Yarborough wins, but no fan of TWS

Sunday, June 1, 1980 – Cale Yarborough scored the 65th win of his NASCAR premier series career when he won the NASCAR 400 at Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas. Yarborough led 110 laps in the 200-lap race, including the final 65. Richard Petty finished second and Bobby Allison third, both one lap down.

To say Yarborough wasn’t a fan of the rough 2-mile racing surface at TWS would be an understatement. Yarborough said he had “driven on dirt tracks that weren’t this rough” and added after winning “If I had my way, I’d never run here again.”

Yarborough had other reasons to not be a fan of the track besides the rough surface. In 1969 he was involved in a crash that left him with a shoulder injury so severe doctors initially told him he would likely never race again. In ’79, he was tossed out of the garage before practice when security guards didn’t see his credential and failed to recognize the three-time series champion.

The ’80 victory was worth $21,000 to the winner and made Yarborough the second driver to top $3 million in career earnings, joining Richard Petty.

The Cup Series competed on 17 tracks at that time. The Texas victory gave Yarborough, driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet for Junior Johnson, wins on 16 of the 17; he lacked only a victory at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

The race was the seventh of eight premier series races held at TWS and the only one completed without a caution period.

The race was the first for points leader Dale Earnhardt without crew chief Jake Elder, who had resigned from the Osterlund Racing team May 28. Elder left the team due to disagreements with team manager Roland Wlodyka and Osterlund, the car owner. Wlodyka was named interim crew chief following Elder’s departure. Earnhardt finished ninth.

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