The 1976 season opened with the Winston Western 500, and with it the start of Roger Penske’s first full season as an owner. This would prove to be the last race for the Penske Matador though, the team switching to Mercury for the remaining 30 races. In all, his AMC’s would celebrate 5 victories and 6 poles in 56 races, including the pole for Bobby Allison that afternoon at Riverside. Despite the moderate success with AMC, they ultimately proved to be too unreliable in the way of engines. And so it was, as Allison pulled the CAM2 #2 behind the wall with a blown motor, completing 149 of the scheduled 191 laps. He led 18 laps before retiring, being scored in 15th position. Starting his day on the outside front row, David Pearson would lead 124 laps on his way to the checkered flag in the Wood Bro’s #21 Mercury.