MRN Flashback: 1984 Miller 400
By: MRN Staff on April 23, 2014 | 2:44 P.M. EST
On Feb. 26th, 1984, Ricky Rudd followed his seventh-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 with a victory in the year's first short-track race in Richmond. (Photo: ISC Archives)
On Feb. 26, 1984, Ricky Rudd followed his seventh-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 with a victory in the year’s first short-track event at Richmond International Raceway.
Still bruised from his spectacular crash in the Busch Clash two weeks earlier, Rudd passed pole sitter Darrell Waltrip for his final lead of the day and kept the No. 15 Bud Moore Ford in front over the final 20 laps around the old half-mile Fairgrounds oval.
The margin of victory was 3.2 seconds over Waltrip with Terry Labonte finishing third. They were the only drivers to complete all 400 laps. Bill Elliott and Neil Bonnett rounded out the top five.
Waltrip dominated the race by leading 348 laps but succumbed to Rudd’s late charge.
"It’s great to win a race at home," said Rudd, a Virginia native who grew up in Chesapeake. "It’s something to win with all the people cheering you on. And it’s a relief to win one early in the year. It takes the pressure off later on."
With his second-place finish, Waltrip exited Richmond with a 24-point lead over Rudd in the Cup Series standings. Rudd would go winless the rest of the season, finishing seventh in the final championship standings. Labonte went on to claim the first of his two titles, beating Harry Gant by 65 points. Waltrip was fifth.
This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Richmond International Raceway - now a three-quarter-mile oval - for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400.
Visit MRN.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1984 Miller High Life 400, anchored by Barney Hall and Mike Joy. Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – features a classic race each week on "Throwback Thursday" only at MRN.com.