The 1981 Mason-Dixon 500 was a Nextel Cup (then Winston Cup) event held at Dover International Speedway on May 17, 1981. Neil Bonnett dominated the afternoon, leading 404 miles, just over 80% of the race. On lap 459, Bonnett was holding a two-lap lead over second-place Cale Yarborough when his day ended with engine failure, giving the lead to Yarborough. Yarborough was five laps ahead of Jody Ridley when he retired from the race with engine trouble with 20 laps remaining, and Ridley went on to win won his only career event as well as the only win in the fifty-year history of Donlavey Racing. Bobby Allison finished second and held a 168-point championship lead on Ricky Rudd, who came home fifth.

1981 Mason-Dixon 500

General info
Series Winston Cup Series
Location Dover Downs International Speedway
Date May 17, 1981
Pole Sitter David Pearson
Pole Speed 138.425 mph
Race Data
Winner Jody Ridley
Margin of Victory 22 seconds
Average Speed 116.595 mph
Cautions 2 for 24 laps
Points Leader Bobby Allison (+168)

Qualifying notes Edit

Part-time racer David Pearson won the pole for this race at 138 mph. Rookie driver Morgan Shepherd qualified on the outside pole, and points leader Bobby Allison qualified eighth.

Additional race data Edit

  • Leaders: 5
  • Time of race: 4:17:18
  • Average Speed: 116.595 mph
  • Margin of Victory: 22 sec
  • Not only was the only win for Ridley, it was also the only win for Ridley's team owner Junie Donlavey.
  • D.K. Ulrich posted his only career top-five in this race.

Results Edit

Finish Start No. Name Sponsor Make Laps Laps Lead Status
1 1190Jody RidleyTruxmore/Sunny KingFord50020running
2 828Bobby AllisonThe 5 RacersBuick5000running
3 142Dale EarnhardtWranglerPontiac4990running
4 1899D.K. UlrichUNOBuick4910running
5 488Ricky RuddGaroradeBuick4900running
6 25Morgan ShepherdPerformance ConnectionPontiac4890running
7 1967Buddy ArringtonHills RacingDodge4880running
8 744Terry LabonteStratagraphBuick4860running
9 2252Jimmy MeansBroadway MotorsPontiac4810running
10 627Cale YarboroughValvolineBuick48032engine
11 1777Donnie AllisonWarren FabricatingOldsmobile4800running
12 511Darrell WaltripMountain DewBuick4760running
13 321Neil BonnettPurolatorFord459404engine
14 3040Tommy GaleUlrich RacingBuick4590running
15 2324Cecil GordonBuffalo StampedeBuick4580running
16 1033Harry GantSkoal BanditChevrolet4480engine
17 243Richard ChildressNicholsPontiac4120engine
18 2548James HyltonPalatine Auto PartsPontiac3790wheel
19 943Richard PettySTPBuick3683rear end
20 1642Kyle PettySTPBuick3420engine
21 2037Mike AlexanderRogers Auto LeasingOldsmobile2970engine
22 3264Joe FieldsRichmond PrintingBuick2540overheating
23 2870J.D. McDuffieGolden CorralPontiac1610engine
24 2725Ronnie ThomasDrummond RacingPontiac900oil leak
25 112David PearsonKencoal MiningOldsmobile5741engine
26 3179Junior MillerMiller RoofingOldsmobile460oil pressure
27 1247Ron BouchardRace Hill FarmOldsmobile220crash
28 2117Lowell CowellKings Inn DaytonaChevrolet110steering
29 2966Elmo LangleySpeed RacingOldsmobile60driveshaft
30 2694Bob RileyAtlanta International MessengerBuick60steering
31 1371Dave MarcisHudson/Transmissions UnlimitedChevrolet10crash
32 1515Benny ParsonsMelling ToolFord10crash

Points Edit

  1. Bobby Allison +168
  2. Ricky Rudd -168
  3. Darrell Waltrip -207
  4. Harry Gant -325
  5. Jody Ridley -342
  6. Dale Earnhardt -347
  7. Terry Labonte -371
  8. Richard Petty -446
  9. Benny Parsons -499
  10. Buddy Arrington -528

External links Edit

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