Racing Replay: 1981 125-Mile Qualifier at Daytona


Some of the best NASCAR racing of the season happens in the two qualifying races for the Daytona 500. To whet the appetite a bit for Thursday's Gatorade Duels at Daytona, I figured it'd be fun to look back at some of the older races.

Here's the second 125-Mile Qualifier for the 1981 Daytona 500. The race sports a who's-who of old-school NASCAR: Darrel Waltrip, Buddy Baker, Richard Petty, AJ Foyt and Benny Parsons. The new body styles and restrictor plateless motors make for some awesome side-by-side racing and slingshot passes. They really mix it up hard, but stay professional down to the end.

Part 1 has the start. NASCAR coverage, like the sport in general, was a lot less refined back then... but I think some of the new broadcast teams could learn a lot from Ken Squier and David Hobbs.

Part 2 features the finish. After a late-race caution, the race is restarted with one lap to go. Today that would be a recipe for a definite crash -- but not back in the day.

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