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Stock Car Racing 1981

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

Stock Car Racing 1981

Page Sections
1981's Series and Champions
NASCAR National Touring Series Drivers
Race Schedule
NASCAR Winston Cup Points Standings
1981 would mark a turning point in NASCAR's Winston Cup series on a technical level.  The cars had shorter wheelbases, the first of many changes which would take the cars away from matching exterior dimensions with their street counterparts.  This change, which necessitated larger spoilers, would lead the series into a new era of purpose-built race cars that began to look very different from the cars they were intended to simulate.

1981's Series and Champions

SanctionSeriesDrivers' ChampionPoints Standings
NASCARWinston CupDarrell WaltripNWC Schedule
NWC Points Standings
ARCAARCA Racing SeriesLarry Moyer
NASCARInternational Sedan SeriesDean Combs

NASCAR National Touring Series Drivers

The Top 25 in Winston Cup points at season's end are in bold.

Mike Alexander, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, John Anderson, Buddy Arrington, H.B. Bailey, Buddy Baker, Rick Baldwin, Gary Balough, Stan Barrett, Geoff Bodine, Bob Bondurant, Neil Bonnett, Joe Booher, John Borneman, Ron Bouchard, Chuck Bown, Jim Bown, Dick Brooks, Charlie Chamblee, Richard Childress, Ernie Cline, Dean Combs, Delma Cowart, Lowell Cowell, Bill Dennis, Dave Dion, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Tommy Ellis, Bill Elswick, Joe Fields, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, AJ Foyt, Tommy Gale, Harry Gant, Charlie Glotzbach, Cecil Gordon, John Gunn, Roger Hamby, Billie Harvey, Jimmy Hensley, Terry Herman, Bruce Hill, Kevin Housby, Tommy Houston, Don Hume, James Hylton, Jack Ingram, Jimmy Insolo, Bruce Jacobi, Glenn Jarrett, Slick Johnson, Henry Jones, Gary Kershaw, Rick Knoop, Terry Labonte, Elmo Langley, Butch Lindley, Al Loquasto, Jocko Maggiacomo, Dave Marcis, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Dick May, Rick McCray, J.D. McDuffie, Bob McElwee, Hershel McGriff, Jimmy Means, Junior Miller, Scott Miller, Joe Millikan, Pat Mintey, Rick Newsom, Rick O'Dell, Randy Ogden, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Steve Pfeifer, Chuck Pittinger, Lennie Pond, Mike Potter, Baxter Price, Don Puskarich, Tim Richmond, Jody Ridley, Bob Riley, Jim Robinson, Ricky Rudd, Johnny Rutherford, Joe Ruttman, Ronnie Sanders, Don Satterfield, Sandy Satullo, Connie Saylor, Bob Schacht, Bill Schmitt, Bob Senneker, Kirk Shelmerdine, Morgan Shepherd, Roy Smith, Lake Speed, Steve Spencer, Don Sprouse, Mark Stahl, Joel Stowe, Robert Tartaglia, Ronnie Thomas, Gene Thonesen, Travis Tiller, D.K. Ulrich, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Blackie Wangerin, Don Waterman, Bobby Wawak, Don Whittington, Rick Wilson, Cale Yarborough

Race Schedule

DateSeriesRaceTrackPoleWinnerWinner's Make
January 11Winston CupWinston Western 500Riverside International RacewayDarrell WaltripBobby AllisonChevrolet
February 15Winston CupDaytona 500Daytona International SpeedwayBobby AllisonRichard PettyBuick
February 22Winston CupRichmond 400Richmond Fairgrounds RacewayMorgan ShepherdDarrell WaltripBuick
March 1Winston CupCarolina 500North Carolina Motor SpeedwayCale YarboroughDarrell WaltripBuick
March 15Winston CupCoca-Cola 500Atlanta Motor SpeedwayTerry LabonteCale YarboroughBuick
March 29Winston CupValleydale 500Bristol Motor SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
April 5Winston CupNorthwestern Bank 400North Wilkesboro SpeedwayDave MarcisRichard PettyBuick
April 12Winston CupCRC Rebel 500Darlington RacewayBill ElliottDarrell WaltripBuick
April 26Winston CupVirginia 500Martinsville SpeedwayRicky RuddMorgan ShepherdPontiac
May 3Winston CupWinston 500Talladega SuperspeedwayBobby AllisonBobby AllisonBuick
May 9Winston CupMelling Tool 420Nashville International RacewayRicky RuddBenny ParsonsFord
May 17Winston CupMason-Dixon 500Dover International SpeedwayDavid PearsonJody RidleyFord
May 24Winston CupWorld 600Charlotte Motor SpeedwayNeil BonnettBobby AllisonBuick
June 7Winston CupBudweiser 400Texas World SpeedwayTerry LabonteBenny ParsonsFord
June 14Winston CupHodgdon 400Riverside International RacewayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
June 21Winston CupGabriel 400Michigan International SpeedwayDarrell WaltripBobby AllisonBuick
July 4Winston CupFireCracker 400Daytona International SpeedwayCale YarboroughCale YarboroughBuick
July 11Winston CupBusch Nashville 420Nashville International RacewayMark MartinDarrell WaltripBuick
July 26Winston CupMountain Dew 500Pocono RacewayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
August 2Winston CupTalladega 500Talladega SuperspeedwayHarry GantRon BouchardBuick
August 16Winston CupChampion 400Michigan International SpeedwayRon BouchardRichard PettyBuick
August 22Winston CupBusch 500Bristol Motor SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
September 7Winston CupSouthern 500Darlington RacewayHarry GantNeil BonnettFord
September 13Winston CupWrangler SanforSet 400Richmond Fairgrounds RacewayMark MartinBenny ParsonsFord
September 20Winston CupCRC Chemicals 500Dover International SpeedwayRicky RuddNeil BonnettFord
September 27Winston CupOld Dominion 500Martinsville SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
October 4Winston CupHolly Farms 400North Wilkesboro SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
October 11Winston CupNational 500Charlotte Motor SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
November 1Winston CupAmerican 500North Carolina Motor SpeedwayDarrell WaltripDarrell WaltripBuick
November 8Winston CupAtlanta Journal 500Atlanta Motor SpeedwayHarry GantNeil BonnettFord
November 22Winston CupWinston Western 500Riverside International RacewayDarrell WaltripBobby AllisonBuick

NASCAR Winston Cup Points Standings

Pos.DriverPointsBehindStartsPolesWinsTop 5Top 10Winnings
1Darrell Waltrip4880Leader3111122125$539,050
2Bobby Allison4827-5331252126$534,665
3Harry Gant4213-66731301318$233,815
4Terry Labonte4052-8283120817$276,970
5Jody Ridley4002-8783101318$220,215
6Ricky Rudd3991-88931301417$352,980
7Dale Earnhardt3978-9023100917$324,290
8Richard Petty3882-99831031216$369,505
9Dave Marcis3510-1370311049$143,325
10Benny Parsons3452-142831031012$273,705
11Buddy Arrington3384-1496310007$118,340
12Kyle Petty3335-15453100110$100,745
13Morgan Shepherd3264-16162911310$155,785
14Jimmy Means3145-1735300002$91,440
15Tommy Gale3143-1737300000$96,630
16Tim Richmond3094-1786290006$84,675
17J.D. McDuffie3000-1880280001$95,540
18Lake Speed2820-2060270006$84,210
19James Hylton2756-2124280000$80,975
20Joe Millikan2682-21982300310$140,470
21Ron Bouchard2597-22832211512$139,605
22Neil Bonnett2449-2431221378$180,920
23Cecil Gordon2320-2560250000$55,230
24Cale Yarborough2201-26791822610$150,090
25Richard Childress2144-2736210011$70,375
26Ronnie Thomas2138-2742230000$52,855
27Buddy Baker1904-2976160069$114,345
28Joe Ruttman1853-3027170027$110,125
29Mike Alexander1784-3096190003$33,305
30Bill Elliott1442-3438131017$68,570
31Bobby Wawak1212-3668140001$21,790
32D.K. Ulrich1193-3687150011$36,640
33Johnny Rutherford1143-3737120012$38,095
34Lennie Pond1100-3780120000$29,045
35Elliott Forbes-Robinson1020-3860110003$27,350
36Stan Barrett842-4038100001$28,540
37Rick Newsom768-411290000$8,625
38Dick May754-412690001$26,380
39Connie Saylor664-421670000$18,780
40Gary Balough659-4221100001$34,430
41Rick Wilson639-424180000$15,625
42Mark Martin615-426552012$13,950
43Bruce Hill596-428480000$15,485
44Donnie Allison527-435360011$27,745
45Geoff Bodine420-446050001$15,000
46Joe Fields418-446260000$7,750
47Jack Ingram367-451350001$9,965
48Randy Ogden367-451340000$3,905
49Jim Robinson351-452930002$9,505
50Don Waterman351-452930001$8,570
51Rusty Wallace323-455740001$12,895
52Tommy Houston315-456570000$20,760
53Bill Schmitt314-456630000$6,610
54Don Whittington300-458030000$13,685
55Dick Brooks297-458350000$14,845
56H.B. Bailey288-459240000$7,125
57Lowell Cowell288-459240000$8,055
58Roy Smith285-459530001$8,695
59Don Puskarich279-460130000$4,770
60Glenn Jarrett276-460430000$12,650
61AJ Foyt271-460930001$9,210
62Butch Lindley266-461430000$2,375
63Tommy Ellis227-465340011$13,475
64Don Sprouse221-465920000$6,865
65Slick Johnson216-466440000$4,150
66Hershel McGriff206-467430000$2,170
67Chuck Bown197-468330000$4,725
68Junior Miller188-469220000$3,130
69David Pearson154-472661002$17,150
70Bob Schacht140-474020000$1,290
71Bob Riley131-474930000$1,975
72John Borneman127-475310000$3,140
73Gary Kershaw127-475310000$1,800
74Jim Bown122-475820000$1,415
75Rick O'Dell115-476510000$2,145
76Ronnie Sanders109-477110000$7,635
77Delma Cowart109-477110000$1,940
78Steve Spencer103-477730000$5,805
79Henry Jones103-477710000$765
80Bob Bondurant100-478020000$2,430
81Bill Dennis100-478010000$3,200
82Joe Booher97-478340000$4,995
83Gene Thonesen97-478310000$2,125
84Mark Stahl94-478610000$1,080
85Bill Elswick91-478930000$20,100
86Steve Pfeifer91-478920000$4,063
87John Gunn88-479210000$2,225
88Rick McCray85-479510000$1,655
89Charlie Glotzbach85-479510000$1,275
90Roger Hamby82-479810000$2,450
91Billie Harvey80-480020000$3,915
92Mike Potter79-480160000$14,500
93Sterling Marlin79-480120000$1,955
94Dave Dion79-480110000$615
95Elmo Langley76-480410000$575
96Scott Miller76-480410000$805
97Baxter Price73-480720000$1,400
98Jimmy Insolo73-480720000$755
99Ernie Cline73-480710000$550
100Sandy Satullo70-481010000$1,500
101Jocko Maggiacomo70-481010000$540
102Travis Tiller67-481310000$850
103Pat Mintey61-481910000$850
104Robert Tartaglia58-482210000$500
105Kevin Housby55-482510000$2,480
106Blackie Wangerin37-484310000$2,750
107Jimmy Hensley0-488010001$4,650
108Bob McElwee0-488020001$5,450
109Terry Herman0-488020000$7,035
110John Anderson0-488030000$7,800
111Rick Knoop0-488010000$3,405
112Rick Baldwin0-488010000$1,550
113Bob Senneker0-488010000$1,975
114Al Loquasto0-488010000$2,345
115Charlie Chamblee0-488010000$830
116Dean Combs0-488020000$1,155
117Chuck Pittinger0-488010000$1,155
118Joel Stowe0-488010000$540
119Don Satterfield0-488010000$450
120Bruce Jacobi0-488010000$955
121Kirk Shelmerdine0-488010000$950
122Don Hume0-488010000$590

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