1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400

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1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400
Race details[1]
Race 15 of 30 in the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Date June 20, 1976 (1976-June-20)
Official name Cam 2 Motor Oil 400
Location Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
Course Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures of 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 141.149 miles per hour (227.157 km/h)
Attendance 46,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Petty Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates
Laps 129
No. 43 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on June 20, 1976, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore. Only manual transmission vehicles were allowed to participate in this race; a policy that NASCAR has retained to the present day.


Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long.[3] Opened in 1968, the track's turns are banked at eighteen degrees, while the 3,600-foot-long front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at twelve degrees.[3] The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.[3]


David Pearson managed to defeat Cale Yarborough by three car lengths in front of an audience of 46,000 members.[2][4] There were 17 lead changes and three cautions were done in 20 laps out of the 200 laps of regulation racing.[2] It took two hours and fifty minutes for the checkered flag to end the race.[2][4] While Richard Petty earned the pole position with a speed of 158.569 miles per hour (255.192 km/h), the average speed of the race was 141.148 miles per hour (227.156 km/h).[2][4][5] Joe Frasson "earned" his last-place finish due to an engine problem on lap 2.[2] All 36 of the drivers on the racing grid were American-born males.[2] The field was dominated by Chevrolet vehicles because they were cheaper to operate in the 1970s as opposed to Ford and Mercury vehicles.[2][4][5]

Cale Yarborough dominated most of this race, with radio announcer Ken Squire saying it was one of the best runs he'd ever seen Cale have, but in the closing stages of this one it was David Pearson was out front and cruising to a win in this one when a late caution came out for Coo Coo Marlin's blown engine, the McLaren motor Kellen mentioned going kaboom while he was running seventh in the closing laps. Under the yellow the leaders all pitted with Yarborough regaining the lead only for Pearson to blow by him on the backstretch right after the restart and take the win. Overall it was still a good day for Yarborough as he capitalized on a 74-point swing in the point standings to vault back into the points lead as a result of Benny Parsons' issues.[2][4] He would eventually become the 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion.

Bobby Allison was running second very late in this race when he was black flagged for the Penske team having put tape over parts of the grill of his Cam 2 #2 Mercury. That aerodynamic improvement was illegal at the time but later became common place in later years. Allison still recovered to finish third in part due to how few cars were left on the lead lap and the late caution.[2]

David Pearson would also consider the 1976 NASCAR Cup Series season to be his "personal playground" with fast and consistent results throughout the year.

The grand total of this race's prize purse would be $105,355 ($463,870 when considering inflation).[5]


Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 43 Richard Petty Dodge Petty Enterprises
2 2 Bobby Allison Mercury Roger Penske
3 15 Buddy Baker Ford Bud Moore
4 71 Dave Marcis Dodge Nord Krauskopf
5 72 Benny Parsons Chevrolet L.G. DeWitt
6 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet Junior Johnson
7 54 Lennie Pond Chevrolet Ronnie Elder
8 21 David Pearson Mercury Wood Brothers
9 52 Jimmy Means Chevrolet Bill Gray
10 88 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet DiGard Racing
11 24 Cecil Gordon Chevrolet Cecil Gordon
12 48 James Hylton Chevrolet James Hylton
13 90 Dick Brooks Ford Junie Donlavey
14 60 Jackie Rogers Chevrolet Lou Viglione
15 81 Terry Ryan Chevrolet Bill Monaghan
16 05 David Sisco Chevrolet David Sisco
17 47 Bruce Hill Chevrolet Bruce Hill
18 79 Frank Warren Dodge Frank Warren
19 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet Richard Childress
20 14 Coo Coo Marlin Chevrolet H.B. Cunningham

Top ten finishers

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Points Time/Status
1 8 21 David Pearson Mercury 200 24 180 2:50:02
2 6 11 Cale Yarborough Chevrolet 200 129 180 +3 car lengths
3 2 2 Bobby Allison Mercury 200 4 170 Lead lap under green flag
4 1 43 Richard Petty Dodge 200 3 165 Lead lap under green flag
5 3 15 Buddy Baker Ford 199 20 160 +1 lap
6 13 90 Dick Brooks Ford 197 0 150 +3 laps
7 7 54 Lennie Pond Chevrolet 196 0 146 +4 laps
8 16 05 David Sisco Chevrolet 196 0 142 +4 laps
9 14 60 Jackie Rogers Chevrolet 194 2 143 +6 laps
10 11 24 Cecil Gordon Chevrolet 193 0 134 +7 laps

Standings after the race

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 Increase Cale Yarborough 2318 0
2 Decrease Benny Parsons 2267 -51
3 1rightarrow.png Richard Petty 2201 -117
4 1rightarrow.png Bobby Allison 2161 -157
5 Increase Lennie Pond 1964 -354
6 Decrease Dave Marcis 1905 -413
7 1rightarrow.png Richard Childress 1867 -451
8 Increase Buddy Baker 1823 -495
9 Increase David Pearson 1743 -575
10 Decrease Darrell Waltrip 1740 -578


  1. ^ "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Michigan International Speedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  4. ^ a b c d e "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  5. ^ a b c "1976 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 racing information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
Preceded by
Motor State 400/Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 races
Succeeded by
Preceded by
1976 Riverside 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Season
Succeeded by
1976 Firecracker 400
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