NOTE### - any date in PINK and BOLD is an event pre-NASCAR - but is associated to bringing about the sport of NASCAR
1941 - Jap Brogton wins the Lloyd Seay Memorial race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta. This was the final stock car race before World War II.
1953 - Larry Pearson's birthday.
2007 - Bruton Smith buys New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. The purchase gives Smith's Speedway Motorsports, Inc., seven tracks and 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup dates.
2008 - In the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski would make his first Cup start. He would drive the GoDaddy.com sponsored car driving for Rick Hendrick. After starting 37th, he would drive his car to a respectable 19th place finish. Jeff Gordon would win the pole, and Martin Truex would start second. The race would see 16 lead changes among nine drivers. Carl Edwards would lead large chunks of the race, but it would be fuel mileage that his Roush/Yates motor that got him the win. When everyone had to stop late in the race for a splash of fuel, Edwards was able to stretch his fuel and make it to the checkered flag to get the win. Jeff Gordon would come home second, with Jamie McMurray third, Clint Bowyer fourth, and Greg Biffle. Jack Roush would have a great day as car owner as his drivers finished first, third and fifth.
1952 - Greg Sack's birthday.
1957 - In another of the 'odd' quirks of the olden age of NASCAR racing, this race held on November 3rd would officially be the FIRST race of the 1958 Cup season. There would be three races before 1958 rolled in. This would be the first race held at Champion Speedway in Fayetteville, NC; a .333 mile paved bull ring. Jack Smith would win the pole, but Possum Jones would jump into the lead and hold it for the first 28 laps. Smith would then wrestle the lead away from Jones and hold the lead for the next 177 laps. Just as it looked like he would cruise to the victory, he crashed with five laps to go. Rex White was there to pounce, and grab the lead and the checkers. He would win by 1/2 lap over Lee Petty, the rest of the top five was Tiny Lund, Gwyn Staley, and Jimmy Massey. Jones would finish sixth, and Smith seventh. This would be the first career win for White.
1958 - Derrick Cope's birthday.
1963 - The Golden state 400 held at Riverside International Raceway would be the final race of a long 53 race schedule. Marvin Panch would win the pole, but he never had his car lead a lap as fourth place starter would jump into the lead at the end of the first lap. Dave MacDonald would take the lead on lap 22 and lead 91 of the next 64 circuits. Late in the race MacDonald lost third gear, and would be bypassed by Darel Dieringer who would lead the final 30 laps to claim his first win. MacDonald would manage to hang on and finish second, while Panch, Fireball Roberts and Junior Johnson rounded out the top five. This race was interesting because of the fact that USAC officials threaten to ban any of it's drivers competing, so Roger Penske, Rodger Ward, Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney skipped the race. Paul Goldsmith was the only USAC driver who competed, and he was suspended a year by USAC. Goldsmith took it to court. While losing the case, Goldsmith's lawsuit forced racing associations to allow driver interchange to avoid further legal action. This was also the first time a road course hosted the season finale. Joe Weatherly, who drives for nine different teams during the course of the season, is crowned the NASCAR Cup Champion.
1964 - Tony Gibson's birthday. (crew chief for such notable drivers as Steve Park, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick, and Jeff Gordon.
1968 - Cale Yarborough wins the season finale at Jefferson, Ga., as David Pearson is declared the NASCAR Cup Champion. Pearson finishes 126 points ahead of Bobby Isaac to secure his second title.
1985 - Bill Elliott rebounds with a victory in the Atlanta Journal 500 for his record-setting 11th super speedway win of the season. Elliott tops David Pearson's 1973 record of 10 super speedway wins in a season.
1991 - Davey Allison leads the final 60 laps and wins the Pyroil 500 at Phoenix. Rusty, Mike, and Kenny Wallace all compete in the race, the first triple brother act in NASCAR Cup racing since 1961.
2002 - Johnny Benson, Jr., posts his first NASCAR Cup victory in his 227th start by staving off Mark Martin's late surge at Rockingham. Benson leads the final 28 laps and gives the Read Morton-owned team its first NASCAR Cup win.
2013 - Parker Klingerman would make his first Cup start here in the AAA Texas 500. He would start, and have a respectable run finishing 18th. Jimmy Johnson had the strongest car to beat as he led 225 of the races 334 laps. The final 67 laps were run without a yellow, and Johnson's team mate Dale Earnhardt Jr was able to keep Johnson in sight, but couldn't manage to chase him down. Earnhardt would finish second, with Joey Logano third, Matt Kenseth fourth, and Kasey Kahne fifth.
2015 - NASCAR suspended Matt Kenseth for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano while leading the race at Martinsville. It was a controversial move because the race before Logano had spun out Kenseth while leading late in the race (and with Kenseth needing a win to advance to the next step of the Chase - Logano had already won to advance). NASCAR issued a statement that said "Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time," O'Donnell said in a statement. "The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race."
1947 - Bob Jenkin's birthday - TV announcer
1951 - Speedway Park located in Jacksonville FL would host it's first Cup race. It was a 200 laps race on a 1/2 mile dirt track. Herb Thomas would win the pole, and lead all 200 laps to get the win. The rest of the top five would be Jack Smith, Fonty Flock, Bill Snowden, and Frank Mundy.
1999 - Tony Stewart breezes to an easy 5.2-second victory over Bobby Labonte in the first NASCAR Cup event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is Stewart's third win of the season, the most victories for a rookie driver since 1965 when Dick Hutcherson won nine times.
1967 - The Western North Carolina 500 would be the final event for Dick Hutcherson. He would qualify fourth, run a good race and also finish fourth. He also went on to finish third in the points standings. He would remain at Holman & Moody as crew chief on David Pearson's 1968 & 1969 Championship cars. Bobby Allison won the pole, and would lead 262 laps in route to the win. The field was pretty spread out at the finish. The top three finishers were Allison, Richard Petty, and David Pearson; all finished on the lead lap. Hutcherson was 10 laps down, and Friday Hassler blew a motor with 21 laps to go, but still brought home a fifth place finish. Just for stats, John Sears finished sixth 87 laps behind; finishing ahead of Max Ledbetter who was still running. 30 cars started the race but there were only six cars running at the finish; with eighth place Doug Cooper finishing 150 laps behind.
1978 - The Dixie 500 at Atlanta International Speedway would be the site of Donnie Allison's final Cup win. Cale Yarborough won the pole with Bobby Allison along side. Buddy Baker led 151 of the races 328 laps, before blowing his motor less than 20 laps from the end. The race was full of controversy because of a NASCAR scoring error. With 37 laps to go Richard Childress blew a motor putting the race under caution; with Donnie Allison two laps down. Donnie raced the leaders back to the line and made up one lap. No one noticed that Donnie passed Dave and Petty on the restart and was running just ahead of them on the tail end of the lead lap when there was a crash with about 10 laps to go. The final restart was with three laps to go. Donnie restarted behind them and immediately passed both Dave and Petty to take the lead, but everyone in the place thought he was still a lap down. But when the drivers went to the cool down lap, the public address announcer announced Donnie Allison as the winner. Everyone in the press box was stunned. After that came the announcement that agreed came from the official scorers, that Petty was the winner. Everyone was confused. Petty was doing his winner interview when he got a phone call in the press box. After he hung up, Petty said "Guys. that's it. They say Allison is the winner." and he left the press box. Brian France, who was 16 years old at the time, was working in the scoring booth at the time, insisted that Allison was the winner. He was so convinced that he mentioned it to Hoss Ellington, Donnie Allison's car owner. Allison said that Brian France had told him that Allison's scorer was pulling for Petty and not paying attention to the race. Another re-check of the scoring card proved France was right. NASCAR President Bill France Jr (Brian's dad) came in and announced that yes NASCAR had made an embarrassing mistake and that Allison was officially the winner. That was the end of it. So after Allison was declared the winner the rest of the official finishing order was Petty, Marcis Dale Earnhardt Sr, and Benny Parsons. This would be the first top five finish for Earnhardt. Another interesting fact was that the first yellow was throw because some cars caught fire outside the track, and the fire trucks needed to get out of the infield to help battle the blaze.
1989 - This race occurred at Phoenix International Raceway. Bobby Hamilton got his start in the Cup circuit in an unusual way. Paramount Pictures was making a racing movie called "Days of Thunder". Rick Hendrick supplied Paramount with the camera cars to make movie footage. Hamilton was driving the Exxon Sponsored car; with Greg sacks wheeling the City Chevrolet car of Cole Trickle. Hamilton was running well and took the lead from Geoff Bodine on lap 209. Five laps after he took the lead going into turn three the engine let go, spraying oil and parts all over the track, ending his day and possibly a win. 43 cars started the race; but 15 more cars failed to qualify. Ken Schader would drive his Rick Hendrick Chevy to the pole and lead the early part of the race. Oddly enough the first yellow flew on lap 48 for a dog that had gotten away from someone in the infield and was lose on the back straight. Alan Kulwicki led the most laps, pacing the field for 96 circuits. During a long green flag run, cars started making green flag pit stops; when a yellow came out. Bill Elliott was leading when the yellow flew, but Darrell Waltrip beat him out of the pits and moved into the lead. When the final green flag flew, Elliott bypassed Waltrip after two laps and held off Terry Labonte to win by six car lengths. Mark Martin finished third, followed by Waltrip and Dale Jarrett.
2000 - Ryan Newman made his first start at Phoenix International Raceway in AZ. Newman would qualify well, rolling off in tenth spot; but his motor would expire after 176 laps where he finished 41st. Road racing ace Rusty Wallace would nab the pole, and Jeff Burton would start second. Both had stout cars when the green dropped, but Ricky Rudd and Jeremy Mayfield gave them a real battle. Jeff Burton led 105 of the 312 laps; but Wallace would lead 86, Mayfield 46 and Rudd 41. Rudd would be leading late in the race when back markers Mike Bliss and Rick Mast crashed together; and Rudd got caught up in it. He would end up running at the end after repairs, but would finish 37th. Mark Martin have the lead on the final restart coming with 11 laps to go. With five to go, Burton would move by and wrest the lead away from Martin. Martin had older tires than those behind him, and when Burton got by it opened up the flood gates for those with fresher times to get by also. Burton out-raced Mayfield by less than one second to grab the win. Steve Park had a great run finishing third, followed by Wallace, and Bobby Labonte. This would be the last cup race televised by TNN.
2005 - Tony Stewart wins the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It is Stewart's third win in the last six races, all during the Chase for the NASCAR Cup. Jimmie Johnson places second and takes the points lead.
2016 - This race would be the final Cup series win for Carl Edwards. While in the middle of his career; Edwards just decided during the off season between 2016 and 2017 he had enough of racing and was going to quit. He stated he wanted to spend more time with his family. He got with car owner Joe Gibbs and all the teams sponsors; got their blessings and retired unexpectedly. On this date we'd race at Texas Motor speedway on what was a long long night. The race start was delayed by over six hours. Austin Dillon won the pole and Joey Logano would line up along side. Edwards would roll off ninth. Due to wet conditions, the race started under green/yellow conditions. However when the green flag flew and racing was underway; Logano grabbed the lead and held it until the competition yellow on lap 30. David Ragan only changed two tires and got out of the pits first; but when the green flew again Logano went back to the point and led until pit stops started. A few different drivers led during the pit sequence; but Logano found him self back out front and remained there until lap 188. Martin Truex had a good car all night; and suddenly found his car handling better than Logano's and he took the lead. He'd lead 34 laps before being passed by Chase Elliott. Elliott was putting on a great performance this night as he was so sick he had to have I.V. fluids before the race; now here he finds himself leading. Truex would retake the lead as Carl Edwards was closing the gap. Once again we had green flag pit stops; and Edwards and Truex came into the pits door to door. Truex's crew got their work done fastest and when they returned to the track he was 2 1/2 seconds ahead of Edwards as sprinkles of rain began to fall. Edwards was able to run Truex down and take the lead with about 70 laps to go. The rain quit until about lap 290 when it began again and the yellow flew again. This time in a matter of moments the skies unleashed and it was pouring. The cars all came to pit road and within just a few minutes the race was called official. Edwards was out front and Logano had been running second and closing. Truex ended up third while Elliott and Kyle Busch made up the rest of the top five. Carl Edwards had always done a back flip after every one of his race wins. But this time he decided against it (supposedly because of the wet conditions). Kind of ironic that his last win is the only time he never did the back flip. For his career Edwards garnered 28 Cup wins and finished second in the points on two occasions. He also collected 38 Xfinity wins; the Xfinity Championship in 2007 and was second four other years. He also won six times in the Truck Series. He also was the 2003 Truck series Rookie of the Year; 2005 Xfinity series Rookie of the Year; and 2007 Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver. He won the Coke 600 and Southern 500 in 2015.
1977 - Atlanta International Raceway would be the site of GC Spencer's final cup start. He would start 34th, and bring his Lady & Son Auction Dodge home 25th. Sam Sommers would win his only cup pole and led the first 23 laps. Like Spencer, Sommer's was a low budget team, so this was a major accomplishment for him. Donnie Allison had the strongest car all day, as he led 142 laps; almost 100 more than the next closest driver. The last 15 laps saw four different drivers hold the lead. Allison had the lead as they took the white flag, but as he was leading going into the third turn he had to lap James Hylton and Waltrip took that opportunity to dive underneath. Donnie was forced out of the groove and a crash ensued. Waltrip was able to miss it. David Pearson was able to avoid the wreck, and finished second, followed by Benny Parsons. Allison recovered to finish fourth with Cale Yarborough fifth.
1988 - The Checker 500 would see independent own/driver Alan Kulwicki win his first cup race. Geoff Bodine won the pole in his Rick Hendrick owned Chevy; lead the first two laps, and that would be it. There would be 15 lead changes in the race, but a huge crash right at the halfway point as Greg Sacks and Rick Wilson tangled on the front stretch gobbling up a number of cars, among them Johnny Rutherford, Bill Schmitt, Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip, and Roy Smith. When the race restarted it would run without interruption to the Checkered. It was a battle between Ricky Rudd and Alan Kulwicki as they led all the remaining laps except one that happened during a pit stop sequence. Rudd had the dominate car and looked a sure bet to win unless he had issues. With 16 laps to go smoke rolled from beneath the Quaker State Buick and he coasted to the pits with a blown motor. Kulwicki was there to inherit the lead, and led the final 16 laps to take his first win. Kulwicki was of Polish descent, and when he took his victory lap, he did it in the reverse direction. From then on it would be know as the "Polish Victory Lap", and is still done on occasions in honor of him. Other interesting items include that this would be the first race held at Phoenix, and it would be the last cup race for Indy car legend Johnny Rutherford.
2005 - On this date we lost Dick Hutcherson. Hutcherson would only race four season, a two of those he ran 14 races or less; running a total of 103 CUP events. He won 14 times; finished second in the points in 1965, and third in 1967. Eddie Pagan and Hutcherson became one of the sport’s most successful car building operations over the last 30 years. Hutcherson-Pagan parts trucks are still a familiar site around the nation’s race tracks. After being a former owner, President, and one of the founders of Hutcherson-Pagan, Dick retired. He died of a heart attack on his way home from Florida.
1955 - Tri-City speedway would host it's final Cup event on this date. It would be 200 laps around a 1/2 mile dirt track. Herb Thomas would win the pole, but when the green waved, Dick Rathman would slip by and lead the first six laps. Third place starter Lee Petty would take the lead from Rathman, and go on to lead the remaining 194 laps to get the win over Buck Baker by half a lap. Thomas would go on to finish third, followed by Gober Sosebee, and Jimmie Lewallen.
1965 - The Tidewater 300 would be held at Dog Track Speedway in Moyock NC, and would be the final start for championship driver Ned Jarrett. Known as "Gentleman Ned", he would start second, along side Bobby Isaac who won his first career pole. Isaac would lead 172 laps, Jarrett would lead 56 laps in the event and outdistance Isaac by over a lap. The rest of the top five would be Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal, and Tom Pistone. Jarrett would have a phenomenal stats at this track, a 1/3 mile paved bull ring. In six races he ran he would claim four wins, and finish second the other two races. In the 1965 season he would win 13 times and post an amazing top five finishes in 54 events. He had 45 top ten finishes in his 54 starts; and win his second Cup Championship.
1971 - This would be the final race held at Middle Georgia Raceway in Macon GA. The Georgia 500 would be 500 laps around a 1/2 mile paved track; where the pole would be won by Bobby Allison. Friday Hassler would jump to the lead, but that would be short lived as Allison would move to the point on lap seven. In fact there wasn't many laps Allison wasn't leading the pack during this race. He led 418 of the 500 laps, including the final 306. This would be the final win for Holman-Moody. He out distanced Tiny Lund by over a lap, and the rest of the top five was Hassler, Neil Castles, and Bill Champion. Interesting mix of makes of automobiles in this race. Allison drove a 1971 Ford, while Lund wheeled a 1970 Camaro. Also in the field was at least one: Chevy, Dodge, Mustang, Firebird, Plymouth, Javelin, and Mercury.
1982 - The Atlanta Journal 500 would be country music star Marty Robbins final Cup start. Robbins was a part time competitor who just raced for fun. He ran 35 races over a 13 year span. In this race Robbins would start 36th, but his race would have an unfortunate end as he crashed out after 89 laps finishing 33rd. In early December, Robbins suffered his third serious heart attack in early December. Despite undergoing surgery, Robbins died a few days later, on December 8, 1982; he was only 57. The race would see the yellow flag fly on ten occasions, and it was ultra-competitive as it had 45 lead changes. Morgan Shepherd would win the pole, one of seven in his career. Bobby Allison would win the race, and lead 100 laps - but more than half of them would come in the final 100 laps of the race. Allison would just edge out Harry Gant for the win by 1/2 second. Darrell Waltrip finished third, Tim Richmond was fourth, and Joe Ruttman fifth. Allison was driving the DiGard owned Gatorade Buick, and this would be the final win for a Gatorade sponsored car.
2010 - Trevor Bayne would make his first cup start here at Texas Motor Speedway in the AAA Texas 500. Bayne would qualify 28th, but have to change transmissions and have to start last in the field. He had a great run in his #21 Wood Brother Ford. He brought his car home 17th on the lead lap. This would be a pre-curser to his second cup start the following year in the Daytona 500 where he would pull of the upset victory; again in the Wood Brothers Ford. This event saw Elliott Sadler start on the pole, but never lead a lap. Greg Biffle led 224 of the 334 laps. Denny Hamlin led the final 29 laps, but a late race bunched up the field and Hamlin had to hold off a hard charging Matt Kenseth to win by less than 1/2 second. Mark Martin finished third, followed by Joey Logano, and Biffle. 22 cars would finish on the lead lap.
1964 - This would be the final race of the 1961 NASCAR season; race number 62 in a long grinding year. It would come here at Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville NC.; a 1/2 mile dirt track with the field running 200 circuits. Doug Yates won the pole and led the first nine laps before Ned Jarrett would over take him. Richard Petty and David Pearson would lead a brief stint, but on the day it would be Jarrett who led 126 laps and would drive his Bondy Long Ford to over a one lap victory. Petty would finish second, followed by GC Spencer, Doug Cooper, and Larry Thomas. This would be Thomas' final start as he would be killed in an auto accident during the off season. It is Jarrett's 15th win of the season. Richard Petty wraps up his first NASCAR Cup Championship. The Jacksonville event is the 62nd race of the campaign, the most races ever staged during a single NASCAR season.
1987 - Few people know that NASCAR mogel team owner Rick Hendrick officially started two cup events; both at Riverside International Raceway. In both instances he would qualify the race car, run a few laps, and get out to let a substitute driver finish the race. Hendrick did qualify well starting 21st, but the car would fail after 75 laps with a broke transmission. Geoff Bodine would win the pole, and lead 92 of the races 119 laps. With 11 laps to go he would have issues, and by the races end would finish tenth. When Bodine had problems, Rusty Wallace would take the lead and hold it to the end beating Benny Parsons by just over one second. This would be Parsons final career top five finish. Kyle Petty would finish third with Richard Petty fourth and Bobby Allison fifth. This would be the first of two serious pit accidents for Bill Elliott. On lap #8 three of Bill Elliott's crewmen were injured, one critically, when Jim Robinson ran into the rear of Michael Waltrip's car, sending the Michael's car spinning into Elliott's pit. The impact knocked Elliott's car off the jack and onto Charles Hill, 22, of Dawsonville, Ga., the team's rear tire-changer. He had to have surgery to remove his spleen and repair tears to his liver. He also suffered a broken right arm and dislocated hip. Steve Colwell, 35, of Blairsville, Ga., the team's jack man, suffered a broken jaw, a fracture to his right knee and lacerations on his chin that required stitches. Tire carrier Butch Stevens, 36, of Charlotte, N.C., suffered three fractures to his right leg below the knee. In a second incident; in the 1990 season finale at Atlanta; A part-time member of Bill Elliott's race team was killed and two others injured in a pit road accident during the latter stages of the Atlanta Journal 500. Mike Rich, 32, died during surgery at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. He was flown there after being struck when Ricky Rudd spun on pit road. Tommy Cole, 42, of Blairsville, Ga., and Dan Elliott, 37, of Dawsonville, Ga., were injured when Rudd's car hit them. Rich was changing the right-rear tire, Cole had just jacked up the car and Elliott was helping with the tire change. The fatal accident happened as Rudd slowed to enter his pit during a caution period 28 laps from the finish of the 328-lap race. Moments before he reached his pit, the brakes on his Chevrolet locked. The car swerved toward the left, swapped ends, then hit the right-rear of Elliott's car. Rudd's car backed over Rich, then knocked down Cole and Dan Elliott. Crewmen from several teams tried to lift Rudd's car from Rich until rescue workers brought a jack to the scene. After this incident NASCAR mandated the rule to limit pit road speeds.
1998 - After nearly a seven-hour rain delay, Jeff Gordon wins the finale at Atlanta for his 13th win of the season. Gordon finishes 364 points ahead of runner-up Mark Martin in the final NASCAR Cup standings.
1959 - This would be the fourth and final race for Champion Speedway in Fayetteville NC. All four races would be ran between 11/3/1958 and 11/9/1959. In this race Bob Welborn would win the pole and lead the first laps. Rex White would lead for a short stint early in the race, but Welborn would lead the final 108 laps to get the win. Also finishing on the lead lap was Glen Wood (2nd) and Buck Baker (3rd). The rest of the top five was Roy Tyner, and Junior Johnson.
2003 - At the track where he made his first ever cup start; Bill Elliott would claim his final cup win. John Andretti would win the pole in a surprising run in DEI equipment. Elliott was to start fifth, but due to an engine change he had to fall to the rear for the start. Jeremy Mayfield, and Jimmy Johnson would battle over the lead for the first half of the race; shortly before half way, Elliott would move to the point and lead 140 of the final 213 laps. Jimmie Johnson finished second, Mayfield third, Matt Kenseth fourth, and Ryan Newman fifth. With a fourth-place finish in the Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham's North Carolina Speedway, Matt Kenseth wraps up his first NASCAR Cup Championship. Bill Elliott scores his first win of the season in what will be Rockingham's final autumn race.
2008 - The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500K at Phoenix would be the last start for Kyle Petty. He would qualify 35th, and run 270 laps before a crash relegated him to a 39th place finish. Jimmy Johnson won the pole and smoked the field as he led 217 of the 312 laps. A late race yellow involving Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and Matt Kenseth saw the race extended to 313 laps with the green/white/checkered finish; but Johnson jumped out in the restart and won by 3/10 of a second. The rest of the top five was Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, and Denny Hamlin. Of note, after over 20 years (and quite a bit of success), Texaco/Havoline pulls out of NASCAR. TV network ABC cuts away from the last 22 laps of the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix and moves it to a cable channel, forcing many to miss the end of the race.
1996 - Bobby Labonte holds off Dale Jarrett in a spirited duel to win the season finale at Atlanta, as his brother Terry finishes fifth and wraps up his second NASCAR Cup championship. The elder Labonte finishes 37 points ahead of Jeff Gordon to nail down the title.
2004 - NASCAR president Mike Helton lifts the long-standing ban on sponsorship from hard liquor companies effective with the 2005 season. NASCAR teams can now recruit sponsorship dollars from corporations that manufacture "spirits."
2005 - NASCAR announces owners will be limited to fielding four teams during the 2006 campaign. The ruling will most affect Roush Racing, which has qualified all five of its teams for the 10-car Chase for NASCAR Cup. Roush will be allowed to field five teams for the duration of existing sponsor contracts, and teams that field developmental drivers on a part-time basis will be allowed to exceed the limit.
1937 - Sam McQuagg's birthday
1951 - The one mile dirt track of Lakewood speedway located in Atlanta GA would hold it's first Cup race. Frank Mundy would win the pole but only lead the first lap. Bob Flock would lead the next 12 laps before his brother Tim Flock would grab the lead, and hold it the final 87 laps to get the win. Bob Flock would finish second, with Jack Smith, Mundy, and Gober Sosebee rounding out the top five.
1956 - Ralph Earnhardt would make his first career cup start here at Hickory Speedway in NC. In what would probably be the best race of his cup career, Earnhardt would start on the pole and finish second. Ralph was actually flagged the winner, but a protest was filed and after some checking Speedy Thompson was declared the winner. The crowd was in an uproar after Thompson was declared the winner feeling their local boy had been cheated. Earnhardt had to take the track microphone and tell the crowd he was OK with the decision. The rest of the top five was Buck Baker, Ralph Moody, and Doug Cox. Junior Johnson would finish 15th, and this would be the last cup race for him before he went to jail for eleven months on his federal illegal moon shining charges. In one of the most peculiar doubleheader days in NASCAR history, Speedy Thompson wins the 100-mile race at Hickory and Marvin Panch wins the same-day event at Lancaster, Calif. Curiously, Thompson's win counts as a 1956 race, while Panch's triumph is considered the opener of the 1957 NASCAR season.
1960 - On this date we lost the first ever Cup Champion Red Byron. Declining health forced him to hang up his goggles in 1951. He died of a heart attack in a Chicago hotel room at the age of 45.
1963 - Golden Gate Speedway located in Tampa FL would host it's only Cup event. Rex White would circle the 3/10th mile track the fastest to claim the pole. When the green flag dropped he would lead the first 41 laps before being bypassed by Richard Petty. Richard would lead every lap but one until the finish to get the win. He would just edge out Jim Paschal by one car length. Joe Weatherly would finish third, followed by Jimmy Pardue, and Tommy Irwin. Buzzie Reutimann would make his only Cup start and finish tenth. Buzzie is the father of CUP driver David Reutimann.
1984 - Tragically Terry Schoonover would make his second and final cup start as he lost his life in an accident on lap 129 in the Atlanta Journal 500. He started his first race at Rockingham driving his own Chevy and finished 21st. Shortly after that he signed an agreement with Restore Auto Care Products to sponsor a limited NASCAR Cup Series campaign in 1984 and 1985. At this race he was involved in an accident where he hit the outside wall, then slid into the infield and struck a dirt embankment head on at a fairly high rate of speed. The car dug into the dirt embankment and caused the car to come to a quick stop. He was airlifted from the speedway to a local hospital where he died of massive head and internal injuries. His death marked the first fatality at the Atlanta track's existence. For the race Bill Elliott would win the pole and lead 55 laps. Geoff Bodine would have a strong car and lead the most laps, but would blow up while leading with just 36 laps to go. Dale Earnhardt Sr took over the lead, but with 19 laps to go, his motor also started to blow up, but he managed to nurse it to a 1/2 second win over Elliott. Ricky Rudd would finish third, followed by Benny Parsons, and Bobby Allison.
1996 - On this date we lost Gober Sosebee. He won twice in the early years of NASCAR. He was know as the "Wild Injun" because of his hard charging driving style. Gober died from injuries suffered in an agricultural accident at the age of 81.
2001 - Bill Elliott passes Dodge teammate Casey Atwood with five laps remaining to end a personal seven-year win-less streak with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Elliott gives Ray Evernham his first win as a NASCAR Cup team owner.
2007 - Sam Hornish would make his first ever cup start here at Phoenix. He would start 26th, but finish two laps down in 30th. Carl Edwards would win the pole, and lead 87 laps. A spin and crash by Dale Earnhardt Jr would bring out the yellow on lap 124, and under yellow, Edwards motor would blow up. Jimmy Johnson would bypass Martin Truex with 24 laps to go and go on to win his fourth race in a row. The rest of the top five would be Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, and Ryan Newman.
1938 - Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway stages a "National Championship" stock car race; on it's one mile dirt track. Dawsonville GA's 19 year old star Lloyd Seay wins the race.
1952 - Gene Haas' birthday - car owner and partner with Tony Stewart in Stewart-Hass Racing
1967 - Bobby Allison wins the 1968 NASCAR Cup season opener at Middle Georgia Raceway in Macon. An elaborate moonshine operation is discovered beneath the track. Peach County Sheriff Reggie Mullis calls it, "one of the most well-built moonshine stills ever operated."
1995 - Dale Earnhardt storms to victory in the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta as Jeff Gordon captures his first NASCAR Cup title after finishing 32nd. Gordon holds off Earnhardt's furious rally and wins the title by 34 points.
2000 - The Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be the first start for Bobby Hamilton Jr. Since this was his first Cup start it would also be the first time he raced against his father Bobby Hamilton Sr. He would start 30th in his Chevy, and end up finishing 33rd. Tony Stewart would start 13th, but lead 166 of the 267 laps to win by four seconds in his Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac. Jeremy Mayfield would have a good run finishing second. The rest of the top five was Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Jimmy Spencer. Labonte was also driving for Gibbs.
2008 - Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Chip Ganassi Racing merge to become Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, to be based in the Ganassi shops
1921 - Harold Kite's birthday.
1955 - Tim Flock wins the 1956 NASCAR season opener at Hickory Speedway as the new campaign gets underway early. Former NASCAR star Buddy Shuman, recently appointed head of Ford's NASCAR factory effort, tragically dies in a hotel fire the night before the race.
1977 - Drew Blickensderfer's birthday. - crew chief for such drivers as Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Jeff Burton, and Marcus Ambrose. He has claimed three wins; two with Kenseth, and one with Ragan
1994 - Here in the Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harry Gant would wheel his famous Skoal Bandit for the final time. He would start 28th but a cracked oil pan would cut his day short and he would end up 33rd. This would also be the final start for Ken Bouchard. He would pull off 40th, and complete 280 laps before he dropped a valve and finished 29th. Mark Martin would lead 119 laps, including 79 of the last 82 circuits. Dale Earnhardt Sr would finish second, followed by Todd Bodine, Lake Speed, and Mike Wallace. This would be Wallace's first top five finish in cup; Greg Sacks would win the pole, the final one of his career; Todd Bodine's third place finish was the best of his career; this was Dale Jarrett's last race with Joe Gibbs and Lake Speeds last top five finish; last race for Bill Elliott driving for Junior Johnson; last race for Hoosier Tire in the Cup Series. The "Tire War" was talked about for the whole season and created a buzz in the garage area. The Hoosier tire just wasn't as reliable as the Goodyear Eagle was during this time.
2011 - Cole Whitt would make his first cup start here at Phoenix in the Kobalt Tools 500. He had an impressive qualifying run and would start 19th. He drove a solid race and quietly drove to a 25th place finish. Matt Kenseth would win the pole, and lead 49 laps, but would be involved in a crash with Brian Vickers on lap 178. Kenseth would make repairs and finish 238 laps. Tony Stewart would lead 160 laps, but late race green flag pit stops gave the lead to Brad Keselowski with 18 laps to go. Brad pitted four laps later giving the lead to Kasey Kahne who would take the checkered flag. Carl Edwards would finish second, followed by Stewart, Jeff Burton, and Ryan Newman.
1929 - Tiny Lund's birthday
1948 - Red Byron wins the season finale at Jacksonville, Fla. Byron, winner of 11 of the 52 NASCAR-sanctioned events, edges Fonty Flock by 32.75 points to capture the inaugural championship.
1993 - At Atlanta Motor Speedway Neil Bonnett would make his final cup start in the Hooters 500. Bonnett's close friend and competitor Dale Earnhardt Sr had convinced him to return to Cup racing driving on his team. Bonnett ran two races at the end of 1993 to prepare for the 1994 season. Just days before the 1994 Daytona 500; Bonnett would be killed in a practice crash. His final start would be short lived as he would start 35th, but would be listed as out with "engine failure" after only three laps. Actually what happened was that Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace was fighting for the cup title. Childress fielded the car, and Bonnet drove it so that he could start-n-park and he could help Dale Sr. win the title. If eight or more cars fell out of the race Dale would lock the title up no matter where he finished or what Rusty did. Wallace did all he could in his effort to win the title, he led the most laps and won the race getting maximum points, but Earnhardt would cruise to a tenth place finish to get his sixth championship. Darrell Waltrip nearly won the race using fuel mileage. Wallace would pass Waltrip with four laps to go, and Darrell's tank would run dry on the final turns allowing Ricky Rudd to bypass him also. Waltrip held on to finish third, with Bill Elliott fourth, and Dick Trickle fifth. This would be Phil Parsons final top ten finish. Rusty Wallace nails down his 10th win of the season. Despite posting the most wins, as well as the most top-five and top-10 finishes, Wallace falls 80 points shy of winning the championship. Dale Earnhardt takes his sixth NASCAR Winston Cup title.
1970 - Cale Yarborough hustles to victory in the American 500 at Rockingham, and announces from victory lane that he will move to the USAC Indy Car trail in 1971.
1980 - Ontario Motor Speedway would host it's final cup race (The Los Angeles Time 500). It was 200 laps around a 2 1/2 mile track shaped like Indianapolis Motor speedway. Cale Yarborough won the pole, but there was lots of action as the lead swapped 25 times, and saw the yellow flag fly six times. Darrell Waltrip would be leading on lap 92 when his motor expired, giving the lead to Neil Bonnett. During the last 110 laps of the race no driver would lead more than 16 laps with many times a driver would not lead more than one or two laps in a row. Benny Parsons would take the lead away from Bobby Allison with eight laps to go and take the checkered hankie. Bonnett and Yarborough would also bypass Allison before the end to take second and third. Allison finished fourth, followed by Dale Earnhardt in fifth. This would be Yarborough's final race driving for Junior Johnson, and Yarborough would drive part-time the rest of his career. This was Earnhardt first race for long time sponsor Wrangler Jeans. Dale Earnhardt captures his first NASCAR Cup title. Earnhardt rallies back from a lap deficit to finish fifth. His final margin of victory over Cale Yarborough, who finishes third at Ontario, is 19 points.
1992 - The Hooters 500 would see future multi-time cup champion make his first cup start. Driving for Rick Hendrick; Jeff Gordon would start 21st, but fall out on lap 164 due to a crash. There was a very close points battle this season involving five drivers coming down to this last race. Davey Allison had the upper hand heading into the race, but Alan Kulwicki and Bill Elliott was close behind. But with 74 laps to go, Ernie Irvin crashed on the front stretch, collecting Allison; eliminating him from the title hunt. Then it came down to a battle between Elliott and Kulwicki. Alan was one of the few remaining owner/drivers, and made many of the pit stop and car adjustments calls from the drivers seat. After Allison was eliminated the race would come down to late race green flag pit stops. Elliott pitted and was back on the track with fresh ties very quickly. Kulwicki calculated how many laps Elliott could lead if he lead the remaining laps in the race, and decided to delay his pit stop until such time as he could lead one more lap than Elliott. IF Elliott led the most laps, the points battle would come down to a tie, and the most wins for the season was the tie-breaker. Elliott had the most wins. Kulwicki stayed out, and when the checkers fell Alan had led 103 laps, while Elliott claimed the win and led 102. Kulwicki claimed the bonus points for leading and won the championship. Geoff Bodine would finish third, followed by Jimmy Spencer, and Terry Labonte. This race is often referred to as "the changing of the guard". This would be the final race for seven time NASCAR Champ Richard Petty; along with Gordon's first start. About lap 100 of the 328 lap race, Petty would be involved in a multi-car crash receiving serious damage, and even caught on fire. The pit crew thrashed on the car for the next couple hours to try and get Petty's car repaired. Then as the race would down they got the repairs completed, and with just a hand full of laps remaining, "King Richard" pulled back onto the race track and was able to take the checkered flag signifying both the end of the race, and his career.
1956 - Terry Labonte's birthday
1986 - The Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway would be the final start for Indy car ace, and four time Indy 500 winner, Al Unser. He would start 25th and run well until he lost his motor with just nine laps to go and finish 20th. Tim Richmond would win the pole, but Geoff Bodine would lead 55 of the 119 laps. There were 12 lead changes with the last one coming as Tim Richmond passed Dale Earnhardt Sr with 11 laps to go. Tim would go on to beat Dale by one second. The rest of the top five was Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, and Joe Ruttman. Items of interest for this race include: this would be the final race that Riverside would wrap up the Cup series; Waltrip's last race driving for Junior Johnson as he would go to Rick Hendrick the following season; This was also Richmonds final race for some time; as he was admitted with what was later announced with complications from AIDS. Dale Earnhardt captures his second NASCAR Cup championship. Earnhardt places second and finishes 288 points in front of Darrell Waltrip for the title.
1997 - Bobby Labonte throttles his way into the lead in the final 11 laps and speeds to victory in the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett finishes second, but he falls 14 points short of Jeff Gordon's point total in the NASCAR Cup standings. Gordon finishes 17th, and becomes the youngest driver to capture two championships
2003 - The Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be the final cup win for Bobby Labonte (to date). Labonte still races, but mostly with an underfunded team. The fact Labonte pulled out the win was purely a matter of luck. The previous weeks winner at Rockingham; Bill Elliott would win the pole and dominate the event leading 189 of the races 267 laps. Elliott had a healthy lead late in the race, but with 13 laps to go the yellow flew for oil on the track. The final green flew with nine laps to go, and Elliott once again pulled out to a comfortable lead. The white flag flew and with less that half a lap to go Elliott shredded a left rear tire, and Labonte would bypass him going into turn three. Elliott limped to the checkers by finished a disappointing seventh. Elliott final win would be the previous weeks race at Rockingham. Following Labonte across the stripe was Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Johnny Benson Jr, and Jeff Gordon. This would be the final name under the Winston Cup name. The following year NEXTEL would assume sponsorship of the NASCAR series. In 2008 it would switch again to Sprint Cup and in 2017 it changed to Monster Cup. This would be the final top five finish for Johnny Benson; this would be the final cup start for Ron Hornaday, starting 28th and finishing 20th on the lead lap; this would be the final win for crew chief for Michael 'Fatback' McSwain.
2007 - On this date we lost car owner Billy Hagan from natural causes. He was 75. Hagan fielded cars for drivers such as Skip Manning, Terry Labonte, and Sterling Marlin. Labonte won the pole with Hagan in 1984 and also the won the Southern 500 in 1980.
2008 - Jimmie Johnson wins his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series title, tying Cale Yarborough for that record. Regan Smith wins Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
2014 - The Ford EcoBoost 400 held at Homestead-Miami speedway would be the final Cup start for Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose had came to America to give himself a shot at competing against the best stock car drivers in the world, and he made a good accounting of himself. For his career he ran in 227 CUP events and posted two wins and 46 top tens. He also posted five Xfinity series wins. In this race Ambrose qualified 17th in the Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and finished on the lead lap in 27th. This was the first year of the new Chase format in which there was an elimination process. Four drivers had a shot at winning the Championship; those being Kevin Harvick; Ryan Newman; Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. The race saw 18 lead changes; and the yellow hankie waved 13 times for 52 laps. Jeff Gordon led a race high 161 laps, but finished tenth. A late race yellow with seven laps to go; set up the final run to see who claimed the Championship. Hamlin was leading with Newman in second. When the final green flew with two laps to go; Harvick took the lead and Newman moved into second. The race finished that way with Newman just inches off Harvick's rear bumper. The rest of the top five consisted of Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray.
1963 - This would be the first Cup event held at Augusta International Raceway located in Augusta GA. The race was on a three mile road course and was schedule for a distance of 170 laps (510 miles); the speeds were way slower than officials expected so the race was terminated after 417 miles. There was a 5 p.m. curfew which meant that the race had to be halted at the point, as well as the fading light conditions. Fred Lorenzen would grab the pole, but second place starter Fireball Roberts would lead the first three laps. Junior Johnson and Richard Petty would wage a great battle during the middle of the race. However, Johnson would have a transmission failure while lead, and Petty assumed the lead. 42 laps later Petty would suffer the same fate, as his pinion seal would fail while he was in the front. Marvin Panch would then take the lead and lead until just 11 laps from the finish. Once again the leader suffered mechanical problems as he had transmission problems and fell out of the race. Roberts would be the one to survive the battle of attrition as his car held out to take the checkers in his Holman-Moody Ford. His team mate Dave MacDonald would finish second, followed by Billy Wade, Joe Weatherly and Ned Jarrett. Jimmy Pardue finished sixth with Larry Thomas seventh. In a tragic turn of events, six of the first seven finishers. would be dead in a little more than a year. Fireball died of injuries suffered in the World 600, Dave MacDonald was killed in the Indianapolis 500, Billy Wade and Jimmy Pardue were killed in tire tests (trying to develop the safety inner liner), Joe Weatherly died at Riverside, and Larry Thomas was killed in a highway accident in January of 1965. This would be Weatherly's last top five finish, and Roberts last win.
1985 - Ricky Rudd wins the season finale at Riverside as Darrell Waltrip finishes seventh and wraps up his third NASCAR Cup Championship. Bill Elliott experiences transmission problems early, erasing his title hopes.
1991 - Larry Pearson (son of two time NASCAR Champion) would run his final Cup race on this date. It would come at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Hardee's 500. Pearson would start 33rd, but have a good drive and bring home his Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevy in 14th place. Bill Elliott would win the pole, but Mark Martin would be unstoppable as he led 190 laps and drove to a 10 second victory. Ernie Irvin would finish second, followed by Elliott, Harry Gant and Dale Earnhardt Sr. This would be the final race for Elliott in the Harry Melling Ford. This would be the final race for Folgers as a primary sponsor. Dale Earnhardt clinches his fifth NASCAR Winston Cup Championship by simply starting the race.
2002 - Kurt Busch wins his fourth race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Tony Stewart coasts to an 18th-place finish to put the lid on his championship campaign. Stewart beats runner-up Mark Martin by 38 points to capture the NASCAR Winston Cup title.
2013 - After a long successful career on the cup series, Ken Schrader would announce his retirement and run his final race on this date at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Schrader would start 41st, and finish four laps down in 34th. Matt Kenseth would win the pole, and lead 144 of the first 166 laps; but after that would never see the point again. Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr would wage a battle for the victory over the last 45 laps. Hamlin led the field to the pits on the final yellow with 27 laps to go. Earnhardt would beat him out of the pits to grab the lead. But when the green flew for the final time, Hamlin would need just four laps to move around Earnhardt and go on to get the win. Kenseth would pressure Hamlin and finish second, followed by Earnhardt, Martin Truex, and Clint Bowyer.
1956 - Buck Baker is declared the winner of the 1956 season finale at Wilson, N.C. Joe Weatherly clearly reaches the checkered flag first, but Baker is the first to pass the scoring stand located near turn one.
1979 - Benny Parsons takes the lead with five laps to go and wins the Los Angeles Times 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. Fifth-place finisher Richard Petty takes his seventh NASCAR Cup Championship by 11 points over Darrell Waltrip, who finishes eighth.
1980 - Denny Hamlin's birthday
1983 - Richard Petty announces he will leave Petty Enterprises at the end of the 1983 season after 26 years. Petty's announcement comes in wake of the controversial Charlotte race, known as "Pettygate."
1984 - Geoff Bodine takes the lead in the final four laps and wins the season finale at Riverside International Raceway. Terry Labonte finishes third and wins the 1984 NASCAR Cup Championship by a 65-point margin over Harry Gant.
1990 - Morgan Shepherd wins the season finale at Atlanta as Dale Earnhardt finishes third and captures his fourth NASCAR Cup title. Mike Ritch, a crewman for Bill Elliott's team, is fatally injured when he is hit on pit road.
2007 - On this date the long successful career of Ricky Rudd would come to an end. He would make 906 starts over 32 seasons. Rudd was nicknamed "the Rooster", but is better know as the "Iron Man" of NASCAR. He has the record for consecutive Cup starts; 788 starts at the end of the 2005 season. He did not race in 2006, but was convinced to return to Cup in 2007 for one last season. This was his final race; held at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rudd would start 38th in his Yates Racing owned Ford, but run a strong race and finished in 21st place. Matt Kenseth started fourth, but was the class of the field that day as he led 214 of the 267 laps. The next closest lap leader was Denny Hamlin who led 19 laps. Kurt Busch would finish second, with Hamlin third, Jeff Gordon fourth, and Carl Edwards fifth. This would also be Johnny Benson's final cup event. He started 20th in his Bill Davis Toyota, ran 73 laps before his motor expired, he would finish 43rd. This would be the final race of the NEXTEL era that sponsored the NASCAR series. The following season Sprint would assume that role. Other interesting notes include; This would be Dale Earnhardt Jrs last race for DEI, and last race driving the Budweiser #8 machine. This was also the last race with Kyle Busch driving for Rick Hendrick, the following year he moved to Joe Gibb's where he remains at the start of 2017. While Kenseth won the race, Jimmie Johnson won the championship, and Juan Pablo Montoya won the Raybestsos Rookie of the Year after the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson became the first back-to-back NASCAR Cup Champion since Jeff Gordon in 1997-98. The Ford 400 was the last race for the old car that had been in use since 1981.
1970 - Ford announces that it will cut back its factory effort in 1971. Jacques Passino, director of Ford's racing program, quits the company.
1978 - Bobby Allison scores his fifth win of the year in the finale at Ontario Motor Speedway. Runner-up Cale Yarborough wins his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Championship over runner-up Allison.
1989 - On this date we lost Grant Adcox. His death would come in the Atlanta Journal 500. Adcox crashed heavily on lap 198 of the event and died of major chest and head injuries, also suffering a heart attack as result of the crash. Upon investigation, it was determined that the severe impact had torn his improperly mounted racing seat away from its mount entirely, and this led to Adcox's death. It also led to new safety regulations on the way seats were mounted for the 1990 season. Dale Earnhardt would lead 249 laps to claim his win. Rusty Wallace wraps up his first NASCAR Cup title with a 15th-place finish. Wallace nips Earnhardt by 12 points in the final tally. Adcox's death would cast over any victory celebrations. This season Dick Trickle would win the Rookie of the Year title at the age of 48; the oldest ever to do so.
2006 - The Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be the first cup start for Indy car ace Juan Pablo Montoya. He would wheel the #42 owned by Chip Ganassi to a 34th place finish after starting 29th. He would crash out with just 17 laps to go. Kasey Kahne would win the pole, and lead a race high 90 laps. JJ Yeley had a great race as he was leading with 12 laps to go. Yeley finished 30th after running out of gas with three laps to go. Greg Biffle would lead the final 12 laps to claim the win. Martin Truex finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kahne, and Kevin Harvick. Roush racing would have a successful weekend as he had drivers win races in all three NASCAR series. Matt Kenseth would win the Xfinity race while Mark Martin won the Truck series event. Mark Martin's start in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks his final race with Jack Roush. Martin ran 19 years with Roush Racing, posting 35 NASCAR Cup wins. Jimmie Johnson wraps up his first NASCAR Cup title with an 11th-place finish. This would be the final race broadcast for Cup Champion turned broadcaster Benny Parsons. He would die two months later of lung cancer.
1955 - this race on the 3/4 Charlotte Speedway would be the final win for Fonty Flock. Flock won the pole, and would lead all 134 laps to claim the win by 1/2 car length over brother Tim Flock. Lee Petty finished third followed by Joe Weatherly and Buck Baker.
1961 - Lee Petty would get his last cup win at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, FL. Paul Lewis won the pole, but Buck Baker would sweep by at the drop of the green flag and lead the first 15 laps. Baker would fall out on lap 137 from a blown head gasket. Third place starter Tommy Irwin would lead 166 laps, before Lee Petty would take over the point with 19 laps to go and take the win. Irwin would finish second one lap in arrears, followed by Rex White, Richard Petty, and Doug Yates. For his career Petty would claim 54 wins, and be a three time cup champion. 11 seasons in a row he finished in the top four in points.
1983 - The 1983 Winston Western 500 would be the first cup win for Bill Elliott. The 119 lap event around the 2.6 mile road course was basically dominated by three drivers. Darrell Waltrip won the pole, and led 34 laps. Benny Parsons would lead 33 while Tim Richmond led 31. The race lead would swap 13 times, and with just five laps to go Bill Elliott took over the lead from Benny Parsons. Oddly Parsons would be the person that convinced Harry Melling to hiring Elliott as a driver. Elliott would lead the final five laps as Parsons finished second. Neil Bonnett came in third followed by Dale Earnhardt Sr, and Tim Richmond. Elliott would finish second eight times before claiming his first win. Along with this being Elliott's first win, it was also his only road course win. In an example of son following in his fathers foot steps; his son Chase would make his first race in 2013 (in the NASCAR Truck series - also on a road course). Bobby Allison would claim his first and only cup title at the end of this race. He would edge out Waltrip by 47 points. This would be the last cup start for car owner JD Stacy's teams.
1988 - The Atlanta Journal 500 would be the final start for Cale Yarborough. Yarborough would spend the final eight years of his career running part time. His final race would be pleasing to him as he would pull off and take the green in 26th place; when the checkers fall after 328 laps he would bring home his Hardee's Oldsmobile to a fine 10th place finish. This would also mark the final start for Benny Parsons. He would not fair near as well as Yarborough. He started 33rd, and a crash eliminated him for a 34th place finish. This would be a very competitive race as it saw 33 lead changes among 15 drivers. Wallace won the pole, led 166 laps and won the race by four second over Davey Allison. The rest of the top five was Mike Alexander, Ricky Rudd, and Darrell Waltrip. A few points of interest; Rusty Wallace would win four of the years final races, but Bill Elliott would still claim the cup title. Elliott finishes 24 points ahead of Wallace in the title chase. It would be the best career finish for Alexander, and last race start for car owner Hoss Ellington. Harry Gant would make his final start for owner Hal Needham, as he would field a car for the final time. Curb was the owner of the car Richard Petty drove to wins number 199 and 200. Finally this would be the final cup start for car owner Harry Ranier.
2000 - The NAPA 500 held at Atlanta Motor Speedway would see Jerry Nadeau claim his only career Cup win. Nadeau had a strong car; starting second, and grabbing the lead by lap five. He would pass Ward Burton with five laps to go and take the win. Earnhardt would also pass Burton to finish second leaving Burton coming home in third. Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte were fourth and fifth. Darrell Waltrip would make his final Cup start here also. He would get yet another start using a past champions provisional starting last in the field. He would only be able to manage a 34th place finish. Scott Wimmer would make his first Cup start pulling off 31st, and piloting his Pontiac to a 22nd place finish. This would also be Dale Earnhardt's final top five finish, as he would have a tragic death the next season in the opening race at Daytona. This would be the final time Atlanta would host the last race of the season. This would be the final race as a cup crew chief for Jeff Hammond; also the final race for Larry MacReynolds as a cup crew chief, this was also the last race where the Cup series utilized second round qualifying. Bobby Labonte's fifth place finish gives him the NASCAR Cup Championship by 261 points over Jeff Burton.
2005 - Rusty Wallace would bring his illustrious career to an end here at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Ford 400. Carl Edwards would once again win the pole here at Miami, and lead 94 of the 267 laps. Casey Mears would have a great run in his Chip Ganassi owned Target car, and likely should of won this race. Mears had a healthy lead, but with just 15 laps to go NASCAR called a yellow for debris. Problem is the debris was way down on the access lane to the pits, far away from the race surface. When the green flew; with the field now bunched up; Blaney beat Mears on the restart, and Biffle would get by Blaney with eight laps to go. He would go on to take the win in his Jack Roush owned Ford. The next three finishers would also be owned by Roush as Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards would finish second through fourth. Mears would eventually end up fifth. Even with his win Biffle would come up 35 points in the hunt for the championship as Tony Stewart claimed his second title. Bobby Hamilton Jr would also make his final cup start for his career. He started 38th and finished 36th. Ricky Rudd finished 37th in the race, then retires. The race marked Rudd's 788th consecutive start, a NASCAR Cup record that many thought would never be broken. The streak started in 1981. However in Jeff Gordon's final season he would break the record and end his career with 797 consecutive starts.
2011 - Geoff Bodine would make his final Cup start here at Homestead Miami Speedway. He would start 42nd, and drive his Tommy Baldwin owned Chevy to a 30th place finish. Carl Edwards would win the pole, and lead 119 laps, but after lap 214 his car would never see the point again. Kyle Busch would take the lead from him with 53 laps to go before Brad Keselowski snatched it away for one lap under a pit stop sequence. Tony Stewart took the lead with 36 to go and would never look back; beating Edwards to the checkers by one second. Martin Truex was third, followed by Matt Kenseth, and Jeff Gordon.
2016 - The race for the 2016 Cup Championship broke down like this: Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards were the four drivers who qualified to run for the Championship. Kevin Harvick won the pole with Brad Keselowski starting along side. The drivers in the Chase started in the following positions: Busch 9th; Edwards 10th; Logano 13th; and Johnson 14th. Harvick led the first 27 laps until rookie Ryan Blaney had tire issues and brought out the first yellow. On the restart Edwards jumped to the lead, but Harvick wrestled it back two laps later and the two exchanged the lead several times over the first 90 laps. Kyle Larson began to flex his muscle and led 132 of the remaining 165 laps. Meanwhile Jimmie Johnson had been struggling all day and wasn't competitive at all. Still crew chief Chad Knaus kept working on the car. The final yellow flew just a couple laps from the end of the race, and when everyone pitted; Johnson team bolted on just two new tires and got him out of the pits and into the lead. A few other cars also took only two tires. The move was a stroke of genius as Johnson was able to skirt away from the drivers that took four tires while they battled to get by the other cars that also only took on two tires. Johnson led the final three laps of the race (the only laps he led all day) to grab the win; the Championship; and tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr for a seventh Cup Championship. Meanwhile this was Tony Stewart's final Cup race. He started a very respectable 11th; but his car never had the handle all day and he finished two laps behind in 22nd. For his career, Stewart won 49 CUP events; he also had 11 Xfinity series wins and two Truck series wins. He was the Cup Champion three times; 2002, 2005, and 2011. Before coming to NASCAR Stewart raced in the Indy Car series where he posted three wins in only 26 starts. He ran the Indy 500 five times and finished inside the top nine on three occasions. In 1997 Stewart had the car to beat in the Indy 500, but the car lost handling towards the end of the race and Stewart finished fifth. Stewart did win the Indy Car Series Championship in 1997. Brian Scott also retired from Cup competition after this race. He started 22nd and ran a good race finishing on the lead lap in 15th position. For his career, Scott ran 53 races; with a best finish of second in the 2016 Fall race at Talladega. It was his only top 10 career finish. Scott retired at a young age to spend more time with his family.
1949 - Travis Carter's birthday. Crew chief and car owner for two decades in the Cup series. He won the Cup Championship with Benny Parsons in 1973, and Cale Yarborough in 1978.
1971 - Tiny Lund would claim his final win here at North Wilkesboro Speedway in the Wilkes 400. Charlie Glotzbach would win the pole with Richard Petty along side. Petty had a stout car as he led 306 of the races 400 laps. With 40 laps to go Glotzbach passed Petty, but as Charlie's car began to lose his motor Lund would bypass him with just six laps to go. Glotzbach managed to hang on and finish second, followed by Petty, Dave Marcis, and Benny Parsons.
1976 - David Pearson posts his 10th win of the year in the 500-miler at Ontario Motor Speedway. Cale Yarborough claims his first NASCAR Cup Championship over Richard Petty.
1982 - Derrick Cope would make his first cup start here at Riverside CA in the Winston Western 500. Cope would drive his independently owned Ford to a 39th place qualifying effort, and an oil leak would eliminate him after 42 laps. He finished 36th. Trevor Boys also made his first start pulling off 40th, but would drive to a 22nd place finish. Darrell would drive his Mountain Dew Buick to the pole, but would only lead eight laps. The race saw 14 lead changes among eight different drivers. It's amazing there was that many lead changes since Tim Richmond led 92 of the 119 laps. He drove to his second career win in his JD Stacy owned Buick by over seven seconds. Ricky Rudd would get second, with the top five being Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, and Mark Martin. Waltrip third place finish enables him to capture his second straight NASCAR Cup Championship by 72 points over Bobby Allison.
1996 - On this date we lost long time independent campaigner Elmo Langley. He would win two races in his career; both in 1966. From April 1989, through November 1996, Langley served as the official NASCAR pace car driver for all Cup events. On November 21, 1996, Langley was in Suzuka, Japan to drive the pace car in the Suzuka Thunder Special 100 Exhibition race which was held on November 24; when during a test drive, he began to experience chest pains. He was subsequently taken to the Suzuka General Hospital where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack.
1999 - Bobby Labonte comes from a provisional starting spot to win the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett finishes second and wraps up his first NASCAR Cup Championship by a 201-point margin over Labonte.
2004 - Roush Racing hits the jackpot as Greg Biffle wins the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Kurt Busch finishes fifth to claim the 2004 "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" championship. Bush's eight-point margin over Jimmie Johnson is the closest finish in the 56 years of NASCAR Cup Series racing.... albeit with a newly contrived points system and making the drivers in the Chase all "restart" at 0 points with 10 races to go.
2010 - Carl Edwards starts second and leads a commanding 190 of the 267 laps in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway claiming the win. Jimmie Johnson finishes second and grabs the NASCAR Cup Title for a record fifth year in a row beating out Denny Hamlin by 39 points. Kevin Conway is name the 2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
2016 - Following Sunday night’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR officially named Chase Elliott the series’ rookie of the year. Elliott, the 20-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, finished 10th in the series standings and qualified for the championship Chase. He ended the year with two poles and 10 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 36 starts, including a pair of runner-up finishes, both at Michigan International Speedway.
1936 - Jake Elder's birthday - Crew chief known as "Suitcase Jake" because he could never settle down at one organization for long period of time, hopping from one organization to the next. Elder was the crew chief for David Pearson championship winning car for Holman Moody in 1968 and 1969. Edler was hired by Rod Osterlund in 1979 to work with rookie Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt won the rookie of the year award that season. After Earnhardt won his first race, Elder said to him "Stick with me, kid, and we’ll win diamonds as big as horse turds".
1962 - The Turkey Day 200 would be held at Tar Heel Speedway located just out side the Petty family's home town of Randleman NC. This would be the first race ever held at this track, and they would run 200 laps around the 1/4 mile track. Glen Wood would be the class of the field. He'd win the pole, and when the race started he drive away from the field, leading the first 173 laps - until his power plant gave up while leading, and he costed into the pits. Jim Paschal would take the lead and lead the final 27 laps to coast to a two lap victory. The rest of the top five would be made up of Joe Weatherly, Tommy Irwin, David Pearson, and Maurice Petty.
1970 - Bobby Allison captures the season finale at Hampton, Va., as Bobby Isaac is declared the 1970 NASCAR Grand National champion.
1981 - Richard Childress would make his final Cup start as a driver here in the Winston Western 500 at Riverside CA. Childress fielded a car for Dale Earnhardt Sr. while he himself drove the ride of Junior Johnson. It was a start and park effort in order to give Earnhardt an additional car to finish ahead of to help ensure him of the Cup Title. Childress would race his #3 Chevy for 12 seasons, but only post six top five finishes; with his best being a third at Nashville in 1978. In the race; Bobby Allison wins the season finale at Riverside as Darrell Waltrip's sixth-place finish clinches his first NASCAR Cup Championship.
2009 - Jimmie Johnson rides his fifth place finish in the Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway to claim his record setting fourth NASCAR Cup Championship. Hendrick Motorsports team-mates Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin would finish second and third.
2010 - Richard Petty Motorsports cuts back from a four car operation to just two. Elliott Sadler, Aric Almirola, and Paul Menard leave; while Marocs Ambrose is added and AJ Allmendinger stays.
2015 - After a long and illustrious career; Jeff Gordon would hang up his goggles at the end of this race. Here at Homestead; Gordon had a chance to go out on a 'high' as he had a shot to claim his fifth Cup Championship in his final start. Gordon had advanced to the Championship round by winning at Martinsville three weeks earlier. Gordon would qualify fifth; but only lead five laps on the day. Of the 367 laps race; the top four finishers led 245 of them. T he four drivers eligible to win the Championship this season was Kyle Busch; Kevin Harvick; Gordon, and Martin Truex. Harvick and Busch seemed to be the drivers with the best cars and the shot to winning. The last 95 laps came down to a battle between Busch and Brad Keselowski with Harvick right behind. Keselowski led 86 of those laps; but Busch was able to get by with six laps to go to claim the win and the Championship. Harvick finished second losing the Championship by one point. The rest of the top five was Keselowski, Logano and Kyle Larson. This was an incredible season for Kyle Busch as he started off the season sitting on the sidelines because of multiple leg and foot injuries which occurred in a Xfinity series race the day before the Daytona 500. Busch missed the opening eleven races of the 2015 season; but due to NASCAR new rules he was able to advance. The new rules NASCAR had imposed was that a driver could advance to the Chase if he won a race AND finished in the top 30 in points. The driver also had to be a full time competitor (unless NASCAR granted them a waiver because of injury, etc). after returning to the track at Charlotte in the Coke 600; Busch won his first race four races later grabbing a win at Sonoma on the road course. He went on to win four of five in a row.
2015 - Jeff Gordon's final race would present him with the chance at a story book finish to his famed career. After winning at Martinsville three weeks earlier; Gordon had a chance to cap off his career by claiming his fifth Cup Championship. It wasn't to be; but Gordon ran well and was able to post a win in his final season. For his career Gordon posted 93 wins; second only to Richard Petty and David Pearson. He claimed the Cup title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. His first win came in the Coke 600 in 1994. He posted 475 top five finishes in 797 races. He ran EVERY race in his career without missing a start. The 797 race consecutive start streak is the current NASCAR record and may never be broken. Gordon also posted five wins in the Xfinity series in 73 races. Some other milestones in Gordon's career include: Five wins in the Brickyard 400; He won the Daytona 500 in 1997, 1995, and 2005. Coke 600 winner in 1994, 1997, and 1998. Southern 500 win in 2007, he also won the Sprint All-Star race in 1995, 1997, and 2001. Other awards include the 1993 Rookie of the Year, 1990 USCA National Midget Champion, 1991 USAC Silver Crown Sprint Car Champion, and has been named to NASCAR's list of 50 Greatest drivers. He also holds the record for most wins on restrictor plate tracks (12) and most wins on road courses (9). He holds the record for six consecutive road-course wins. Gordon drove his entire career for one owner (Rick Hendrick) and also only had one sponsor (Dupont). a real rarity in NASCAR for any era. As Gordon winds up his driving career; he will step into the broadcast booth starting in 2016. He will be a full time analyst for the Sprint Cup series on FOX sports along with Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip in the broadcast booth. (as a side note; Gordon was called out of retirement in 2016. Dale Earnhardt Jr had concussion type symptoms mid-season and former car owner Rick Hendrick asked Gordon to run some of the race during the last 1/2 of the Cup season. Gordon ended up with 805 Cup starts.
1948 - Ron Bouchard's birthday.
1975 - Buddy Baker bags his fourth win of the season with a decisive triumph in the Los Angeles Times 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. Richard Petty takes his sixth NASCAR championship over Dave Marcis.
2001 - Robby Gordon speeds to his first NASCAR Cup win in the season finale at New Hampshire International Speedway. The race was postponed from Sept. 16 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Jeff Gordon nabs his fourth NASCAR Cup title by 349 points over Tony Stewart.
2009 - Joey Logano is named the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Logano is the youngest driver to ever win the award
1939 - Buddy Parrott's birthday. Crew chief was a NASCAR crew chief. Over 18 years, Parrott won 49 races. Parrott's sons Todd and Brad also served as crew chiefs. Buddy never was crew chief on a Cup championship team, but he finished 2nd through fifth in the four year span from 1977-1980 with Darrell Waltrip. Also he finished second and third with Rusty Wallace in 1993-1994.
1974 - Bobby Allison drives a Matador to a surprise victory in the 500-miler at Ontario Motor Speedway. During the customary post-race inspection, NASCAR officials discover the Roger Penske-owned Matador is equipped with illegal roller tappets. The team keeps the win but is fined a record $9,100. Richard Petty wins his fifth championship in a complicated points system used for just one year.
1940 - Joe Gibb's birthday. Car owner in NASCAR since 1991. Gibbs was former head coach of the Washington Redskins NFL football team. He coached his team to super Bowl wins in 1982, 1987, and 1991. Joe Gibbs racing has been just as successful in NASCAR. His drivers have won three Cup titles to date - 2000 with Bobby Labonte at the wheel, and in 2002 and 2005 with Tony Stewart
1949 - Mike Joy's birthday - an American TV sports announcer, who (as of 2017) serves as the lap-by-lap voice of Fox Sports' NASCAR Cup coverage. In 1981, he was the lead broadcaster for ESPN's first live NASCAR telecast in that November's Atlanta Journal 500 at Atlanta International Raceway. On weekdays, he worked in marketing for Daytona International Speedway. In 1984, Joy became a pit reporter for CBS' TV coverage of the 1984 Daytona 500, working with Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett. Joy also launched The Nashville Network's NASCAR coverage in 1991, as lap-by-lap announcer. He joined Fox Sports full-time with the NASCAR TV package starting the 2001 season. FOX broadcasts the Daytona 500 and the first 13 Sprint Cup races of each NASCAR season. Four weeks each year, Joy brings extensive knowledge of collector cars to the Barrett-Jackson auction block as lead analyst for Speed's live auction coverage. His commentary mixes detailed knowledge of the cars and their specs with first-hand recall of how cars of the 50's-70's were viewed back in their day.
1951 - Here at New Mobile speedway in Mobile AL Frank Mundy would claim his final Cup win. He would win three times in his career, all of them coming in 1951. He would win the pole, and kick the fields butt driving his 1951 Studebaker, leading all 150 laps of the event. The rest of the top five was Tim Flock, Red Duvall, Fonty Flock, and Don Oldenberg. Interesting mix of cars in the top five. Along with Mundy's Studebaker, Tim Flock drove a Hudson, Fonty Flock wheeled a Oldsmobile, while Duvall and Oldenberg drove Packards. Bob Flock crashes his Oldsmobile in the early laps and suffers a broken neck. Herb Thomas wraps up the tightly contested NASCAR Cup Championship chase by nosing out Fonty Flock by 146.2 points.
1968 - Richard Petty announces he will leave Plymouth to drive Fords in the 1969 season. All of Petty's 92 wins have come in Plymouths.
1956 - Dale Jarrett's birthday
1953 - NASCAR announces it will have both owner and driver points standings in 1954. Team owners have complained that some drivers have failed to split the points fund money, which has always been awarded to the drivers. Points money for the owners and drivers will be identical.
1957 - The first spade of dirt is turned on the tract of land that will become the Daytona International Speedway. After nearly five years, the red tape has been cleared to proceed with the construction of the world's most modern racing facility.
1994 - Mason Mingus' birthday
1995 - Chase Elliott's birthday
2000 - Mike Helton succeeds Bill France, Jr., as NASCAR president. "Mike is well-suited to carry on the tradition of strong leadership at NASCAR. Not only within our offices, but for the entire industry," notes France, Jr.
2012 - NASCAR announced it would return to dirt track racing for the first time in 42 years. NASCAR would have a points paying race for the Truck series at Eldora Speedway on 7/24/2013
1969 - Bob Dillner's birthday - TV announcer
1993 - Tanner Berryhill's birthday
1931 - Dick Hutcherson's birthday.
1952 - This day would see Smokey Yunick start his one and only Cup event. It wouldn't be a memorable race for Smokey as he would start 19th, and after only seven laps his ignition would fail, and he would finish 18th. Yunick is more well know as a car owner and master builder. Yunick was twice NASCAR mechanic of the year; and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two championships in 1951 and 1953. His trademark white uniform and battered cowboy hat, together with a cigar or corncob pipe, were a familiar sight in the pits of almost every NASCAR or Indianapolis 500 race for over twenty years. Yunick ran "Smokey's Best Damn Garage in Town" on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1947, when he opened the garage repairing trucks, until 1987 when he closed it, claiming that there were no more good mechanics. As far as this race played out, Herb Thomas won the pole, dominated the race leading all 200 laps, and beat the field by over two laps. The top five included Fonty Flock, Perk Brown, Lee Petty, and Marion Edwards.
1964 - Shawna Robinson's birthday.
1988 - on this date we lost Dick Beaty. He was a past NASCAR driver, owner, and NASCAR Sprint Cup director. He ran 38 races in the NASCAR Cup division, and 18 races in the Convertible division. He scored one top five finish in each series. His best finish was third at Martinsville. As an owner, Beaty field most of the cars for himself. However over a two year span he did also field cars for Speedy Thompson, Joe Weatherly, Junior Johnson, and Fireball Roberts. Beginning in 1980 he became NASCAR's "Top Cop"; being in charge of technical inspection at the Cup events. The car owners respected and trusted Beaty. He was seen by drivers and crew chiefs as fair and knowledgeable. Beaty retired in at the end of the 1992 season and was replaced by Gary Nelson.