Advertisement
1984 firecracker 400 Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum/White House

As you hopefully know, July 4th is a special date in American history. It is on this day when we celebrate our independence from tyranny. Among a number of things, this means we no longer recognize the rule of kings.

Well, technically, we do celebrate two Kings here in America. One is country music icon Elvis Presley. The other is one of the most legendary NASCAR drivers of all time: Richard Petty.

From his win at the 1979 Daytona 500 to his iconic 1967 season, the NASCAR titan has had his fair share of memorable moments on the track. Perhaps Petty’s most memorable moment, though, was his victory at the 1984 Firecracker 400.

That fateful NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway was significant for a whole host of reasons. For one, it happened on the Fourth of July. In and of itself, that may not seem all that significant, but when you look at all that happened that day, the particular date adds the icing on the cake on what was one of the most American days in NASCAR history.

Following the “Start Your Engine” command from President Ronald Reagan , Petty, driving the No. 43 Pontiac, battled it out for all 160 laps. The finish itself was one for the books, with Petty besting Cale Yarborough by a nose.

It would mark The King’s 200th win — his final victory before his 1992 retirement and a record that has still remained unbroken. It didn’t hurt that after the race, Petty went up to Daytona’s suite level and got a special congratulations from Reagan himself.

?I understand that no one in the whole history of racing has ever done that, won 200 races,? Reagan told Petty.

Reagan also ended up joining Petty and other drivers for a post-race picnic where such staples Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pepsi was served. After a few remarks from the president, he would end up being joined country singer Tammy Wynette, who sung “Stand By Your Man.” It doesn’t get much more American than that!

Advertisement

1984 Firecracker 400 Race Results

1. Richard Petty — Curb Racing — No. 43 Pontiac
2. Harry Gant — Mach 1 Racing — No. 33 Chevrolet
3. Cale Yarborough — Ranier-Lundy Racing — No. 28 Chevrolet
4. Bobby Allison — DiGard Motorsports — No. 22 Buick
5. Benny Parsons — Johnny Hayes (Owner) — No. 55 Chevrolet
6. Bill Elliott — Melling Racing — No. 9 Ford
7. Terry Labonte — Hagan Enterprises — No. 44 Chevrolet
8. Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
9. Neil Bonnett — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 12 Chevrolet
10. Joe Ruttman — Benfield Racing — No. 98 Chevrolet
11. Tim Richmond — Blue Max Racing — No. 27 Pontiac
12. Geoff Bodine — All-Star Racing — No. 5 Chevrolet
13. Phil Parsons — Johnny Hayes (Owner) — No. 66 Chevrolet
14. Tommy Ellis — Morgan-McClure Motorsports — No. 4 Chevrolet
15. Ricky Rudd — Bud Moore Engineering — No. 15 Ford
16. Trevor Boys — Hylton Engineering — No. 48 Chevrolet
17. David Pearson — Bobby Hawkins (Owner) — No. 16 Chevrolet
18. Dave Marcis — RahMoc Enterprises — No. 75 Pontiac
19. Jody Ridley — Robert McEntyre (Owner) — No. 84 Chevrolet
20. Rusty Wallace — Cliff Stewart Racing — No. 88 Pontiac
21. Dean Roper — Mueller Brothers Racing — No. 89 Pontiac
22. Mike Alexander — Marcis Auto Racing — No. 71 Oldsmobile
23. Dale Jarrett — Jimmy Means Racing — No. 52 Pontiac
24. Tommy Gale — Langley-Woodfield Racing — No. 64 Ford
25. Clark Dwyer — Hamby Racing — No. 17 Chevrolet
26. Ken Ragan — Branch-Ragan Racing — No. 77 Chevrolet
27. Connie Saylor — U. S. Motorsports Inc. — No. 6 Chevrolet
28. Doug Heveron — Tom Heveron (Owner) — No. 01 Chevrolet
29. Ronnie Thomas — Ronnie Thomas Racing — No. 41 Chevrolet
30. Kyle Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 7 Ford
31. Darrell Waltrip — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Chevrolet
32. Dean Combs — Irv Sanderson (Owner) — No. 97 Chevrolet
33. Sterling Marlin — Sadler Racing — No. 95 Chevrolet
34. Ron Bouchard — Race Hill Farm Team — No. 47 Buick
35. Steve Moore — Steve Moore (Owner) — No. 73 Chevrolet
36. Buddy Arrington — Arrington Racing — No. 67 Chrysler
37. Bobby Hillin Jr. — Stavola Brothers Racing — No. 8 Chevrolet
38. Dick Brooks — Donlavey Racing — No. 90 Ford
39. Greg Sacks — Sacks & Sons — No. 51 Chevrolet
40. Morgan Shepherd — Bahre Racing — No. 23 Chevrolet
41. Buddy Baker — Wood Brothers Racing — No. 21 Ford
42. Lake Speed — Ellington Racing — No. 1 Chevrolet

Advertisement

Products featured on Alt_driver are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

This post was originally posted on July 3, 2018.

WATCH: Duesenberg Model J: ?The Mightiest American Motor Car?

Author placeholder image About the author:

Stories You Might Like