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Buicks in NASCAR 1981-1983
Darrell Waltrip's 1981-82 #11 Moutain Dew Regal. (Picture contributed by Cory Walker.)
Although Buick had previously only won two NASCAR races (both in 1955), 1981 began a period of complete dominance. Twelve models were eligible for 1981, but aerodynamics and rules favored the Regal. Just about everyone was driving the newly designed Buick -Richard and Kyle Petty, Harry Gant, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Terry Labonte, Tim Richmond and many others. The following lists some of the major accomplishments of the 1981 Buick Regal.
1981 GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Darrell Waltrip won the driver's championship with 12 of 32 wins is his #11 Mountain Dew Buick Regal (above). Bobby Allison took second in his #28 Hardee's Buick (below).
1981 MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP - Buick Regals won 22 of 32 races.
1981 DAYTONA 500 -Won by Richard Petty's #43 STP Buick. 15 of 42 cars were Buick Regals.
Boddy Allison's 1981 #28 Hardee's Regal. (Picture contributed by Cory Walker.)
The Regal contiued it's dominace through 1982. Even more drivers found their way into Buicks, including newcomers Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace. Kentucky Bussinessman J.D. Stacy sponsered 5 Buick Regals (and a Pontiac Lemans and a Thunderbird) in the Daytona 500. The Buick was even more succesful in 1982:
1982 GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Again, Darrell Waltrip won the driver's championship with 12 wins is his #11 Mountain Dew Buick Regal (top). Bobby Allison again took second in his #88 Gatorade Buick.
1982 MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP - Buick Regals won 25 of 30 races.
1982 DAYTONA 500 -Won by Bobby Allison in the #88 Gatorade Buick and seven of the top eight finishers drove Regals. 25 of 42 cars were Buick Regals.
Ron Bouchard's #47 J.D.Stacy Buick Regal, 6th place 1982 Daytona 500
The racing giants of Chevrolet and Ford were completely embarrassed. For 1983, both countered with new designs. Chevy reshaped the Monte Carlo's nose (SS) and Ford completely changed the Thunderbird. New "Aero" wars similar to those of the early seventies had begun. The Regals had literally "reshaped" racing world. Chevrolet won the Manufacturer's Champion, but...
1983 GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - This time Bobby Allison beat Waltrip and won the driver's championship by 47 points in is his #22 Miller Light Buick Regal. (Waltrip had switched to the Monte SS.)
In 1984 Buick recorded two wins, both by Bobby Allison. There were no wins in 1985. By 1986, the Regal was out and Buick drivers were switching to the new FWD LeSabre body. (Buick released a limited production LeSabre Grand National in 1986).
"Buick Regal Racing History 1981-1983", Monogram Models insert.
1982 Daytona 500 Program
"Daytona 500", Hot Rod magazine, May, 1982
Grand National Illustrated, January 1983
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