Cale Yarborough came up just 19 points shy of winning the NASCAR Winston Cup title in 1980 following a late-season surge that included a dominating victory in the season's next-to-last event at Atlanta.
Yarborough ran roughshod over the competition in the Atlanta Journal 500, leading 269 out of 328 laps on the way to the win. Yarborough, who started 12th, led for the first time 42 laps into the race. He would hold the top spot a total of seven times, including the final 15 circuits to finish ahead of Neil Bonnett.
Despite Yarborough's strong finish to the season, it wasn't quite enough to claim the season championship. Finishing fifth that day was Dale Earnhardt. His Atlanta performance followed by a finish in the same position in the following race, the season finale in Riverside, Calif., ensured the first of his seven championships.
The 1980 season also marked the end of a storied partnership between Yarborough and car owner Junior Johnson. Between 1974 and 1980, they won 43 races and three series championships.