Sunday 26th April 1981
“Rookie” Morgan Shepherd won the NASCAR GN ‘Virginia 500’ at Martinsville Speedway. Shepherd’s Cliff Stewart Pontiac crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of Neil Bonnett’s Wood Brothers Ford with Ricky Rudd a lap down in 3rd in the DiGard Buick. It was the first GN win for Pontiac since 1963. Shepherd, 1980 NASCAR Sportsman champ, was making the 15th GN start of his career. Qualifying brought many surprises with Ricky Rudd on the pole, long time independent Buddy Arrington 3rd in his Dodge and short track ace Butch Lindley 4th while rookie Mike Alexander set a new track record in second round qualifying.