1984 Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500 (lost footage of NASCAR Winston Cup Series race; existence unconfirmed; 1984)

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1984carolina5001.png

Allison's car during the postrace inspection.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

The 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500 was the 3rd race of the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Occurring on 4th March 1984 at North Carolina Speedway, the race would be won by Bobby Allison in a Buick, ending a bad start for his season. It was also alleged that the race was broadcast and syndicated by Special Events Television Network (SETN), which would have made it the first NASCAR race to have been broadcast by the network.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500 would be one of two races held at North Carolina Speedway for the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series,[1] the other being the 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon American 500, held on 21st November.[2] The North Carolina Speedway, under a new name of Rockingham Speedway, would host NASCAR races until 2004,[3] when it was removed from the schedule as a consequence of the Ferko lawsuit.[4] Heading into the race, defending Winston Cup champion Allison had endured misfortune in the opening two races, suffering a broken camshaft at the Daytona 500, and an engine failure at the Miller High Life 400.[5][6] He therefore was seeking to properly start his title defence at the Carolina 500, having won three races at the Speedway previously.[6]

Prior to the race, qualifying occurred, with Harry Gant in a Chevrolet winning the pole position ahead of fellow Chevrolet driver Darrell Waltrip and Ricky Rudd in a Ford. Allison could only manage 15th, with eventual 1984 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte qualifying fifth in a Chevrolet.[7][8][9] Notably, Daytona 500 winner Cale Yarborough was absent from the event, deciding to withdraw after experiencing two major crashes at both North Carolina Motor Speedway events, injuring his knee and shoulder at the 1983 Warner W. Hodgdon American 500.[10] He refused to compete at the Speedway again until it was repaved; after learning about a track press release that claimed Yarborough did not want to compete because of too much younger competition, Yarborough vowed not to compete at the track again.[6]

Nevertheless, the track was repaved prior to the race.[6] Despite an unremarkable qualifying performance, Allison was able to climb the order to lead 118 of the 492 laps. Labonte did overtake Allison on lap 439, but Allison quickly repassed his opponent, and held on to win the race and earn $33,150 in prize money.[5] Labonte finished second, with fellow Chevrolet driver Lake Speed taking third. Ford driver Dick Brooks led the most laps at 169, but retired on lap 384 following engine failure. There were six cautions throughout the race, resulting in 42 caution laps in total, with five drivers having retired because of accidents.[7][8][9] One in particular saw an altercation between Lennie Pond and Earnhardt's relief driver Connie Saylor.[11]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to Ultimate Racing History, the race was broadcast on tape delay and syndicated by Special Events Television Network (SETN) for several networks, with Mike Joy as lead announcer and Benny Parsons providing colour commentary.[7] NASCAR on TV claims this would make it the first NASCAR race to have aired on the network, but disputes that an airing was ever confirmed.[12] As of the present day, no footage of the 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500 is currently available,[13] not even as part of the recap for the subsequent race, the 1984 Coca-Cola 500. A few photos nevertheless are publicly accessible.[11]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet detailing the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  2. Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet detailing the 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon American 500 results. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  3. Racing-Reference listing all North Carolina Speedway NASCAR events. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  4. Racing-Reference detailing how the Ferko lawsuit resulted in the Rockingham Speedway being removed from the NASCAR calendar. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  5. 5.0 5.1 The New York Times reporting on Allison winning the race. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 UPI previewing the race prior to the qualification stage. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ultimate Racing History detailing the start order and results, and listing the supposed Special Events Television Network (SETN) broadcast announcers. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet detailing the start order and race results. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  9. 9.0 9.1 Racing-Reference detailing the start order and race results. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  10. UPI reporting on the injuries Yarborough suffered at the 1983 Warner W. Hodgdon American 500, which partly influenced his decision to withdraw from the 1984 Carolina 500. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rockingham Speedway detailing some notable highlights of the race, and providing photos. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  12. NASCAR on TV detailing the possibility of an Special Events Television Network (SETN) broadcast. Retrieved 30 Dec '21
  13. 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup YouTube playlist noting no footage of the 1984 Warner W. Hodgdon Carolina 500 is currently available. Retrieved 30 Dec '21