In May 1978 CBS Television signed on to broadcast the biggest race of NASCAR's Winston Cup Grand National series live from start to finish. The Daytona 500 was aired on February 18, 1979 amid driving snow along much of the Atlantic Coast; rain briefly delayed the start of the 500 but the green flag flew with 16 laps complete. The event's favored driver was Buddy Baker, driving an Oldsmobile prepared by the Harry Ranier racing team that won the pole for the event. However, the real battle for the lead involved Cale Yarborough, Donnie and Bobby Allison, little-known driver Tighe Scott, Darrell Waltrip, A.J. Foyt, and the sport's highest-winning driver Richard Petty. Following 190 often chaotic competitive laps the final laps of the race shook out to a showdown between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough, who had lost a lap early in the race after a spin but had erased the gap and were 1-2 as they entered what proved to be one of the defining final laps in racing history.
Did You Know?
This race featured one of NASCAR's greatest fights, involving drivers Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, and his brother Bobby Allison. See more