Bristol is where the legends win. Darrell Waltrip won a dozen times there. Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace each had nine. Then there is Kyle Busch, who’s victory on Saturday night pushed him to six, one more than his brother Kurt and David Pearson. Each one in the Hall of Fame, or will be. No exceptions.
But did you know that the first race at New Hampshire was also Davey Allison’s final race? He finished third, behind Wallace and Mark Martin, scoring his sixth top five of ’93. The following day Allison lost his life in a helicopter crash at Talladega Superspeedway.
Jeff Gordon leads the series with five victories at the road course, including three consecutively, from 1998 – 2000. Tony Stewart has three trophies but did you know he captured the final win of his Cup career last year at Sonoma, ending an 84-race winless drought?
One of the most memorable All-Star races occurred in 1992 when Davey Allison and Kyle Petty were contending for the win along with Dale Earnhardt who was in the lead. During the closing laps, Petty made contact with Earnhardt, who spun, setting up a battle between Allison and Petty.
A classic. That is what the Southern 500 is. Born in 1950, it predates NASCAR’s jewel events in Indianapolis, Bristol, Talladega, Charlotte, and Daytona. It is the Southern 500, the Labor Day classic at Darlington.
Michigan. A big track, a fast track. Sadly, not exactly a legacy event, like winning at Daytona or Bristol or Talladega or Indianapolis or Darlington or either road course. What it is, is a track where legends have celebrated since 1969. In fact, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, and Bobby Allison have combined for 46 victories there. That is a lot of suds for a lot of Hall of Famers.
In the middle of what should have been an amazing weekend for Tony Stewart, Smoke has shown that he is had enough and Homestead can't get here soon enough for him. Coming off his solid run in Michigan, Stewart was running in the top-five in practice at Sonoma when he came up on slower cars heading into turn 11 and it set off the fireworks.
Rusty Wallace will deliver "the most famous words in motorsports" for Sunday's race at Thunder Valley. Speaking at the corporate headquarters in Abingdon, Virginia, Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Food City, announced that Wallace will give the command to fire engines for this Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
I loved watching Cale Yarborough in the No. 11 and Richard Petty piloting the No. 43. How I miss seeing Dale Earnhardt in that black No. 3. I wish I could see Rusty Wallace again in that blue deuce though my reasoning is that him driving means there was no way in hell he would be announcing.
Deep at the heart of it, family is the lifeblood of NASCAR. The family tree is populated with generations of drivers named Petty and Baker, Jarrett and Earnhardt, Waltrip and Labonte, Allison and Wallace and too many more to name.