Waltrip edged out Allison and Petty to win first superspeedway victory
The date was April 3, 1977.After a hard-fought battle, up-and-coming superstar Darrell Waltrip collected his first-career superspeedway victory at Darlington Raceway, a track known as one of NASCAR’s toughest.
NOTE: TUMS is the sponsor of the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, at Martinsville Speedway on October 30.
He put his Digard Racing Chevrolet in the lead briefly at the 300-lap mark in the 367-lap race, but lost ground to veteran drivers Bobby Allison (relief driving for brother Donnie Allison), David Pearson and Richard Petty.
With eight laps remaining, a crash involving Dick Brooks and J.D. McDuffie momentarily caused the leaders to take evasive action. Waltrip charged through the debris and took the lead when they raced backed to the start-finish line under caution. Allison finished second with two flat tires, followed by Petty in third and Pearson fourth.
It was Waltrip’s fourth-career win but first on a big track.
“I saw the wreck and knew it would take a long time to clean it up,” Waltrip said in victory lane. “I let it all hang out running back to the caution. I knew that was my only chance to win.”
Similar to how TUMS fights back fast, Waltrip fought back fast to cross the finish line first.