THE DON HUNTER COLLECTION
DRIVING TO VICTORY
David Pearson is shown leading a pack of cars early in the April 11, 1976 Rebel 500 at Darlington.
Running just behind Pearson is Bobby Allison, who was later knocked out of contention by a crash. On Allison's bumper is Buddy Baker. Baker dominated most of the event, leading for a total of 205 laps. Pearson, however, chased Baker down in the closing laps to capture one of his 10 career victories at Darlington.
Buck Baker, Buddy's father, made a return to competition after an absence of more than three years. Driving a backup Ford fielded by Junie Donlavey, the elder Baker started 13th but turned the car over to Donlavey's primary driver, Dick Brooks, after Brooks was involved in an early crash. Baker was credited with a sixth-place finish. He made seven more starts in 1976 before calling it a career for good.