Made time to read another old Stock Car Racing magazine, this one dated March 1977. With publishing lead times back then, this issue mostly covered the end of the 1976 season. Here are some interesting points: Rich Benyo reports that Humpy Wheeler noted that the Late Model Sportsman Division (now Xfinity) was a feeder / educator for the Grand National (now Monster Energy Cup) series, but that the Sportsman drivers and teams didn’t get much experience on the big tracks (that were mainstays for Grand National). So he suggests Sportsman races held in conjunction with Grand National races, and make those races 100 miles or longer. Which did begin happening more often in the 1980s. Full page advertisement selling one square inch pieces of land, for $2 each, of the Petty family compound in Level Cross, NC, called “Petty Country”. It was to support The Chapel, Inc. and the racing ministry of Brother Bill Frazier. Frazier went on to found Motor Racing Outreach which brings church services to race tracks for racers and their families at Sunday NASCAR races. Don O’Reilly reports that IROC races are basically run as a television show. “If somebody blows a tire or spins out, the competition comes to a more or less slow trot while that race car is fixed and running again.” Then the race resumes – the video is edited to be shown later on TV as one continuous race. Dr. Dick Berggren reported about Bill Hite’s controversial 4-wheel drive Super Modified race car, which is worrying racers and promoters that it might obsolete the other cars. Competitor driver Steve Giola said he hates to say it, but “It’s not fair if a guy can come up with a better idea.” After a dismal season for Richard Petty (by his own standards) there were strong rumors that he would leave Dodge. Although Petty did stay with Dodge for 1977, another dismal season caused him to switch to GM during the 1978 season. Strong running Dodge team Dave Marcis / Harry Hyde announced that they were going to switch to GM (Oldsmobile or Buick) due to scarcity of Chrysler racing parts. They had to resort to junkyard parts (particularly engine blocks), and those were scarce too. As it turned out, in 1977 Marcis drove mostly Chevrolets and occasionally a Mercury for Roger Penske / Travis Carter before finishing the season in the Rod Osterlund Chevrolet. Hyde ended up in an ill-fated deal for J.D. Stacy, with drivers Neil Bonnett and Ferril Harris. Late Model Sportsman drivers complained about Grand National drivers invading their big money races. But there were differences back then – there were few high purse LMS races on tracks over a half mile, and the rules only allowed GN drivers who had competed in at least ten GN races so far in the season. Complaints centered on the GN teams having vastly more experience on big tracks. The top LMS teams were considered to have similar equipment to the GN teams participating.