MRN Flashback: 1983 Busch Nashville 420


On July 16, 1983, Earnhardt led the final 144 laps at Nashville International Raceway to post his first victory of the season. (Photo: ISC Archives)


In the years immediately following his first Cup Series championship in 1980, race wins were hard to come by for Dale Earnhardt.

But "The Intimidator" returned to form on July 16, 1983, with an impressive victory at Nashville International Raceway.  Earnhardt led a race-high 212 laps in his Bud Moore-owned Ford, including the final 144 trips around the "Music City" half-mile, to grab just his second win since winning the title three years before.

Earnhardt started third in the 30-car field.  His margin of victory over second-place Darrell Waltrip was more than 15 seconds.  They were the only two drivers on the lead lap at the checkered flag.

Tim Richmond finished third with Bobby Allison and Ricky Rudd completing the top five.  Pole sitter Ron Bouchard failed to lead a lap and retired early with engine failure, finishing 27th.

The race included 12 lead changes among just five drivers: Earnhardt, Waltrip, Allison, Neil Bonnett and Dave Marcis.  There were four cautions for 25 laps.

Allison left Nashville with a 202-point lead over Waltrip in the Cup Series standings and won three straight races in September to pave the way to his first … and only … Cup Series championship.

Visit on Thanksgiving Day at 12 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1983 Busch Nashville 420, anchored by Barney Hall and Mike Joy.  Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – features a classic race broadcast each week on "Throwback Thursday" at

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