engine and a tire issue dropped Bonnett off the lead lap; when Mark Martin hit the wall Ruttman swerved to stop Bonnett from getting his lap back as they raced through a group of lapped cars. Bonnett got his lap back later but blew his engine in the final twenty laps while Brooks cut a tire and lost a lap.
On the final lap, Baker led Yarborough, Ruttman, and Elliott. Cale stormed past Baker on the backstretch and Ruttman drafted into second; Baker dove under Ruttman and Elliott snookered them both on the high side in a three-abreast photo finish for second. The win was Cale's third in the 500 and was also the first time that an in-car camera of a car went into victory lane before a national CBS Sports audience (this tradition would eventually continue into the present day).
With Brooks as the leader, the field slowed down coming back to the yellow. Two cars, though, tried to get their lap back by beating the leader back to the finish line, a practice banned subsequently in 2003 - Lake Speed passed Brooks in Turn Four and then chopped hard into his path; Brooks slammed his brakes and Darrell Waltrip spun to avoid hitting Brooks; Waltrip's Chevrolet hammered the inside guardrail and flew backward back onto the racetrack, nearly collecting Yarborough, Bodine, and Ruttman.
Waltrip suffered a concussion, resulting in an overnight hospitalization. He returned the next week at Richmond, which would be prohibited under a 2014 rule change. Waltrip admitted in his biography DW: A Lifetime Going Round in Circles (published in 2002) that it was a life-changing crash: when he heard drivers and fans joking that the crash would "knock him sane" or "finally shut him up", he realized for the first time how unpopular he was and resolved to clean up his image. Waltrip often referenced the crash when asked to be a keynote speaker at national events.
The practice of allowing lapped cars to attempt passing the leader at the finish line when taking the caution was prohibited after the 2003 Sylvania 300 at Loudon, NH when after Dale Jarrett crashed and numerous cars nearly struck Jarrett's disabled car on the race to gain a lap back, leading to the development of the current beneficiary rule. The concussion protocol was adopted in 2014 after Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (whose grandfather helped Waltrip with his first Cup car) took himself out of two races in the 2012 season after two concussions—one in August (Kansas tire test) and in October (Talladega race crash).
Did not qualify
•This would be the only time Rusty Wallace ever failed to qualify for a race in his 25 year career.
|1||8||28||Cale Yarborough||Pontiac LeMans||200||Running||23||180|
|2||17||9||Bill Elliott||Ford Thunderbird||200||Running||6||175|
|3||5||21||Buddy Baker||Ford Thunderbird||200||Running||35||170|
|4||11||98||Joe Ruttman||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||200||Running||57||170|
|5||10||90||Dick Brooks||Ford Thunderbird||199||Running||15||160|
|6||41||44||Terry Labonte||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||199||Running||0||150|
|7||22||53||Tom Sneva||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||199||Running||0||146|
|8||15||16||David Pearson||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||198||Running||0||142|
|9||35||22||Bobby Allison||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||198||Running||0||138|
|10||18||84||Jody Ridley||Buick Regal||197||Running||0||134|
|11||9||14||A. J. Foyt||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||197||Running||0||130|
|12||39||51||Lennie Pond||Buick Regal||197||Running||0||127|
|13||32||66||Phil Parsons||Buick Regal||196||Running||0||124|
|14||42||52||Jimmy Means||Buick Regal||196||Running||0||121|
|15||27||89||Dean Roper||Pontiac Grand Prix||194||Running||0||118|
|16||34||67||Buddy Arrington||Chrysler Imperial||194||Running||0||115|
|17||36||41||Ronnie Thomas||Pontiac Grand Prix||192||Running||0||112|
|18||20||6||Jim Sauter||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||191||Running||0||109|
|19||28||26||Ronnie Hopkins||Buick Regal||191||Running||0||106|
|20||30||04||Rick Baldwin||Dodge Mirada||188||Running||0||103|
|21||40||10||Clark Dwyer||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||188||Running||0||100|
|22||4||75||Neil Bonnett||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||187||Running||9||102|
|23||29||48||James Hylton||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||184||Running||0||94|
|24||1||3||Ricky Rudd||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||182||Camshaft||1||96|
|25||16||1||Lake Speed||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||178||Engine||0||88|
|26||23||47||Ron Bouchard||Buick Regal||162||Engine||0||85|
|27||25||64||Tommy Gale||Ford Thunderbird||149||Engine||0||82|
|28||12||2||Mark Martin||Buick Regal||136||Crash||0||79|
|29||37||70||J. D. McDuffie||Pontiac Grand Prix||132||Engine||0||76|
|30||2||88||Geoffrey Bodine||Pontiac Grand Prix||106||Engine||14||78|
|31||38||0||Delma Cowart||Buick Regal||102||Crash||0||70|
|32||21||71||Dave Marcis||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||100||Piston||0||67|
|33||7||7||Kyle Petty||Pontiac Grand Prix||99||Engine||9||69|
|34||33||17||Sterling Marlin||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||69||Piston||0||61|
|35||3||15||Dale Earnhardt||Ford Thunderbird||63||Engine||2||63|
|36||31||11||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||62||Crash||0||55|
|37||13||33||Harry Gant||Buick Regal||56||Engine||0||52|
|38||6||43||Richard Petty||Pontiac Grand Prix||47||Engine||29||54|
|39||26||32||Bosco Lowe||Buick Regal||36||Crash||0||46|
|40||19||23||Elliott Forbes-Robinson||Buick Regal||36||Engine||0||43|
|41||24||27||Tim Richmond||Pontiac LeMans||24||Engine||0||40|
|42||14||55||Benny Parsons||Buick Regal||8||Push Rod||0||37|
- "Weather of the 1983 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "1983 Daytona 500 racing information". Racing Reference. Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
1982 Winston Western 500
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1983 Richmond 400