NOTE### - any date in PINK and BOLD is an event pre-NASCAR - but is associated to bringing about the sport of NASCAR

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1927 – Herb Nab's birthday - Crew Chief for winning drivers such as Cale Yarborough, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Fred Lorenzen and Bobby Allison.  Nab led Lorenzen to NASCAR's first ever $100,000 season in 1963;  he was the crew chief when Cale Yarborough drove Junior Johnson car to two of his three consecutive championships in 1976 and 1977, and they also won the 1977 Daytona 500.  In 1969 he was the chief when LeeRoy Yarbrough won the Daytona 500.

1961 – Emanual Zervakis would claim his first CUP win here at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville SC.  It was 200 laps on a 1/2 mile dirt track.  The track is still active, with the only change is it has been paved.  Junior Johnson started on the pole as Zervakis joined him on the front row.  Johnson led the first 69 laps, but his fuel pump went out while leading and he eventually finished in 16th place.  From there Rex white would lead the next 106 laps, before Zervakis motored by to lead the final 25 laps and collect the win.  Richard Petty would finish second, followed by White, GC Spencer, and Buck Baker.  Zervakis would win twice in his career 83 CUP starts.  The other would also come in 1961 at Norwood Arena in Norwood MA.

1962 – This would be the final start for Ralph Moody.  Moody was one half of the John Holman – Ralph Moody team that formed Holman Moody racing.  They were a race car maker, and auto race team.  The team built nearly all factory Ford race cars for the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s.  The team won NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969 with David Pearson driving.  Moody was a good driver in his own right, with 5 wins in only 47 starts.  Moody made his final start at Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds in Richmond VA.  It was a ½ mile dirt track.  His last start would be rather unremarkable as he would qualify 24th, and fall out with overheating problems finishing 25th.

1973 – This date would be the last start for Pete Hamilton.  It would come in the Atlanta 500.  He would start 10th, but blow a motor on lap 38, and be out for the day.  Qualifying was rained out, and NASCAR drew for starting positions.  Gordon Johncock drew the pole with Bobby Isaac outside.  Johncock never led a lap, but did finish 11th.  This was mainly a battle between David Pearson, and Cale Yarborough.  Pearson led 155 laps. and Yarborough 154.  Yarborough would have issues late in the race, and finish fifth; seven laps in arrears.  Pearson would go on to claim the win by over two laps.  The rest of the top five was; Bobby Isaac, Benny Parsons, Buddy Baker and Yarborough.

1976 – David Gilliland’s birthday

1979 – Dale Earnhardt Sr. would grab the first win of his CUP career.  He led 163 laps of the 500 lap race at Bristol Speedway.  Buddy Baker would start on the pole, and jump out and lead the first 138 laps.  Earnhardt took over the lead from there for just two laps, and would not lead again until just past ½ way.  From that point he led 160 of the last 250 laps.  Finishing second through fifth was Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, and Benny Parsons.  This was Earnhardt’s rookie season, and he would go on to win Rookie of the Year in 1979... and would be CUP champion in 1980.

1984 – Darrell Waltrip cruises to victory in the Valleydale 500 at Bristol, giving team owner Junior Johnson his eighth straight victory at the steeply banked 1/2-mile track.  Terry Labonte finishes second.

1990 – Dale Earnhardt edges Mark Martin to win the TranSouth 500 at Darlington, an event in which veteran Neil Bonnett is injured after a 212th-lap crash. B onnett suffers a concussion and amnesia.

1993 – on this date we would lose current CUP champion Alan Kulwicki.  The previous year Kulwicki had drove his Hooter's sponsored Thunderbird to an unlike CUP championship beating out Bill Elliott by just five points.  He was returning from an appearance at the Knoxville Hooters in a Hooters corporate plane on a short flight across Tennessee before the Sunday spring race at Bristol.  The plane slowed and crashed just before final approach into the airport at Bristol.  The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the crash to the pilot's failure to use the airplane's anti-ice system to clear ice from the engine inlet system.  In his career, he had won five NASCAR CUP races, 24 pole positions, 75 Top 10 finishes, and one championship in 207 races.

2012 - This race would be the final CUP start for Hermie Sadler.  Sadler would start 41st at Martinsville in his Richard Childress Chevy, and finish 31st.  Kasey Kahne won the pole, but blew a motor after 256 laps.  The race had an exciting conclusion.  Just as it looked like Jeff Gordon was going to grab the win, David Reutimann's car stalled on the front stretch with three laps to go.  This set up a green/white/checkers scenerio.  Jeff Gordon and his Rick Hendrick team mate Jimmy Johnson were both determined to get Hendrick his 200th career win.  They restarted side by side on the front row, and as the cars barreled into turn one, Clint Bowyer ducked to the inside of both of the, with Ryan Newman on his rear bumper. Bowyer got into Gordon, who in turn got into Johnson and they both spun out.  Bowyer also spun as did a few other cars. Newman squirted through the hole, and grabbed the lead.  On the next restart New got the lead while AJ Allmendinger hounded his rear bumper trying to get his first win.  Everyone knew Allmendinger was going to put the bumper to Newman and 'move' him out of the way as AJ's car was clearly faster.  But AJ held station just looking for a mistake and finished second behind Newman.  The rest of the top five was Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth, and Martin Truex.

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1950 – Tim Flock would win his first CUP race, at the track where he ran his first ever CUP race a year earlier.  Red Byron won the pole, with Tim’s brother Bob Flock starting outside.  Bob would lead the first 5 laps, and Byron would take over on lap 6 and hold it until lap 47.  On Lap 48 Tim Flock would assume the lead and never be headed.  He led the last 152 laps to claim his first victory.  The top 5 was Tim Flock, followed by Bob Flock, Clyde Minter, Red Byron, and Bill Snowden.  This marked the first time that brothers had finished 1 – 2.

1967 – Cale Yarborough dominates the Atlanta 500, leading 301 of the 334 laps to record his first career win on a super speedway.  Curtis Turner, driving the Smokey Yunick Chevrolet, escapes injury in a wild practice crash.

1972 – on this date we would lose Speedy Thompson.  20 time race winner; Southern 500 winner, in a late model race he died of a heart attack during the race and crashed his car, breaking his neck as well.  He died on the way to the hospital, one day before his 46th birthday.

1980 – Ricky Hendrick's birthday - was an American NASCAR stock car driver and partial owner at Hendrick Motorsports, a team that his father Rick Hendrick founded.  He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 2, 1980, and began his career in racing at the age of fifteen.  He competed in both the Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series before his death from an airplane accident on October 24, 2004.  He was killed with seven other family members and friends during the accident.

2000 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. would claim his first ever CUP win at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.  Terry Labonte would start on the pole with Kevin LePage starting second.  Earnhardt Jr. would start fourth.  He led 106 laps of the 334 lap affair.  It he wasn’t in the lead, but he was near the front all day.  Dale would take the lead away from his DEI teammate Steve Park on lap 282, and lead to the end.  The rest of the top 5 was; Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Rusty Wallace, and Kevin Lepage.  This would also mark the first and only CUP race that Adam Petty would start.  Tragically his life was cut short with a mechanical problem during CUP practice at New Hampshire a month later took his life.  Adam qualified 33rd and blew a motor and fell out of the race on lap 215.  Unfortunately Adam’s father Kyle Petty missed the field, and both of them didn’t get to race together in Adam’s only start.  Kyle Petty came in the race and subbed for Elliott Sadler who was injured in one of the numerous wrecks on the day.  Adam had retired due to his engine failure several laps before Kyle came in.  This was the last race Lee Petty was alive to watch.  He passed away less than a week later." The Petty family goes from celebration (first 4 generation family in NASCAR history) to tragic in less than a week.  Lee dies, then Adam died a month later

4-3

1924 – Marvin Porter’s birthday

1926 – Speedy Thompson’s birthday

1929 – Shorty Rollin’s birthday

1960 - Arizona State Fairgrounds would host it’s first CUP race.  The speedway was located in Phoenix, AZ, and was a one mile dirt oval. Mel Larson would start on the pole.  Melvin Porter would start on the outside.  Porter would lead the first 11 laps before oil line problems sidelined him for the day.  Parnelli Jones took over the lead from laps 12 to 36.  Larson got the lead for the first time on lap 37, and held it until lap 42.  John Rostek passed Larson for the lead on lap 43, and held it until the checkers flew on lap 100.  Larson came in second, Scotty Cain was third, followed by Fritz Wilson, and Lloyd Dane.  This was Rostek’s lone CUP win in only six career starts.  Very few big teams made the trip out west, so the field was mostly made up of West Coast regulars.

4-4

1959 – This would be Buddy Bakers first career CUP start.  It came at Columbia Speedway in Columbia SC.  Bakers first start would not be memorable, as he broke a shock about 1/4 way through the race, and finished 14th.  Jack smith won the pole, and went on to collect his 8th of 21 career CUP wins.  The rest of the top five were Ned Jarrett, Lee Petty, Tiny Lund and Cotton Owens.

1933 – Bill France Jr’s birthday - head of NASCAR from 1972 to 2000

1982 – Dale Earnhardt ends an 18-month famine with a victory in the Rebel 500 at Darlington Raceway.  It is Earnhardt's first career win in a Ford.  Cale Yarborough finishes second.

4-5

1953 – This race at Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, NC was 150 laps on a ¾ mile dirt oval.  Tim Flock won the pole and Dick Rathman started alongside.  It seemed to be the Flock / Rathman show.  One of the two drivers lead for most of the first 130 laps.  Flock jumped to the lead, and led the first 60 laps.  Buck Baker led laps 61-78, but he would later fall out of the race because of a broken wheel, finishing 14th.  Flock regained the lead as he and Rathman spent the next 50 laps swapping the lead back and forth.  One driver would lead two or three laps, then the other would lead for a few laps.  There was 15 lead changes over that 50 lap segment between the two drivers.  On lap 130 Rathman would fall out of the race with a broken wheel, giving the lead to Thomas.  On lap 135 Thomas lost his clutch and fell out of the event finishing 12th.  With two of the strongest racers out, that opened the door for other drivers, and there was just 15 laps to go.  On lap 135 Pop McGinnis took the lead and lead until he broke a wheel on lap 148.  Dick Passwater was there to take advantage when the door opened, and he lead the last two laps to get his first and only CUP win.  Finishing second through fourth was Gober Sosebee, Herschel Buchanan, and Tim Flock. Pop McGinnis managed to limp home on his broken wheel to finish fifth. This would be one of only two career top 5 finishes for McGinnis.  This was also the first of 8 starts for Tim Flocks co-pilot (monkey) Jocko Flocko.

1958 – Shorty Rollins would make his first career CUP start at Champion Speedway in Fayetteville, NC.  It was a 150 lap race on the 1/3 mile dirt oval.  Rollins would start eight but fall out with motor problems after 62 laps; winning $45.  Bob Welborn lead 74 laps to take the win.  The rest of the top five was Frankie Schneider, Speedy Thompson, Curtis Turner, and Eddie Pagan.

1965 – Mike Bliss' birthday

1981 – Mark Martin would make his first career CUP start at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, NC.  Dave Marcis won the pole with Dale Earnhardt Sr starting outside.  Marcis lead all but 20 of the first 131 laps, before Bobby Allison grabbed the lead.  Allison lead 186 of the next 260 laps, but finished second to Richard Petty.  Darrell Waltrip finished third followed by Dave Marcis and Harry Gant.  Martin would have great qualifying run and start fifth… but his race would not go as well.  Martin finished 27th as the rear end went out on his car at about the mid-point.  This would also be Richard Petty’s last career short track win.  – On this date we lost lost Lee Petty - 54 time race winner; three time CUP Champion; Daytona 500 winner, died of stomach cancer. He was the Father of Richard Petty, and Grand Father of Kyle Petty.

2008 – Newcomer Michael McDowell crashes his #00 Aaron's Toyota in qualifying at Texas.  The car rolled numerous times and forced the replacement of 28 feet of SAFER barrier.  McDowell escaped injury.

4-6

1923 – Dick Linder’s birthday

1923 – Herb Thomas’ birthday

1934 – Ramo Stott's birthday

1952 – This race held at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA would see Dick Rathman win his first career CUP race.  Rathman started 9th in his Hudson Hornet.  Buck Baker won the pole and led the first 29 laps, then he broke a hub and fell out of the race.  From there Tim Flock, and Curtis Turner swapped the lead.  Rathman took the lead for the first time less than 20 laps from the end, and held it to the checkers.  Bill Blair finished second, followed by Perk Brown, Lee Petty, and Bobby Courtwright.  This would be Brown and Courtwright's best career CUP finishes.

1955 – Ken Bouchard's birthday - an American former NASCAR driver.  His brother Ron Bouchard was the 1981 Rookie of the Year and one-time Winston Cup Series race winner.

1986 – Rusty Wallace would win both his first and last career CUP races in the month of April.  On this date he would get his first career CUP win in his Alugard sponsored Pontiac owned by Raymond Beadle.  He started 14th at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol TN. in the 500 lap race.  Geoff Bodine and Neil Bonnett would start on the front row.  Bonnett would crash out of the event on lap 74, and Bodine would blow a motor on lap 238.  Wallace would take the lead for the first time on lap 240, and lead 60 laps.  Wallace lead again for the final 100 laps to take the win.  Ricky Rudd, Darrell Waltrip, Harry Gant, and Bill Elliott would round out the top 5.

1997 – Texas Motor Speedway would host it’s first ever CUP race.  The Interstate Batteries 500.  The front row consisted of Dale Jarrett, and Jeff Gordon.  The main story of the race was the track.  Many drivers crashed coming off of turn #4 onto the front quad-oval.  At least 9 cars crashed out of the race, with several other receiving damage because of the narrow exit coming off of the fourth turn.  The owners of the track spent millions of dollars to move the front stretch wall back before the next race, and make the race surface a lane wider.  With so many cars making contact with the fourth turn wall, the lead changed often.  As the race wound down to it’s conclusion, Todd Bodine was driving the Rick Hendrick owned Budweiser Chevy.  Bodine was filling in for injured driver Ricky Craven.  On lap 276 of the 334 lap race, Jeff Burton spun out Bodine as he was leading, crashing him and Bodine finished 25th.  Burton went on to lead all the remaining laps and win the race.  This was Burton's first career CUP win. Burton was followed across the finish line by Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, and Ricky Rudd. It was ironic that the “Exide Batteries” sponsored Ford won the Interstate Batteries 500.

4-7

1927 – George Elliott's birthday - While he may be best known as the father of NASCAR champion brothers Bill, Ernie and Dan Elliott and the grandfather to up and coming stock car racer Chase Elliott, those who knew him say he was the epitome of a hard worker and a fine gentleman.  George owned a Ford dealership and a speed shop, and from that worked his way into racing.  While he succeeded on the short tracks in north Georgia, including a stint as part owner of Jefco Speedway in Jefferson, Georgia (now known as Gresham Motorsports Park) he had his eyes placed firmly on NASCAR and getting into the higher ranks of racing.  George made a big push into Sprint Cup competition in 1974, as fellow Dawsonville native Charles Barrett piloted the #09 Ford in four races while family friend and future Georgia Racing Hall of Famer Jody Ridley drove Elliott’s Ford in one event.  George’s son, Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott, made his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Rockingham in 1976 driving the famed #9 car.  Also in 1976, Former Formula 1 and Sports Car start David Hobbs, who would go on to become a world renowned race announcer, ran a Coca-Cola sponsored #9 Ford owned by Elliott at Michigan, where he placed 17th.  From 1977 through 1981, George would have no other driver in his Sprint Cup effort other than his son, Bill.  After the 1981 season, George sold his team to Harry Melling, and the rest is history.  His sons would go on to become some of the most successful people in the sport of stock car racing, and he would continue to serve as the family patriarch.

1966 – Loy Allen’s birthday

1966 – David Pearson wins the 100-mile race at Columbia, S.C., as Ford announces its factory teams will boycott the NASCAR Grand National season in a dispute over engine rules.  – Junie Donlavey’s birthday (car owner) for such drivers as Tiny Lund, Speedy Thompson, Dick Brooks, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, David Pearson, Harry Gant, and Jody Ridley. He was an owner from 1950 - 2002.  His only win came at Dover with Jody Ridley at the wheel.  – This was the first race held at New Mobile Speedway. It was a ¾ mile track located in Mobile AL.  The event was for 150 laps (112.5 miles)  Red Harrelson won the pole, but would have problems early and finish 23rd in the 24 car field.  Tim Flock started on the outside of the front row, and would take the lead for the first 2 laps.  His brother Fonty Flock passed Tim and held him off for only two laps.  Tim retook the lead, and held it until the end.  Fonty made Tim ‘earn’ the win as he kept the pressure on, and Tim only won by ½ lap.  Herb Thomas finished third, followed by Bill Osborne, and Donald Thomas.  Osborne would only race in three CUP events, and this was his only top 5 finish.  This was the first CUP starts for Lloyd Dane and Dick Rathman.

1951 - This was the first race held at Carrell Speedway (and first race on the West coast).  It was a 200 lap race on a 1/2 mile dirt oval track located in Gardena CA.  Andy Pierce won the pole, and Marshall Teague started second.  Pierce would crash out of the race shortly after it started.  When the green flag waved, Teague jumped into the lead and would lead all 200 laps.  Teague was followed home by Johnny Mantz, George Seeger, Fred Steinbroner, and Erick Erickson.  This would also be the first CUP start for Dick Rathman, who finished 7th.  It would also be the best career finish for Steinbroner in his 8 career starts.  This was also the first career CUP start for Lloyd Dane.  Frank Mundy drove a rental car to an 11th-place finish, winning $25.  Mundy waited until after dark to return the car so the attendant wouldn't notice the bald tires.

1952 – Butch Mock’s birthday - team car owner with Bob Rahilly of the RahMoc race team.  Notable drivers were Neil Bonnett, Morgan Shepherd, and Dick Trickle.

1959 – Robert Pressley’s birthday

1968 – Matt Yocum’s birthday - TV Announcer

4-9

1961 - Fred Lorenzen would gain his first win in the Virginia 500 held at Martinsville.  Rex White would win the pole with Fred Lorenzen outside.  White would lead the first 118 laps before being bypassed by "Fast Freddie".  On lap 149 of the 500 lap event, the rains came.  Even thought the race had not reached the half way mark, the NASCAR officials decide to call the race official, and they added another race at the end of the season.  Lorenzen in his Holman-Moody Ford got the win, followed by White.  Third through fifth was Glen Wood, Emanual Zervakis, and Ned Jarrett.

1971 – Sophomore driver Benny Parsons scores his first career NASCAR CUP win by lapping the field in the 100-mile event at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.  Parsons' Ford finishes a lap ahead of runner-up Richard Petty.

1975 – Brian Pattie’s birthday - crew chief for such drivers as Juan Pablo Montoya, and Clint Bowyer. Pattie has four wins, three of them with Bowyer in 2012.

1978 – Jamie Little’s birthday - TV Announcer

2011 - David Starr would make his first career CUP start at Texas Motor Speedway.  Starr would start 33rd, but crash out after 122 laps and finish 38th.  David Ragan would put his UPS Ford on the pole with team mate Carl Edwards starting second.  Matt Kenseth led 169 laps and claimed the win.  Clint Bowyer was second, Edwards third, Greg Biffle fourth and Paul Menard finish fifth.  Ragan would finish seventh.  Starr ran four races in 2011, and to date that is all of his CUP races.  He had a best finish of 27th at Bristol.

4-10

1935 – Ken Squire’s birthday - TV Announcer

1944 – D.K. Ulrich’s birthday

1971 – Bobby Isaac drives his Dodge to a big win in the 100-mile NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.  The short-track event is televised live flag-to-flag by ABC Sports.

1971 – Lake Speed speeds to his first NASCAR Winston Cup triumph in Darlington Raceway's TranSouth 500.  Speed's Oldsmobile finishes a half-lap in front of runner-up Alan Kulwicki.

1980 – Kasey Kahne’s birthday

2010 – Ryan Newman breaks a 77 race winless streak win a win at the Subway Fresh Fit 600K in Phoenix.  It is his first win under the newly formed Stewart-Haas racing banner; and is the first time in history that a car carrying the #39 has won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

4-11

1920 – Al Keller’s birthday

4-12

1924 – Curtis Turner’s birthday

1952 – Buck Baker would win the pole, and go on to claim his first career CUP victory.  Baker lead the first 60 laps of the race, and didn’t lead again until the final 20 laps of the 200 lap event.  The race was at Columbia Speedway in Columbia SC on the ½ mile dirt oval.  The rest of the top 5 was; Lee Petty, Dick Rathman, Frankie Schneider, and Joe Eubanks.  This would be Marshall Teague's last career CUP start.  He would be the first out of the race with overheating problems.

1964 – Maurice Petty’s last Cup start came at Orange Speedway at Hillsboro, NC in the Joe Weatherly 150.  Most folks don't know that Maurice Petty even ran in CUP races, but he did compete in 26 events.  He did not have the success of his brother Richard, and hung up his helmet to concentrate on working on cars instead.  Petty would start eighth, but have transmission issues and finish 22nd.  Maurice would team up with cousin Dale Inman to lead Petty Enterprises to great success.

1970 – Pete Hamilton cruises to victory in the Alabama 500 at Talladega as ABC Sports televises the second half of the race live to a nationwide audience.  The network squeezes the three hour and 17 minute race into a 90-minute time slot.

1980 – Ricky Hendrick’s birthday

4-13

1931 – Dan Gurney’s birthday

1970 – Mike Ford’s birthday - crew chief - led such drivers as Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Marcos Ambrose, and Denny Hamlin.  He has 21 wins, 17 of those with Denny Hamlin.

1980 – David Pearson, making his first start in the Hoss Ellington Chevrolet, is out front when rain ­curtails the Rebel 500 at Darlington after 258 miles.  It is Pearson's 105th and final career NASCAR CUP victory.

4-14

1942 – Dick Brook’s birthday

1959 – Steve Byrnes’s birthday - TV Announcer

1964 – Tony Raines birthday

1996 – Terry Labonte ties Richard Petty's streak of 513 consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup starts, capping a perfect weekend by winning the First Union 400 from the pole. Chevrolets finish 1-2-3-4-5 in the race.

2002 – On this date we lost Buck Baker - 46 time race winner; two time CUP Champion; died of natural causes. Buck was the Father of Buddy Baker.

4-15

1962 – This would be the final career CUP start for Herb Thomas.  It would be 400 laps around the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro NC.  Thomas would start 23rd, and finish 14th in his 1962 Chevy.  Junior Johnson started on the pole, and Joe Weatherly would join him on the front row.  Richard Petty would lead 142 of the of the 400 laps.  Fred Lorenzen finished second with Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts and Darel Dieringer rounding out the top five.

1971 – This was the final CUP race held at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, TN.  It was a .520 mile paved track and was a distance of 200 laps.  This was the first career pole by Friday Hassler.  Richard Petty started on the outside of the front row.  Hassler grabbed the lead at the drop of the green, and held onto it for 52 laps.  Petty led from laps 53-139.  Benny Parson led briefly from laps 140-153; then Petty re-assumed the lead and raced to the win.  Parsons kept the pressure on Petty, as he only won by 8 seconds.  Parsons finished second followed by Friday Hassler, Elmo Langley, and Dick Brooks.  There would be 12 races held at this track. Petty won 6 of them.

4-16

1918 – Bob Flock’s birthday

1950 – This race held at Langhorne Speedway would be the first start for Jimmy Florian.  Tim Flock started on the pole with Len Brown next to him.  Curtis Turner would wheel his 1950 Eanes Motor Company Oldsmobile to the win.  Lloyd Moore would finish second with Jimmy Florian, Tim Flock, and Lee Petty rounding out the top five.  This was Flocks first career pole.

1967 – This race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in NC would be the final CUP win for Darel Dieringer; and he would make it a convincing one.  Dieringer would win the pole, and at the start of the event he jumped into the lead.  From that point on he drove away from the field, and lead all 400 laps – he lapped the field twice in the process… and won despite running out of gas on the last lap in turn number 4, and had to coast across the finish line.  The rest of the top 5 was Cale Yarborough, Dick Hutcherson, Jim Paschal, and Paul Lewis.

1972 – David Pearson slips past Richard Petty with 93 laps to go and speeds to victory in the Rebel 400 at Darlington Raceway.  It is Pearson's first start with the famed Wood Brothers Mercury team.

1989 – Dale Earnhardt runs away from Alan Kulwicki to win the First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro Speed­way as the new Goodyear radial tire makes its NASCAR's  Cup debut.   "The more I drove on them, the better I liked the radials," said the winner.

2000 – Jeff Gordon comes from the 36th starting position, takes the lead six laps from the finish, and wins the DieHard 500 at Talladega for his 50th career victory.

4-17

1955 – This was the inaugural event held at Montgomery Speedway in Montgomery AL.  The track was a ½ mile dirt oval, and race distance was 200 laps.  Jim Paschal won the pole and Buck Baker started on the front row also.  Paschal took the lead at the opening and held it for 9 laps.  Tim Flock would lead from lap 10 to lap 175.  Herb Thomas took the lead from Flock and held it until he burned a piston and fell out on lap 190.  Flock retook the lead, and maintained it to the checkers.  Flock was followed across the line by Joel Million, Fonty Flock, Curtis Turner, and Herb Thomas.  This would be Millions best career finish in his 19 career starts.

1957 – Tony Glover’s birthday - an American race mechanic, crew chief, and manager.  He has won the Daytona 500 three times as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  He is the son of former NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion Gene Glover.  Glover won 24 races as a crew chief including the 1991 Daytona 500 with Ernie Irvan, and with Sterling Marlin in 1994 -1995.

1960 – Wilson Speedway hosted this event on their ½ mile dirt oval.  It would be the last CUP race held at the North Carolina track.  Emanuel Zervakis won the pole for this race,.. and jumped into the lead, and led the entire race.  After the race Joe Weatherly asked the race officials to check Zervakis’ gas tank.  They checked and it was found to be over the allowed size.  Zervakis was disqualified, and Weatherly declared the winner.  The official order of finish was Weatherly, Lee Petty, Tom Pistone, Rex White, and Buck Baker.

1965 – This race would be Dick Hutcherson’s first career win.  It was held at the ½ mile dirt oval of Greenville-Pickens Speedway.  Bud Moore started on the pole, and Hutcherson along side. Hutcherson would lead the first 38 laps.  Moore would get by for 9 laps,.. and when Hutcherson passed him back,.. he would set sail for the checkers leading the final 152 laps.  Ned Jarrett would finish second, with Buddy Baker, Moore, and Fred Harb rounding out the top 5.  Hutcherson would run 52 of the 55 races in 1965, and finished second in the final series standings behind Ned Jarrett.

1981 - On this date we lost Johnny Beauchamp.  He is best known for finishing second in the 1959 Daytona 500 in a photo finish after being declared the unofficial winner.

2011 – The Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway would be the last CUP start for Steve Park.  Driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing Park would start 33rd but fall out after four laps and finish 41st.  Jeff Gordon would start first, alongside his teammate Jimmy Johnson.  The race had a whopping 88 lead changes among 26 different drivers.  There were two separate crashed that took out several top name drivers.  Among them were Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, and Denny Hamlin.  The last six laps saw five different drivers lead one lap each.  First it was Dave Blaney, then Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Edwards again, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson.  The top eight drivers took the checkered flag nose to tail four cars wide.  Jeff Gordon would push his teammate Johnson to slip by Bowyer to get the win by .002 seconds.  Bowyer's teammate, Kevin Harvick would try to push him across the line, but just came up short.  A tie for the closest finish in CUP history.  All four of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top eight position; with Gordon winning, Johnson third, Dale Earnhardt Jr fourth, and Mark Martin eighth.  In 2001 Park was badly injured in a Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway.  Under a yellow flag Park's steering wheel came off causing the car to veer to the left.  Just by chance Larry Foyt had made a late pit stop, and was coming up the inside lane to position himself for the restart.  He T-boned Parks car.  The severity of the crash caused a massive brain injury as well as several broken ribs.  Park was left with noticeably slurred speech as a result of the accident, but came back to run some more CUP races over the next ten years.  Many folks contend that Park never fully recovered from this injury.  In 2002 Park had another vicious crash, this time at Pocono.  He spun out coming off of turn #1, and crash heavily into the inside barrier, and flipped over. From 2002-2009 Park raced in lower division series.  Competing in the NASCAR Truck series, the K&N Series, In 2010 and 2011 Park drove a few events for Tommy Baldwin.  This event was the final event, and he has not returned to a NASCAR event since.

4-18

1949 – Geoff Bodine’s birthday

1960 – Racing at Bowman-Gray stadium in Winston-Salem NC, Glenn Wood would pick up his first career CUP win.  Bowman-Gray was a ¼ mile paved track with a race distance of 200 laps.  Wood was the class of the field this day as he had the pole, led all 200 laps, and won the race.  Rex White finished second, and was the only car able to stay on the lead lap with Wood.  Jimmy Massey finished third, Richard Petty was fourth, and Ned Jarrett was fifth.

1999 – This would be John Andretti’s final CUP win of his career.  He won two races, and this one was with Petty Enterprises.  Tony Stewart won the pole and started on the front row.  It would be Stewart's first career pole.  Mark Martin started alongside.  The top 24 qualifiers broke the track record.  Andretti would spin out twice in the race, and at one point be a lap behind, but didn’t have any damage.  Andretti would never lead all day until he passed Jeff Burton with 4 laps to go.  Andretti ran the entire second ½ of the race on a single set of left side tires.

2004 - This would be Rusty Wallace’s final career CUP win.  The race was at Martinsville, VA at Martinsville Speedway.  Jeff Gordon would start on the pole, and seemed to be the class of the field leading 180 of the first 280 laps.  Dale Earnhardt would also be very strong as he led 150 laps.  A pot hole developed in turns one and two during the race, and Gordon struck a large piece that messed up his front aerodynamics. Jimmy Johnson led from laps 410 to lap 455 when Wallace took the lead and drove to the win.  Bobby Labonte had a very strong car at the end of the race and was tracking down Rusty quickly, he got slowed down coming through lapped traffic or he might have caught Rusty making for an exciting finish.  Labonte finished second, followed by Earnhardt Jr., Jimmy Johnson, and Ryan Newman.  Wallace was always great getting around the small short track bull rings. 25 of his 55 CUP wins came on short tracks.  He was the 1989 CUP Champion.

4-19

1942 – Jack Roush’s birthday - Car owner; he currently owns the CUP cars of Ricky Stenhouse, Trevor Bayne.  In the past he has been the owner of CUP Champion Matt Kenseth, and champion Kurt Busch.

1943 - Robert Yates birthday

1953 – This was the first race held at the Richmond Fairgrounds Speedway in Richmond, VA.  The track was a ½ mile dirt track, and the race distance was 200 laps.  Buck Baker won the pole.  Lee Petty would win the opening event on this date. Dick Rathman finished second, followed by Buck Baker, Dick Passwater, and Bill Blair. Petty received $1,000 for winning the event.  Richmond was reconfigured to a ¾ d shaped oval in 1988.  Davey Allison would win the first race under the new configuration.  Neil Bonnet won the last race under the old .542 mile configuration.

1959 - On this date we lost Dick Linder.  During a USAC Champ Car event at Trenton Speedway, Linder tried to avoid hitting Don Branson, who was spinning in front of him.  His racer crashed through the guard rail and rolled over once, landing on its wheels.  Linder, who was 36 years old, died of a broken neck

1978 – Kevin Grubb’s birthday

4-20

1958 – This would be the final CUP start for Dick Beaty.  Beaty only ran 38 races in his career, and posted one top five.  His final race would come at Martinsville.  He would start 42nd, and move up to finish 22nd.  Buck Baker would win the pole and lead the first lap.  From there Glen Wood would head the field for the next 138 circuits.  Meanwhile Bob Welborn had been working his way through the field from his 20th starting position.  He took the lead on lap 198 and headed the field for the next 100 laps.  Wood would lead again briefly, but have issues that relegated him to a 10th place finish, 26 laps behind.  Welborn would lead the final 174 laps to get the win.  Second place finisher Rex White kept the pressure in Welborn, as he finished just 12 car lengths behind.  The rest of the top five was Jim Reed, Whitey Norman, and Marvin Panch.  Beaty is more well known for his service to NASCAR after his driving career.  Beaty had been a part time inspector for NASCAR since 1958.  In 1980 he became NASCAR's director of competition.  As the organization's "top cop," he was seen by drivers and crew chiefs as fair and knowledgable.  Beaty retired in at the end of the 1992 season and was replaced by Gary Nelson, his personally selected successor.  We would lose Beaty on 11/30/1998.

1977 – Frankie Stodard’s birthday - crew chief for Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Boris Said, Terry Labonte, and Ken Schrader.  A crew chief since 1998-2013 Stoddard claims 14 wins; all coming in the first four years of his career and coming with Jeff Burton.

4-21

1967 – Greg Zippadella’s birthday - Greg Zipadelli - an American crew chief in NASCAR.  He is currently (an of 2015) the competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing.  Zipadelli is most notable for being the crew chief of the #20 The Home Depot car for Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Tony Stewart and Joey Logano from 1999 to 2011.  He has won 34 races and two championships in 2002 and 2005 as a crew chief for Stewart.

1996 – Stacy Compton would make his first CUP start here Goody's Headache Powder 500 here at Martinsville Speedway.  Compton would qualify a surprising ninth, but he had brake failure after 350 laps, and was done for the day.  Compton's entry in this race was almost a surprise to him.  His crew told Compton they were going "to move up to the next level."  Compton thought they meant a higher late model series, he was quite surprised when he found out the higher level race car was a Cup car.  The race saw Ricky Craven get his first CUP pole driving the Kodiak car for Larry Hedrick.  He ran well and finished 12th.  The last 120 laps was a barn burner as on only two occasions did a driver lead 12 or more consecutive laps.  It was a battle royal between Terry, Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Sr, and Ernie Irvan.  Gordon was leading with 12 laps to go when Wallace managed to muscle his 'Blue Deuce' by Gordon and go on for the win.  Irvan came home second, followed by Gordon, Jeremy Mayfield, and Earnhardt.  Labonte had brake issues with 20 laps to go and came in 24th.

2015 – Steve Byrnes dies - Steve was born April 14, 1959, in Chicago, and enjoyed a successful and highly respected television broadcasting career for 30 years. He joined the FOX Sports family in 2001, hosting and reporting for multiple NASCAR programs and serving as a pit road reporter for NASCAR on FOX's broadcast of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 2001-2014. Most recently, he was the play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports 1 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and was co-host of NASCAR Race Hub for the network.

4-22

1928 – Ray Keech would run the "Measured Mile" on the fast, flat, hard-packed sands of Daytona Beach.  He would wheel the 81-liter triple-engined internal combustion White Triplex 'Spirit of Elkdom'.  He set a new speed record when he tied two runs together and posted an average speed of over 207 mph.  When he climbed out of the ill handling car he vowed never to get back in it.  He is also know for winning the 1929 Indy 500.

1951 – Arizona State Fairgrounds would host it’s first CUP race.  The speedway was located in Phoenix, AZ, and was a one mile dirt oval.  Fonty Flock started on the pole, and would lead the first 14 laps.  Marshall Teague would work his way around Flock and take the lead on lap 15.  He held it until lap 73 when Flock retook the lead.  Seven laps later Teague would repass Flock, and go on to win the 150 lap event.  Erick Erickson finished second, Tim Flock third, Fonty Flock fourth, and Dick Meyer was fifth . This would be Erickson’s best career finish in his 25 starts.

1956 – Fred Lorenzen would make his first career start at Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, PA.  The track was a one mile dirt oval, and was 150 laps distance.  Lorenzen would start 39th in the 41 car field, and go on to finish 36th.  He would fall out at mid race with fuel pump issues. Buck Baker would start on the pole, and lead 109 of the 150 laps on his way to the win.  Herb Thomas would finish second.  Both drivers were driving Carl Kiekhaefer owned 1956 Chryslers.  Tim Flock, Lee Petty, and Jimmy Massey would round out the top five.  This would also be the final CUP start for Donald Thomas.  Thomas would start 41st, and work his way up to 29th before his motor expired.

1990 – Brett Bodine would get his only CUP win here at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, NC.  Bodine drove the #26 Quaker State Buick owned by Kenny Bernstein.  Bodine started the race 20th, and had a competitive car all day.  By lap 187 Bodine had worked his way up and took the lead.  He would hold it for the next 60 laps.  Dale Earnhardt Sr. would lead from laps 250-314, and Bodine would take the lead back and lead the remainder of the event.  Darrell Waltrip would finish second less than one second behind, followed by Earnhardt, Ricky Rudd, and Morgan Shepherd.  This would be Kenny Wallace’s first career CUP start.  Wallace started 28th, but crashed out on lap 315 of the 400 lap event, and finished 26th.

2001 – This date would mark the day that Bobby Hamilton Sr would win his final career CUP race.  Stacy Compton won the pole, and led the first two laps.  He was one of only three cars that fell out of the race; when his motor expired on lap #3.  The race was ran from Green to checkers without a yellow.  There were 26 different leaders, and 36 lead changes.  Hamilton led one lap about ½ way, and didn’t take the lead again until he passed Tony Stewart coming to the white flag, and held on for the win.  Hamilton gives team owner Andy Petree his first career NASCAR Winston Cup victory here in the Talladega 500.  Hamilton wins the caution-free race at a sizzling average speed of 184.003 mph.

4-23

1945 – Skip Manning's birthday - He competed in seventy-nine Winston Cup events in his career, spanning from 1975 to 1979.  Manning won the rookie-of-the-year award in 1976.  His best finish a 3rd at the Talladega Super speedway in 1977.

2005 – This would be Clint Bowyer's first CUP start.  Bowyer drove the Sylvania sponsored Chevy, owned by Richard Childress.  He qualified 25, and finished 22nd one lap down.  Kurt Busch started second and led 219 of the 312 laps to get the win in the Subway Frash 500.  Michael Waltrip was second, follow by Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers.  This is the first night race at Phoenix International Raceway. It is also the first spring date for Phoenix, in addition to its usual late-season race.

2009 – NASCAR announces that the NASCAR Awards Ceremony will move to Las Vegas after 28 years in New York.

4-24

1977 – Paul Wolfe's birthday - Crew chief for Brad Keselowski when he won the 2012 CUP Championship.  Keselowski and Wolfe teamed up in the Xfinity series and moved to CUP together.  Keselowski is the only driver Wolfe had even crew chiefed for.

1969– Hermie Sadler’s birthday

4-25

1954 – Gober Sosebee would win his final career CUP race at Central City speedway in Macon GA.  It was a ½ mile dirt oval with a race distance of 200 laps.  Dick Rathman started on the pole, but Al Keller would lead 95 of the 200 laps.  Sosebee would pass Keller with 31 laps to go and hold on for the win with Rathman finishing second.  Jim Paschal finished third, with Keller and Curtis Turner fourth and fifth.  Sosebee was known as “The Wild Indian”, and there are some very interesting stories about him.

1958 – This was the first CUP race held at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, VA.  It was a 3/8 mile paved track and was a distance of 150 laps.  Eddie Pagan won the pole, with Rex White starting along side.  Frankie Schneider would lead 108 of the 150 laps, and go on to claim his only career CUP win.  Jack Smith finished second followed by Rex White, Lee Petty, and Johnny Allen.

1965 – This would mark the final CUP start for Curtis “Crawfish” Crider.  Crider started his career in 1959.  He posted 14 top 5, and 70 top 10 finishes in his 232 starts.  The final start would be at Martinsville Speedway.  Curtis would qualify 15th, and after having crankshaft problems, he finished 17th.

1982 – on this date we’d see Harry Gant; a bridesmaid for his entire career, finally hits the jackpot by winning the Virginia National Band 500 to collect his first career CUP win.  The race was on the ½ mile Martinsville Speedway.  Terry Labonte would start on the pole, and Benny Parsons would start beside him.  Labonte would lead the first 65 laps, but would fall out at the ½ way point with motor problems.  Parsons day was worse as he broke a timing chain and fell out on lap 40.  Butch Lindley started 14th, but worked his way up and into the lead by lap 130, and lead for a 70 lap stretch.  Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, and Ricky Rudd all took turns on the point.  Harry Gant took the lead on lap 320 and led to about lap 340.  Lindley retook the lead, and led for about 15 laps.  Gant would retake the lead on lap 357, and lead the final 43 laps to collect his first career win. B utch Lindley finished second and this would be his best career CUP finish, and only top 5 in his career.  The rest of the top 5 was Neil Bonnett, Rudd, and Waltrip.

1993 – Alex Bowman's birthday

2004 – Eric McClure makes his first CUP start here at Talladega Speedway in the Aaron's 499.  McClure would start 35th, and finish on the lead lap in 26th.  McClure is the son of Larry McClure, owner of Morgan-McClure Motorsports with Tim Morgan.  Driving his Wood Brother's MotorCraft Ford; Ricky Rudd would win the pole, just edging out Michael Waltrip.  There was 54 lead changes, but the race finished under yellow as Brian Vickers crashed in turn #4 with three laps to go.  Jeff Gordon would get the win, followed by Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Robby Gordon.

4-26

1959 – This was the second and final event held at Reading Fairgrounds in Reading PA.  It was a 200 lap race on a ½ mile dirt track.  Lee Petty got the lead when the green flag flew.  He lead the first 188 laps and looked to be in total control.  On lap 189 he broke an axle and would be done for the day.  Junior Johnson took over at the point, and would win the event.  Johnson won by 4 laps over Speedway Thompson.  He was followed by Tom Pistone, Tommy Irwin, and Buzz Woodward.

1981 – This would be the first of four career CUP wins for Morgan Shepherd.  Shepherd drove to an upset win in the Virginia 500, giving the Pontiac nameplate its first NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National win since 1963.  The race was held at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA.  Shepherd would start 12th and by lap 63 he had worked himself into the lead, and led the next 90 laps.  Shepherd took the lead again on lap 387 and led until the checkered flag.  He led a total of 203 laps.  Neil Bonnett finished second.  After sharing the front row, Ricky Rudd, and Harry Gant finished third and fourth; Terry Labonte finished fifth.

1998 – This date we would see Dennis Setzer make his first CUP start.  It would be at Talladega in the Diehard 500.  Setzer would drive a car owned by Bill Elliott, and sponsored by McDonald's McRib.  In the eight CUP events he raced this would be his beat career finish.  The race only had 19 lead changes as Terry and Bobby Labonte led 148 of the 188 laps.  'The big one' came with 40 laps to go.  Contenders involved were Dale Earnhardt Sr., Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd, Bobby Hamilton.  In all 20 cars were collected.  Terry Labonte led 22 laps before brother Bobby swept by with two laps to go to grab the win.  Terry would get shuffled back in the pack with Jimmy Spencer finishing second.  Dale Jarrett would be third with Terry fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth.

2009 – Brad Keselowski would get his first CUP win here in the Aaron's 499 held at Talladega Speedway.  This would be only Keselowski's fifth career CUP start.  The race saw 57 lead changes among 24 drivers.  "The Big One" came early in this race.  Only eight laps into the race, a crash occurred that involved 14 cars piled up in a wad in turn #3.  Among them were Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler, Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer.  Still, even without these drivers, the battle up front was fierce.  With just seven laps to go, they had another "big one".  Involved were Martin Truex, Denny Hamlin, Jeremy Mayfield, Jimmy Johnson, and Michael Waltrip.  The last five laps saw Ryan Newman take the lead on the restart.  Carl Edwards took the lead as the white flag waved.  Close behind was Brad Keselowski.  Coming to the checkered flag Keselowski tried to slingshot by Edwards in the tri-oval.  Edwards moved down to block Keselowski, but Brad already had a fender up along side.  Edwards spun, and flew into the outside wall.  After bouncing off the catch fence he collided with Newman as he came off the fence, crashing into Newman's windshield.  Keselowski claimed the win, with Dale Earnhardt Jr, finishing second.  The rest of the top five was Newman, Marcos Ambrose and Scott Speed.  Edwards would finish 24th.  In his usual good natured status, he would climb from his car and jog across the finish line.

4/27

1958 - Jim Reed would get the first of his seven career CUP wins here at Old Bridge Stadium in NJ.  Reed won the pole and led all 187 laps of the race.  It was called at that point due to rain, and Reed won by over a lap.  Eddie Pagan finished second with the rest of the top five being Rex White, Frankie Schneider, and Elmo Langley.  Reed would claim four wins in 1958, and the other three in 1959.

1986 - Mike Skinner would make his first CUP start here at Martinsville Speedway.  Skinner would qualify 27th, and finish 22nd in his Pontiac.  Tim Richmond won the pole and Darrell Waltrip started along side.  Waltrip would blow a motor and fall out at lap 241, finishing 27th.  Ricky Rudd would win the race, followed by Joe Ruttman, Terry Labonte, Alan Kulwicki, and Kyle Petty.  This was Kulwicki’s first CUP top five finish.  It was also the first top 10 finish for Derrick Cope, and the last top 10 for Jody Ridley.  This race also marked the first blown motor for Bill Elliott in over three years.

1990 – Austin Dillon’s birthday

2003 – This would be the date of Jerry Nadeau's last CUP start.  It would come at Fontana Ca., in the Auto Club 500.  Nadeau would start sixth, complete all 250 laps, and finish 14th.  Steve Park would win the pole, but crash on lap #1.  Tony Stewart had a strong car as he led 100 of the first 116 laps.  But on lap 128 he blew a motor and was done for the day, finishing 41.  With less than 20 laps to go, there was a big crash in turn #3.  It included the cars of Dale Jarrett, Jeremy Mayfield, Kyle Petty, Joe Nemechek and three others.  The race restarted with 13 laps to go, Kurt Busch would grab the lead away from Jamie McMurray and go on to take the win.  Bobby Labonte finished second, followed by Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott and Jamie McMurray.  The following race Nadeau would crash in practice.  He spun going into turn #1 and hit drivers side first.  He responded to his crew before falling unconscious, he had to be cut out of his car.  Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, and several broken ribs.  He has not been able to return to racing since.  Nadeau had one CUP win in his brief career.

4-28

1957 – This was the first race held at Greensboro Speedway in Greensboro, NC.  The track was a 1/3 mile dirt track, and the ran 250 laps.  Buck Baker won the pole, and Paul Goldsmith started along side.  Baker jumped out into the lead at the drop of the green and lead the first 35 laps.  Goldsmith took the lead and led for the next 100 laps.  Baker retook the lead on lap 136, and led until lap 172.  On lap 173 Goldsmith took the lead for the final time, and held on to collect the checkers.  Jack Smith finished second, with Baker , Ralph Moody, and Fireball Roberts rounding out the top 5.  

2002 – Jimmy Johnson would win his first CUP race at California Speedway in Fontana, CA.  With his win, Johnson would collect a $176,000 paycheck.  Kurt Busch finished second, while Ricky Rudd, Bill Elliott and Mark Martin rounded out the top 5.  Dale Earnhardt Jr's 2002 season was crippled in this race also.  With 25 laps to go, Dale Jr. was racing with Kevin Harvick, when Kevin had a flat tire.  Harvick tried to make it to pit road but got into Dale Jr's right rear and slammed him driver's side into the wall.  Junior slammed the wall at 130 mph.  At first he said he had a bruised ankle.  But 5 months later, he admitted he had a mild concussion and didn't tell anyone about it.  This lead to a new NASCAR policy where all drivers had to be medically cleared after an accident, before they would be allowed to compete in the next event.  Greg Biffle made his first CUP start at California Speedway in Fontana CA.  Biffle had a respectable finish coming home 13th, just one lap down.

4-29

1951 – Dale Earnhardt Sr’s birthday

1962 – The 1962 Volunteer 500 held at Bristol International speedway would be Bobby Johns last win.  Fireball Roberts started on the pole, with Fred Lorenzen joining him on the front row.  Roberts would lead the first 61 laps, and Lorenzen would fall out with a blown motor on lap 61.  Bobby Johns would assume the lead on lap 62, and would lead 430 of the races 500 laps.  Only Richard Petty would lead any laps after Johns took the lead.  Petty would lead twice for a total of nine laps.  Johns would go on to win by 6 laps.  Roberts finished second behind Johns, with Jack Smith, Ned Jarrett, and Tom Cox rounding out the top 5.

1963 – Chad Little's birthday - a former NASCAR driver.  Little ran 217 races in the CUP series over a 16 year span with a best finish of 16th.  As of 2015 Little currently works as NASCAR Director of the Camping World Truck Series.

1984 – Racing at Martinsville Speedway in the Sovran Bank 500, Geoff Bodine would collect his first CUP win driving the NorthWestern Security Life Chevy.  It would also be the first CUP win for car owner Rick Hendrick.  Joe Ruttman won the pole, and Harry Gant started along side.  Ruttman got the lead at the start, but Bobby Allison muscled his machine by and into the lead on lap 46 and led for all but one of the next 170 laps.  Geoff Bodine would take the lead, but only for 5 laps before Allison took it back.  Bodine never held the lead again until 50 laps to go.  He took the lead and held off Ron Bouchard for a six second win.  Darrell Waltrip finished third, Allison fourth, and Neil Bonnett fifth.  This would be the first career CUP start for Dale Jarrett.

4-30

1963 – Michael Waltrip’s birthday

1963 – Andy Hillenburg’s birthday

1966 – Richard Petty dominates the Rebel 400 at Darlington, finishing three laps ahead of runner-up Paul Goldsmith.  The Ford boycott has a telling effect on the attendance as only 7000 spectators show up, plus 5000 Boy Scouts, who are admitted free.

1975 – Elliott Sadler’s birthday

1993 – Max Gresham’s birthday