Sunday 15th February 1981
Richard Petty and crew gambled by not changing tires on the last pit stop and it paid off with Petty taking his 7th Daytona 500 win. Petty’s Buick was in 5th with 25 laps left when crew chief Dale Inman made the call to only take on fuel. Petty came out of the stops with a 10 second advantage and held on to take the checkered 3.5 seconds ahead of Bobby Allison’s Rainier Pontiac. Allison had dominated the race, leading 117 laps. It was the first win in GN competition for Buick since 1955. Petty’s longtime crew chief Dale Inman quis two days later to accept a job with the Rod Osterlund/Dale Earnhardt team.