May 8, 1982 - 250 Miles - Purse $129,655

 

Darrell Waltrip and his Junior Johnson Mountain Dew Crew celebrate his 1982 Cracker Barrel 420 win.

This would be Waltrip's fifth victory in the ten races contested in the 1982 season.

 



















Darrell Waltrip led 419 laps of the 420 lap event to claim his fifth Winston Cup Grand National event at the Fairgrounds.

This would be the first start for Bill Terry Racing.  Terry would go on team with Alan Kulwicki for the 1985 and 1986 seasons.

James Hylton was sponsored by Dal-Kawa Cycle of Hendersonville, NC.  The car (right) was painted yellow on the left side with Suzuki sponsorship on the quarter panel and gray on the right side with Kawasaki sponsorship on the quarter panel.  NASCAR stated that this car confused scorers and told him to not bring this particular paint scheme back to the track.  This was the only time that this paint scheme appeared on a Hylton car in NASCAR competition.

 


The Bud Moore Ford Thunderbird of driver Dale Earnhardt
 

Race winner Darrell Waltrip drives into the speedway's third turn
     


Tim Richmond collected a seventh place finish in his Buick Regal
 

Ricky Rudd qualifed eight but unfortuantley left the race early due to engine problems
     

At present, it would hard to imagine that a veritable nobody off the street could somehow enter and qualify for a NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega. Amazingly that happened in May 1982 for the running of the Winston 500. Even more amazing was the fact he out qualified Slick Johnson in the Hylton Buick and J.D. McDuffie in his Pontiac.  Wright somehow managed to coax his Chevrolet to a qualifying lap of 187 mph!

During April 1982, a person called L.W. Wright (pictured at left), who passed himself off to others as a veteran driver, issued the following press release to the Nashville Tennessean:

                   

Nashville driver L.W. Wright yesterday annouced he will be attempting to qualify for next week's Grand National race at Talladega, Ala.

The 33-year-old Wright, a veteran of 45 Grand National races, will drive a 1981 Monte Carlo.

The name of Wright’s team is Music City Racing, and among his sponsors are country music stars Merle Haggard and T. G. Sheppard. Haggard is scheduled to appear at Talladega with his driver.

Wright, who lived in a rental house on Anchor Drive in Hendersonville, Tennessee, asked local Nashville businessman Bernie Terrell, owner of Space Age Marketing, to finance his efforts.  Terrell gave Wright $37,000 for the car plus expenses as well as the usage of a tractor trailer for transportation.  A 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was purchased from Columbia, Tennessee’s Sterling Marlin, who would also serve as the car’s crew chief at Talladega.

NASCAR was also taken by Wright for $1,500 via a bad check written for competitor and crew member licenses. The other “team members” of Music City Racing were Lloyd Barber, Rick Wright, Willis Judd, Ellis White, William Dunaway, Michael Smith and Freddy Case.  Wright also wrote bad checks to Goodyear for tires ($1,800); Travis Tiller for parts ($1,500) and Southern Textile Associates for Jackets ($168).

Wright miraculously qualified for the race but was black-flagged for being too slow on lap 13.  His Music City Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished next to last. Wright was scheduled to compete at the following week’s Cracker Barrel 420 at Fairground’s Speedway in Nashville. However, he left his equipment at Talladega where it was recovered by Terrell.  Officially, NASCAR lists Wright and the 34 car as a "DNQ" for the Nashville race.

The car would be campaigned in July’s Busch Nashville 420 by Murfreesboro, Tennessee native Daryl Sage (pictured at right during the July race) under the Space Age Marketing banner.  In all, Sage and the 1981 Monte Carlo would compete in eight NASCAR Winston Cup Series events during the 1982 and 1983 seasons

The whereabouts of L.W. Wright still remain a mystery…..

 

Average Speed:      83.502 mph Time of Race:      2:59:52 Margin:  1 Lap
Pole Winner:           Darrell Waltrip  102.773  Attendance:        19,100 Cautions:  5 for 39 Laps
Lap Leaders:           Waltrip 1-116, Gant 117, Waltrip 118-420
 
                 Driver Fin Str Car Team  /  Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
Darrell  Waltrip 1 1 11 Mountain Dew
Junior Johnson
Buick 420 24,025 Running 419

Terry Labonte 2 10 44 J.D. Stacy
Billy Hagan
Chevrolet 419 9,095 Running 0
Ron Bouchard 3 7 47 J.D. Stacy 
Jack Beebe
Buick 418 10,110 Running 0
Joe Ruttman 4 15 75 RahMoc Enterprises Buick 417 4,730 Running 0
Neil Bonnett 5 17 37 Rogers Auto Leasing
Bob Rogers
Buick 417 4,235 Running 0
Bobby Allison 6 9 88 Gatorade
DiGard Racing
Chevrolet 416 6,635 Running 0
Tim Richmond 7 19 2 Stacy-Pak
Jim Stacy
Buick 416 3,625 Running 0
Dave Marcis 8 20 71 J.D. Stacy
Dave Marcis
Chevrolet 416 3,355 Running 0
Richard Petty 9 16 43 STP
Petty Enterprises
Pontiac 416 7,835 Running 0
Dale Earnhardt 10 12 15 Wrangler Jeans 
Bud Moore
Ford 415 7,735 Running 0
Bill Elliott 11 6 9 Melling Tool 
Harry Melling
Ford 415 1,135 Running 0
Mark Martin 12 4 2 Apache Stove
Mark Martin
Buick 414 3,345 Running 0
Jody Ridley 13 11 90 J.D. Stacy
Junie Donlavey
Ford 412 7,885 Running 0
Buddy Arrington 14 29 67 Hills Racing
Buddy Arrington
Dodge 406 2,335 Running 0
Morgan Shepherd 15 3 98 Levi Garrett
Ron Benfield
Buick 398 885 Engine 0
Tommy Gale 16 22 64 Sunny King Ford
Elmo Langley
Ford 395 2,425 Running 0
James Hylton 17 26 48 James Hylton Pontiac 394 2,310 Running 0
J.D. McDuffie 18 28 70 J D McDuffie Pontiac 394 2,110 Running 0
Ricky Rudd 19 8 3 Piedmont Airlines
Richard Childress Racing
Pontiac 393 1,885 Engine 0
Brad Teague 20 23 26 Food Country USA
Charlie Henderson
Chevrolet 355 785 Rear end 0
Geoffrey Bodine 21 14 50 Performance Connection
Cliff Stewart
Pontiac 319 6,410 Engine 0
Benny Parsons 22 5 28 J.D. Stacy
Harry Ranier
Pontiac 280 7,685 Crash 0
Jimmy Means 23 21 52 Broadway Motors
Jimmy Means
Pontiac 269 1,760 Crash 0
Ronnie Thomas 24 27 25 Ronnie Thomas Pontiac 232 1,135 Engine 0
Slick Johnson 25 30 40 Baxter Price Buick 215 610 Engine 0
D.K. Ulrich 26 18 6 D.K. Ulrich Buick 195 1,205 Engine 0
Kyle Petty 27 25 42 STP
Petty Enterprises
Pontiac 165 1,100 Transmssn 0
  Bob Jarvis 28 24 32 Bill Terry Buick 145 595 Engine 0
Harry Gant 29 2 33 Skoal Bandit  - 
Hal Needham
Buick 119 1,590  Steering 1
Lake Speed 30 13 17 Yazoo Mowers
Roger Hamby
Pontiac 17 1,085 Engine 0