Classic YouTube: Celebrating Seventy Years Of NASCAR With The 1983 Busch Clash!

Classic YouTube: Celebrating Seventy Years Of NASCAR With The 1983 Busch Clash!

Seventy years ago today, NASCAR formed in the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida. Having drawn from it’s roots in liquor bootlegging in the south, and being led by a man who had been promoting races since before World War II, NASCAR was going to see growth, without question. What was shocking was the amount of success that the series has gained in total since those early races on short tracks and dirt ovals. Cars got fast…200 miles an hour was broken by the start of the 1970s and by 1987, the speeds had hit a point where restrictor plates underneath the carburetor to choke down top-end performance had proven to be needed on the bigger ovals. The cars themselves morphed from actual production vehicles that were prepared into silhouette racers that were stickered up to resemble their street counterparts. For some teams, the car was the attraction. For other teams, the driver was the attraction, in either good or bad terms. What had been primarily a Southern America sport got national attention when the Allison brothers and Cale Yarborough went at it with each other after the final lap crash. The thrill of victory has been tainted with defeat, anger and death, but fans have attended in droves and have supported their drivers.

Seventy years…that’s impressive. So we wanted to find a proper way to celebrate…so we figured we would find the halfway point between then and now and show just how far cars had come at that point and how far they’ve come since. This is the 1983 Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway, held on Valentine’s Day, 1983. You’ll see a young Bill Elliot in a square-body Fox Thunderbird battling it out against the newer Aero Birds that had started to trickle into the race scene. You’ll see Tim Richmond’s Pontiac LeMans squaring off against Buick Regals and Chevrolet Monte Carlos and you’ll see a solid, flag-to-flag blast that is only stopped to clear a wrecked car…no caution laps, no green/white checkered flag. Just a group of drivers working their asses off behind the wheel to win the checkered flag, the one that really matters. How far we’ve come…

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