1990 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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1990 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Previous: 1989 Next: 1991

The 1990 NASCAR Winston Cup began on Sunday February 11 and ended on Sunday November 18. Because of a highly controversial penalty to Mark Martin early in the season, Dale Earnhardt with Richard Childress Racing was crowned the Winston Cup champion for the fourth time, edging out Martin by 21 points.

Teams and drivers[edit]

Complete schedule[edit]

Make Team No. Driver Crew Chief
Buick Bobby Allison Racing 12 Hut Stricklin Jimmy Fennig
King Racing 26 Brett Bodine Larry McReynolds
Stavola Brothers Racing 8 Bobby Hillin Jr. Harry Hyde
Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 5 Ricky Rudd Waddell Wilson
17 Darrell Waltrip24 Jeff Hammond
Jimmy Horton 2
Sarel van der Merwe 1
Greg Sacks3
25 Ken Schrader Richard Broome
Marcis Auto Racing 71 Dave Marcis Bob Marcis
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Phil Parsons3 Tony Glover
Ernie Irvan27
Richard Childress Racing 3 Dale Earnhardt Kirk Shelmerdine
Travis Carter Enterprises 98 Rick Mast Travis Carter
Whitcomb Racing 10 Derrike Cope Buddy Parrott
Ford AK Racing 7 Alan Kulwicki Paul Andrews
Bud Moore Engineering 15 Morgan Shepherd Donnie Wingo
Donlavey Racing 90 Buddy Baker Junie Donlavey
Junior Johnson & Associates 11 Geoff Bodine Tim Brewer
Little Racing 19 Chad Little
Melling Racing 9 Bill Elliott Mike Beam
Robert Yates Racing 28 Davey Allison Jake Elder
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Robin Pemberton
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Neil Bonnett5 Leonard Wood
Dale Jarrett25
Oldsmobile Close Racing 47 Jack Pennington (R)
Hagan Racing 94 Sterling Marlin Steve Loyd
Leo Jackson Motorsports 33 Harry Gant Andy Petree
Moroso Racing 20 Rob Moroso (R)
Precision Products Racing 1 Terry Labonte Cliff Champion
RahMoc Enterprises 75 Rick Wilson Bob Rahilly
Pontiac Bahari Racing 30 Michael Waltrip Bill Ingle
Blue Max Racing 27 Rusty Wallace Jimmy Makar
Cale Yarborough Motorsports 66 Dick Trickle
Means Racing 52 Jimmy Means Darrell Bryant
McDuffie Racing 70 J. D. McDuffie Jeff McDuffie
Osterlund Racing 57 Jimmy Spencer
Petty Enterprises 43 Richard Petty Dale Inman
SABCO Racing 42 Kyle Petty Gary Nelson

Limited schedule[edit]

Manufacturer Team No. Race Driver Crew Chief Round(s)
Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 18 Stan Barrett Gary DeHart 1
Greg Sacks 15
46 2
51 Hut Stricklin 1
Oldsmobile Speed Racing 83 Lake Speed 6
Tommy Ellis 1
Phil Parsons 1

Busch Clash[edit]

The exhibition Busch Clash race, for drivers who have won a pole position in the previous season or have won the event before, was held on February 11 at Daytona International Speedway. Jimmy Hensley drew the pole.

Results

  1. 25-Ken Schrader
  2. 46-Greg Sacks
  3. 28-Davey Allison
  4. 5-Geoffrey Bodine
  5. 9-Bill Elliott
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  8. 27-Rusty Wallace
  9. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  10. 20-Jimmy Hensley

Gatorade Twin 125s[edit]

The Gatorade Twin 125s qualifying for the Daytona 500 was held on February 15 at Daytona International Speedway.

Race One: Top Ten Results

  1. 11-Geoff Bodine
  2. 33-Harry Gant
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  5. 43-Richard Petty
  6. 14-A.J. Foyt
  7. 25-Ken Schrader
  8. 12-Mike Alexander
  9. 98-Butch Miller
  10. 5-Ricky Rudd

Race Two: Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 57-Jimmy Spencer
  4. 4-Phil Parsons
  5. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  6. 10-Derrike Cope
  7. 83-Lake Speed
  8. 28-Davey Allison
  9. 90-Ernie Irvan
  10. 1-Terry Labonte

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 1990 Daytona 500

The 32nd annual Daytona 500 was held on February 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Derrike Cope started off the 1990 season on a Cinderella note as he won his first ever Winston Cup race, the Daytona 500. It came when Dale Earnhardt, who had led 155 of 200 laps (at one point, leading by 25 seconds over 2nd place), ran over a piece of Rick Wilson's expired engine cutting a right rear tire in turn three on the final lap allowing Cope to shoot past for the win. Cope opted to not take a late pit stop and led briefly before relinquishing the lead in lap 196, not seeing the front again until the last lap. Ken Schrader won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 10-Derrike Cope
  2. 1-Terry Labonte
  3. 9-Bill Elliott
  4. 5-Ricky Rudd
  5. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  6. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  7. 27-Rusty Wallace
  8. 30-Michael Waltrip -1
  9. 11-Geoff Bodine -1
  10. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 13-Mike Potter, 19-Chad Little, 29-Joe Booher, 34-Charlie Glotzbach, 35-Bill Venturini, 37-Dennis Langston, 39-Blackie Wangerin, 44-Jim Sauter, 48-Trevor Boys, 59-Mark Gibson, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 72-Stan Barrett, 77-Ken Ragan, 82-Mark Stahl, 85-Bobby Gerhart, 89-Rodney Combs, 96-Phillip Duffie, 01-Mickey Gibbs

Pontiac Excitement 400[edit]

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held on February 25 at Richmond International Raceway. Ricky Rudd won the pole. Mark Martin won the race, only to lose 46 championship points after NASCAR officials discovered a somewhat oversized carburetor spacer plate in his car. This is widely considered to be the key factor in determining the 1990 championship. This also may be the coldest race in NASCAR history. The temperature was in the mid-20's with winds gusting to 41 MPH generating a wind chill of about 5 degrees.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 5-Ricky Rudd
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 66-Dick Trickle
  6. 27-Rusty Wallace
  7. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  8. 26-Brett Bodine
  9. 57-Jimmy Spencer
  10. 25-Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: 70-J.D. McDuffie, 53-Jerry O'Neil[1]

  • It was admitted later that the spacer plate was actually not oversized and not technically illegal. The part was bolted on instead of welded on, thus landing in the "gray area" of NASCAR rules. Dale Earnhardt and his car owner, Richard Childress (being the closest team competitor of Mark Martin at the time) complained to NASCAR and got them to penalize Mark Martin and owner Jack Roush. This has spawned many years of speculation that NASCAR was biased toward the 7-time champion.

GM Goodwrench 500[edit]

The GM Goodwrench 500 was held on March 4, 1990 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway. Kyle Petty won the pole and the race in the #42 Peak Pontiac owned by Felix Sabates and wrenched by crew chief Gary Nelson, later of NASCAR R&D.

Top Ten results

  1. 42-Kyle Petty
  2. 11-Geoff Bodine
  3. 25-Ken Schrader -1
  4. 94-Sterling Marlin -2
  5. 27-Rusty Wallace -2
  6. 17-Darrell Waltrip -3
  7. 15-Morgan Shepherd -3
  8. 57-Jimmy Spencer -3
  9. 1-Terry Labonte -3
  10. 3-Dale Earnhardt -3
  • This was Kyle Petty's first pole on his 277th start. Petty claimed the Unocal 76 Challenge, which had rolled over 29 times since it had last been won. Petty won a bonus of $228,400 in addition to the race purse, for an all-time NASCAR record (at the time) $284,450 single-race payday. Car owner Felix Sebates presented Petty with a Rolls Royce as a gift for winning the elusive bonus.

Motorcraft Quality Parts 500[edit]

The Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 was held on March 18 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt won the pole and enjoyed his first win since November 1989, which was also at Atlanta. Although he was suffering from an upset stomach, Earnhardt made up a lost lap to score a narrow victory over Morgan Shepherd. The race was virtually caution free as Earnhardt led 216 of 328 laps in recording a track record race average speed of 156.849 mph.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  3. 4-Ernie Irvan
  4. 25-Ken Schrader
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 42-Kyle Petty
  7. 11-Geoff Bodine
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki -1
  9. 33-Harry Gant -1
  10. 94-Sterling Marlin -2

Failed to qualify: 14-A.J. Foyt, 46-Greg Sacks, 70-J.D. McDuffie

TranSouth 500[edit]

The TranSouth 500 was held on April 1 at Darlington Speedway. Dale Earnhardt pulled away on two restarts in the final 18 laps and finished two car lengths in front of Mark Martin to earn his second victory of the 1990 season and second consecutive win at Darlington. The race came under some controversy, as Ernie Irvan, who was ten laps down, was racing aggressively against then-leader Ken Schrader, lost control and started a huge crash that almost ended the career of Neil Bonnett. Geoff Bodine started on the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 28-Davey Allison
  4. 11-Geoff Bodine
  5. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  6. 33-Harry Gant
  7. 9-Bill Elliott
  8. 26-Brett Bodine
  9. 30-Michael Waltrip
  10. 25-Ken Schrader -1

Failed to qualify: 48-Norm Benning, 74-Mike Potter, 82-Mark Stahl

  • Two of the Days of Thunder movie cars where in this race, all though they weren't used for filming, just for racing, the number 46-Greg Sacks and 51-Hut Stricklin started the race. Both cars dropped out of the race and finished 36 and 37. This would also be the last time you see any Days of Thunder movie cars in a race.

Valleydale Meats 500[edit]

The Valleydale Meats 500 was held on April 8 at Bristol International Raceway. Davey Allison elected not to pit on the final caution on lap 391 while the other front runners took on fresh tires and fuel. The gamble paid off with Allison leading the rest of the way, holding off Mark Martin for an eight-inch victory at Bristol. Darrell Waltrip fell from contention with a cut tire with 25 laps left, leaving Allison, Martin, and Ricky Rudd in a bumper-to-bumper battle to the finish. Sterling Marlin was spun out with half a lap to go by Rudd. This resulted in a physical confrontation inside Rudd's transporter after the race. The #4 of Ernie Irvan won the pole. Michael Waltrip had a terrible crash in the previous day's Busch Series race when he hit the wall head on and his car collapsed into itself.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 5-Ricky Rudd
  4. 1-Terry Labonte
  5. 75-Rick Wilson
  6. 25-Ken Schrader
  7. 94-Sterling Marlin
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1
  10. 42-Kyle Petty -1

Failed to qualify: 19-Chad Little, 16-Larry Pearson

First Union 400[edit]

The First Union 400 was held at North Wilkesboro Speedway on April 22, 1990. Mark Martin was the polesitter. Brett Bodine won his only Winston Cup race.

Top Ten Results

  1. 26-Brett Bodine*
  2. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 5-Ricky Rudd
  5. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 27-Rusty Wallace
  8. 11-Geoff Bodine
  9. 28-Davey Allison
  10. 42-Kyle Petty -1

Failed to qualify: 48-Freddie Crawford, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 76-Bill Sedgwick

  • Controversy occurred after Kenny Wallace, who was making his first start in the series crashed in turn one and brought the caution. During the caution, the pace car picked up Dale Earnhardt instead of Bodine who had fresh tires. This led to several confusions on whether who led the race (NASCAR did not have time and electrical scoring until 1993) and took 17 caution laps to sort it out the scoring error. In the end, Bodine was declared as the race leader. After the race, Darrell Waltrip who finished second protested the victory however it was turned down.

Hanes Activewear 500[edit]

The Hanes Activewear 500 was held on April 29 at Martinsville Speedway. Geoff Bodine won the pole, lost the lead on the first lap but held the lead four times during the race including the final 137 laps for his first win of the season at Martinsville. In an afternoon-long battle of the pit crews Rusty Wallace, Bodine's crew executed a four-tire change in 19.6 seconds during the 10th and final caution period to beat Wallace back onto the track on lap 364 and easily cruised to the checker flag.

Top Ten Results

  1. 11-Geoff Bodine
  2. 27-Rusty Wallace
  3. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  4. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  5. 3-Dale Earnhardt -1
  6. 25-Ken Schrader -2
  7. 6-Mark Martin -2
  8. 30-Michael Waltrip -3
  9. 66-Dick Trickle -3
  10. 9-Bill Elliott -3

Failed to qualify: none

Winston 500[edit]

The Winston 500 was held on May 6 at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt dominated the field to lead eight times for 107 of 188 laps to earn his third win of the season. Drafting with one other driver after the sixth of seven cautions, the field was left behind when the final caution ended on the 172nd lap and Dale sped to victory. The #9 of Bill Elliott won the pole.*

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 18-Greg Sacks
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 30-Michael Waltrip
  6. 1-Terry Labonte
  7. 42-Kyle Petty -1
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1
  9. 12-Hut Stricklin -1
  10. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1

Failed to qualify: 70-J.D. McDuffie, 80-Jimmy Horton, 82-Mark Stahl, 85-Bobby Gerhart

The Winston[edit]

The Winston was held May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt continued his early-season domination of the Winston Cup circuit with a runaway victory in the annual All-Star event. The 1990 edition was the 6th annual running of The Winston & the second victory in the "winners-only" event for Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing. Earnhardt led all 70 laps after starting from the pole position & won $325,000. Earnhardt became the first 2-time winner of the race.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 28-Davey Allison
  6. 66-Dick Trickle
  7. 33-Harry Gant
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  9. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  10. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.

Winston Open[edit]

The Winston Open, a shootout race for drivers who are normally not eligible for The Winston, was held May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Top Ten Results

  1. 66-Dick Trickle
  2. 20-Rob Moroso
  3. 4-Ernie Irvan
  4. 94-Sterling Marlin
  5. 12-Hut Stricklin
  6. 75-Rick Wilson
  7. 43-Richard Petty
  8. 71-Dave Marcis
  9. 16-Larry Pearson
  10. 98-Butch Miller

Coca-Cola 600[edit]

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Rusty Wallace emerged from early season mediocrity to announce his return to dominance with a shootout win over Bill Elliott. Wallace led 306 of the 400 laps for his first win of the season, resuming his final lead on lap 310 when Geoff Bodine made a green-flag pit stop. A two-lap caution beginning on lap 297 set up the duel between Wallace and Elliott, who had regained a lap he lost early in the race. The #25 of Ken Schrader won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 27-Rusty Wallace
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 30-Michael Waltrip
  5. 4-Ernie Irvan
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 28-Davey Allison
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  9. 10-Derrike Cope
  10. 11-Geoff Bodine

Failed to Qualify:

0-Delma Cowart, 35-Bill Venturini, 36-H.B. Bailey, 38-Dick Johnson, 52-Jimmy Means, 53-Jerry O'Neil, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 74-Mike Potter, 82-Mark Stahl, 01-Mickey Gibbs, 04-Bill Meacham, 48-Robin Best

Budweiser 500[edit]

The Budweiser 500 was held at the Dover Downs International Speedway on June 3, 1990. Dick Trickle won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 10-Derrike Cope
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 66-Dick Trickle
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 94-Sterling Marlin
  6. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan
  8. 9-Bill Elliott
  9. 42-Kyle Petty
  10. 27-Rusty Wallace
  • Dale Earnhardt had blown the engine early in the race. Earnhardt's crew performed the unheard feat of actually fixing a blown engine and getting the car back on the track. Unfortunately, he blew his engine again later in the race.

Banquet Frozen Foods 300[edit]

The Banquet Frozen Foods 300 was held June 10 at Sears Point International Raceway. Ricky Rudd won the pole. Rusty Wallace continued his Winston Cup road course mastery in earning his second win of the season at Sears Point. It was his fifth road course win in the last seven, finishing second in the other two. Wallace overtook Ricky Rudd on the 11th turn on lap 60 and led the rest of the way, beating Mark Martin to the caution on lap 73, earning the win under caution in the final lap. Martin overtook the Winston Cup points race at 1800. Rudd won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 27-Rusty Wallace
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 5-Ricky Rudd
  4. 11-Geoff Bodine
  5. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  6. 94-Sterling Marlin
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan
  8. 0-Irv Hoerr*
  9. 30-Michael Waltrip
  10. 75-Rick Wilson

Failed to qualify: 52-Jimmy Means, J.C. Danielson, St. James Davis, Mike Hickingbottom

  •  – Irv Hoerr was a road course ringer racing for Richard Jackson Motorsports. His car was a Skoal Classic Oldsmobile in colors very similar to Terry Labonte's.[2]

Miller Genuine Draft 500[edit]

The Miller Genuine Draft 500 was held at Pocono International Raceway on June 17, 1990. Ernie Irvan started on the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 33-Harry Gant
  2. 27-Rusty Wallace
  3. 11-Geoff Bodine
  4. 26-Brett Bodine
  5. 28-Davey Allison
  6. 12-Hut Stricklin
  7. 18-Greg Sacks
  8. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  9. 94-Sterling Marlin
  10. 42-Kyle Petty

Failed to qualify: 74-John Linville

  • This race set a record (at the time) for most cars finishing on the lead lap, with 22 cars completing all 500 miles.

Miller Genuine Draft 400[edit]

The Miller Genuine Draft 400 was held at Michigan International Speedway on June 24, 1990. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 11-Geoff Bodine
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 33-Harry Gant
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 1-Terry Labonte
  8. 42-Kyle Petty
  9. 5-Ricky Rudd
  10. 75-Rick Wilson

Failed to Qualify: 50-Rich Vogler, 77-Ken Ragan, 34-Charlie Glotzbach

  • Bill Elliott led the 102 laps and had the car to beat, but blew the engine on lap 185.

Pepsi 400[edit]

The Pepsi 400 was held at the Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 1990. Greg Sacks won the pole, but got involved on The Big One on lap two, which involved 24 cars and took 11 cars immediately out of the race. Dale Earnhardt dominated the race and led 127 laps on his first points race win at Daytona.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  3. 25-Ken Schrader
  4. 1-Terry Labonte
  5. 94-Sterling Marlin
  6. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  7. 33-Harry Gant
  8. 21-Dale Jarrett
  9. 20-Rob Moroso
  10. 42-Kyle Petty -1

Failed to qualify: 70-J. D. McDuffie*, 72-Tracy Leslie, 80-Jimmy Horton*

  • Darrell Waltrip suffered serious injuries (multiple leg fractures, a broken arm, 9 broken ribs, a concussion) in a multi-car practice crash that was caused by a broken oil line in A.J. Foyt's #14 Copenhagen Oldsmobile car that Dale Earnhardt happened to be driving at the time (Foyt had Indycar commitments, and Earnhardt had promised to shake the car down in final practice). During the wreck, Waltrip's #17 Tide Chevrolet spun out and stopped in the middle of the track with its left side facing traffic. Before he could get the car restarted, Waltrip was T-Boned by the #71 of Dave Marcis in the driver's door. Waltrip's injuries forced him to miss 6 races. Marcis suffered a broken leg and had to borrow J.D. McDuffie's Pontiac to start the race. McDuffie relieved him after the pace lap.[3]
  • Jimmy Horton, who had failed to qualify for the race, was tapped to fill in for Waltrip at Daytona and was Waltrip's relief driver 2 weeks later at Pocono.
  • As a result of Waltrip's crash, NASCAR thoroughly inspected Waltrip's car. Waltrip describes in his book, DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles, that the engine had a "floating block in the manifold that sat under the restrictor plate." This was not necessarily illegal, but it wasn't approved by NASCAR. NASCAR forced Hendrick Motorsports (including the pole sitting #18 Ultra Slim Fast Chevrolet of Greg Sacks) and other teams to weld the blocks into proper place. This resulted in the pole sitting car of Sacks essentially being a sitting duck, which more or less caused the aforementioned big one at the end of the 1st lap.
  • This was Dale Earnhardt's first Winston Cup points race win at Daytona

AC Spark Plug 500[edit]

The AC Spark Plug 500 was held July 22 at Pocono Raceway. Mark Martin qualified on the top spot. Junior Johnson's team gambled on the amount of fuel in Geoff Bodine's tank and elected not to make a pit stop as Bodine nearly coasted to victory over Bill Elliott at Pocono. Bodine led nine times for 119 of the 200 laps. Elliott had pitted on lap 157 and needed no fuel for the finish while other contenders made fuel stops beginning with 11 laps left. After a four-lap caution, the race was restarted on the final lap and Bodine inished with a half-gallon to spare. Mark Martin won the pole. One car that qualified for this race did not roll off the grid. Rich Vogler was set to make his Winston Cup debut at this event, but on the night before, he was killed in a sprint car race at Salem Speedway.

Top Ten Results

  1. 11-Geoff Bodine
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 27-Rusty Wallace
  4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  5. 28-Davey Allison
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 5-Ricky Rudd
  8. 98-Butch Miller
  9. 43-Richard Petty
  10. 1-Terry Labonte

Failed to qualify: 2-Troy Beebe, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 85-Bobby Gerhart

  • Darrell Waltrip actually started the race in the #17, and pulled in to put Jimmy Horton in the car at the end of the 1st lap. NASCAR official Dick Beaty stated the day before that he wanted Darrell to stay at the back of the field, do not pass anybody, and pull in at the end of the 1st lap for the driver change. Waltrip passed 3 or 4 cars at the start, then caught a caution that allowed him to do the driver change under yellow. Beatty then penalized the #17 1 lap for disobeying the earlier command (As stated in Waltrip's book, DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles).

Diehard 500[edit]

The Diehard 500 was held July 29, 1990 at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt made it three of four major superspeedway titles so far in the 1990 season by winning the pole, leading a record-breaking 134 laps and winning the race. Earnhardt got the win by dropping behind another driver to draft and conserve fuel on lap 151, then passing him on turn four with 20 laps left, and leading the rest of the way to the checkered flag. Amateur driver Stanley Smith was involved in a pit road mishap when he lost control of his car and hit several crew members for Tracy Leslie's team. No one was seriously injured.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 94-Sterling Marlin
  4. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd
  6. 4-Ernie Irvan
  7. 10-Derrike Cope
  8. 42-Kyle Petty
  9. 6-Mark Martin
  10. 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr. -1

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 77-Ken Ragan

  • As the leaders came off turn 4 on the last lap, the caution was waved along with the checkered flag. No reason for the caution was ever given by the CBS announcers after the race, although photographs have shown that the #57 of Jimmy Spencer actually rolled over on the last lap of the race and managed to still finish 24th, 2 laps down.

Budweiser at the Glen[edit]

The Budweiser at the Glen was held at Watkins Glen International raceway on August 12, 1990. Dale Earnhardt won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 5-Ricky Rudd
  2. 11-Geoff Bodine
  3. 26-Brett Bodine
  4. 30-Michael Waltrip
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  8. 40-Tommy Kendall
  9. 25-Ken Schrader
  10. 0-Irv Hoerr

Failed to qualify: 93-Troy Beebe

  • After finishing the race in 11th, the #7 of Alan Kulwicki actually caught fire, forcing Alan to bail out just past the start-finish line.
  • Sports-car racer Sarel van der Merwe substituted for Darrell Waltrip in the #17. He finished in 24th place after crashing late in the race. At the time, van der Merwe was racing for Rick Hendrick's Camel GT team in IMSA.

Champion Spark Plug 400[edit]

The Champion Spark Plug 400 was held on August 19, 1990 at Michigan International Speedway. Mark Martin started on the outside of the front row, hovered in the top five the first half of the race, then demonstrated his dominance by leading 70 of the last 100 laps to win at Michigan. Martin and Rusty Wallace linked up for a side-by-side duel on lap 124 with Martin emerging ahead never to be challenged again. He regained the lead on lap 162 after a flurry of green-flag pit stops and led the rest of the 200 laps. The #7 of Alan Kulwicki won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 17-Greg Sacks
  3. 27-Rusty Wallace
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd
  6. 28-Davey Allison
  7. 11-Geoff Bodine
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  9. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  10. 21-Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: 34-Charlie Glotzbach, 36-H.B. Bailey, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 72-Tracy Leslie

Busch 500[edit]

The Busch 500 was held August 25, 1990 at Bristol International Raceway. Ernie Irvan and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team captured their first ever Winston Cup victory at Bristol. The last 50 laps of the 500-lap race was a shootout between Irvan and Rusty Wallace. Irvan never relinquised the lead to Wallace, which he gained on lap 411. Irvan finished one car length ahead of Wallace. Dale Earnhardt won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 4-Ernie Irvan
  2. 27-Rusty Wallace
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 1-Terry Labonte
  5. 94-Sterling Marlin
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 21-Dale Jarrett -1
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt -1
  9. 30-Michael Waltrip -1
  10. 5-Ricky Rudd -1

Failed to qualify: 19-Chad Little, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 74-Mike Potter

Heinz Southern 500[edit]

The Heinz Southern 500 was held September 2, 1990 at Darlington Raceway. The traditional Labor Day event saw Dale Earnhardt capture the Richard Childress Racing's fourth pole of the season before winning the race. Even with an ill-handling racecar, Earnhardt recovered, made up a lost lap and then having to battle a vibrating tire to outrun Ernie Irvan to the checkered flag. With the $200,000 payday, Dale became the first race car driver in history to pass the $11,000,000 mark in career winnings. During the race, Morgan Shepherd and Ken Schrader made contact, sending Schrader into the wall.[citation needed] An angry Schrader returned to the race, and rammed Shepherd into the wall, knocking both drivers out of the race.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 33-Harry Gant
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 5-Ricky Rudd
  8. 11-Geoff Bodine
  9. 10-Derrike Cope -1
  10. 26-Brett Bodine -1

Failed to Qualify:

70-J. D. McDuffie

Miller Genuine Draft 400[edit]

The Miller Genuine Draft 400 was held September 9, 1990 at Richmond International Raceway. This would be the final day race at Richmond that would be run during the fall. Dale Earnhardt won his fifth of the last nine races, gambling on his fuel mileage to lead the last 25 laps of the race. As the car coasted toward victory lane, it ran out of gas. "We figured our only chance was to win it on gas mileage and we did," said Dale. "I nursed it as much as I could for the last twenty laps and it was sputtering when I took the checkered flag. Luckily we made the right decision." Ernie Irvan won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 17-Darrell Waltrip*
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 27-Rusty Wallace
  6. 42-Kyle Petty
  7. 66-Dick Trickle
  8. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  9. 11-Geoff Bodine -1
  10. 25-Ken Schrader -1

Failed to qualify: 70-J.D. McDuffie, 47-Jack Pennington, 13-Kerry Teague

  • This was Darrell Waltrip's first full race back from his injuries suffered at Daytona in July.

Peak AntiFreeze 500[edit]

The Peak AntiFreeze 500 was held at Dover Downs International Speedway on September 16, 1990. Bill Elliott won the pole and dominated the race leading 364 laps of the 500 lap race.

Top Ten Results

  1. 9-Bill Elliott
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 33-Harry Gant -1
  5. 30-Michael Waltrip -1
  6. 21-Dale Jarrett -1
  7. 27-Rusty Wallace -1
  8. 42-Kyle Petty -1
  9. 28-Davey Allison -1
  10. 25-Ken Schrader -2

Failed to qualify: 13-Kerry Teague

Goody's 500[edit]

The Goody's 500 was held at Martinsville Speedway on September 23, 1990. Mark Martin won the pole. Geoff Bodine won and swept on Martinsville in 1990.

Top ten results

  1. 11-Geoff Bodine
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 26-Brett Bodine
  5. 33-Harry Gant
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 28-Davey Allison
  8. 9-Bill Elliott
  9. 1-Terry Labonte -2
  10. 21-Dale Jarrett -3

Failed to qualify: 2–Ron Esau, 70–J. D. McDuffie

Tyson Holly Farms 400[edit]

The Tyson Holly Farms 400 was held September 30, 1990 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Kyle Petty won the pole. Dale Earnhardt dominated, leading 291 of 400 laps, but Mark Martin snatched the leading on lap 363, and held onto it until the finish. With the win, Martin retained his 16-point advantage in the Winston Cup Championship race. Two pit stops to remove spring rubber left him in 12th place on lap 196, but by lap 288 he was in second place. On lap 263, Martin was the only driver to pass Earnhardt under green. The race was marked by tragedy, as rookie driver Rob Moroso, who finished in 21st place in this race, was killed in a highway accident hours after this race had concluded. Police reports said that Moroso was above the legal alcohol limit when he crashed.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 26-Brett Bodine
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 25-Ken Schrader
  6. 4-Ernie Irvan
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 27-Rusty Wallace
  9. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  10. 42-Kyle Petty -1

Failed to qualify: 2-Ron Esau, 40-Tommy Kendall, 41-Larry Pearson, 47-Jack Pennington, 70-J. D. McDuffie

Mello Yello 500[edit]

The Mello Yello 500 was held on October 7, 1990 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Brett Bodine won the pole. It seemed that Bill Elliott had the dominant car but blew the engine on Lap 331 after leading 243 laps.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  3. 30-Michael Waltrip
  4. 42-Kyle Petty
  5. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  6. 5-Ricky Rudd
  7. 10-Derrike Cope
  8. 26-Brett Bodine
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  10. 21-Dale Jarrett -1

Failed to qualify: 13-Mike Skinner, 65-Dave Mader III,89-Rodney Combs,64-Gary Wright,40-Tommy Kendall,13-Kerry Teague,70-J.D. McDuffie,74-Mike Potter,93-Troy Beebe,72-Tracy Leslie, 53-Jerry O'Neil,36-H.B. Bailey,54-Bob Schacht,0-Delma Cowart,04-Bill Meacham,35-Bill Venturini

  • During a caution, Dale Earnhardt, who was not running well, lost all four tires at the end of pit road after a pit stop(communication mix-up, lug nuts). His crew ran down pit lane with jacks and got him back on all fours but he lost a few laps. Mark Martin had a chance to capitalize on the misfortune but ended up losing a cylinder and finished 14th, 3 laps down.

AC Delco 500[edit]

The AC Delco 500 was held October 21, 1990 at North Carolina Speedway. Alan Kulwicki led six times for 155 of 492 laps, including the last 55 after taking the lead from Bill Elliott, to post his first win since November 1988 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race ended under caution. With both finishing three laps back, the Richard Childress Racing team gained five points on Mark Martin in the Winston Cup Championship race, though Martin still held a 45-point lead with two races remaining. Ken Schrader won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 33-Harry Gant
  4. 11-Geoff Bodine
  5. 25-Ken Schrader
  6. 94-Sterling Marlin -1
  7. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  8. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1
  9. 4-Ernie Irvan -2
  10. 3-Dale Earnhardt -2

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 48-James Hylton, 70-J.D. McDuffie, 82-Mark Stahl

  • During the last caution, Ken Schrader pitted for 4 tires on the final lap, dropping him from 4th to 5th place.

Checker 500[edit]

The Checker 500 was held November 4, 1990 at Phoenix International Raceway. Rusty Wallace won the pole. Dale Earnhardt won his first race at Phoenix in a dominant way. He also took the points lead.

Top Ten Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  4. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  5. 9-Bill Elliott
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 98-Rick Mast
  8. 11-Geoff Bodine
  9. 4-Ernie Irvan
  10. 6-Mark Martin

Failed to Qualify: 04-Hershel McGriff, 34-Ted Kennedy, 24-Butch Gilliland, 61-Rick Scribner, 44-Jack Sellers, 22-St. James Davis

Atlanta Journal 500[edit]

The final race of the season was held on November 18, 1990 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Rusty Wallace won the pole. Tragedy struck during the race, when Ricky Rudd driving the Levi Garrett #5 locked his brakes up, lost control of the car on pit road, and struck and killed Mike Ritch, a pit crew member on Bill Elliott's team.

Top Ten Results

  1. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  2. 11-Geoff Bodine
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 21-Dale Jarrett
  5. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  9. 27-Rusty Wallace
  10. 18-Greg Sacks -1

Failed to qualify: 82-Mark Stahl

  • The fatal accident on pit road was the trigger for a series of new pit road procedures in the Winston Cup Series. At this time, pit road had no speed limit, which meant that cars would blast down pit road in order to lose the least amount of time. Drivers were essentially waved into their pit stall by a sign board man who would stand out in pit lane holding up their team's pit board. (Examples of this can be seen in the movie Days of Thunder.) In addition, pit road was not closed when the caution was first displayed, which would result in cars rushing into the pits before the pace car picked up the field. This was first curtailed by the banning of tire changes under caution, an extremely unpopular move (all other services were still allowed though). The pit road closing procedures (that continue today in a modified form) also began with this pit procedure. New rules for pit crews that required crews to stay on the other side of the pit wall from the cars until their car was one stall away were instituted.
  • Pit board men were no longer allowed to stand out in the middle of the pit lane. To replace that, pit boards were attached to a metal pole and dangled out in the pit stall from the other side of the pit wall. In addition, each car was issued either a blue (with a white number 1 on it) or orange sticker (with a white number 2 on it). The odd numbered cars got the blue stickers while the even numbered cars got the orange stickers. Once the green flag came back out, the blue flag was put out at the end of the second lap after the restart, which allowed only the odd-numbered cars to pit for tires. At the end of the third lap after the restart, an orange flag was displayed, allowing only even-numbered cars to pit for tires. This procedure only lasted a few races before it was dumped in favor of pit road speed limits.

Final Points Standings[edit]

  1. Dale Earnhardt – 4430
  2. Mark Martin – 4404
  3. Geoff Bodine – 4017
  4. Bill Elliott – 3999
  5. Morgan Shepherd – 3689
  6. Rusty Wallace – 3676
  7. Ricky Rudd – 3601
  8. Alan Kulwicki – 3599
  9. Ernie Irvan – 3593
  10. Ken Schrader – 3572
  11. Kyle Petty – 3501
  12. Brett Bodine – 3440
  13. Davey Allison – 3423
  14. Sterling Marlin – 3387
  15. Terry Labonte  – 3371
  16. Michael Waltrip – 3251
  17. Harry Gant – 3182
  18. Derrike Cope – 3140
  19. Bobby Hillin, Jr. – 3048
  20. Darrell Waltrip – 3013
  21. Dave Marcis – 2944
  22. Dick Trickle – 2863
  23. Rick Wilson – 2666
  24. Jimmy Spencer – 2579
  25. Dale Jarrett – 2558
  26. Richard Petty – 2556
  27. Butch Miller – 2377
  28. Hut Stricklin – 2316
  29. Jimmy Means – 2271
  30. Rob Moroso – 2184
  31. Rick Mast – 1719
  32. Greg Sacks – 1663
  33. Chad Little – 1632
  34. Jack Pennington – 1278
  35. Larry Pearson – 822
  36. Jimmy Horton – 756
  37. Mickey Gibbs – 755
  38. Mike Alexander – 682
  39. Phil Parsons – 632
  40. J. D. McDuffie – 557
  41. Buddy Baker – 498
  42. Lake Speed – 479
  43. Neil Bonnett – 455
  44. Mark Stahl – 371
  45. Bill Venturini – 349
  46. Rodney Combs  – 323
  47. Irv Hoerr – 281
  48. Tommy Kendall – 281
  49. Ted Musgrave – 280
  50. Chuck Bown – 276

Rookie of the Year[edit]

The 1990 season was a slim season for Rookie of the Year contenders. 1989 Busch Series champion Rob Moroso had a top-ten finish and qualified for every race, but he was killed in a car crash before the end of the year and was awarded the top rookie award posthumously. His top runner-up was Jack Pennington, a late-model dirt racing champion, who had 14 starts and no top-tens in an unsponsored car. The only other declarees were Jerry O'Neil and Jeff Purvis, who did not run enough races to be completely eligible for the honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grand National Scene race reports from 1990
  2. ^ 1990 Winston Cup cars, for Papyrus NASCAR Racing http://br.geocities.com/nascr07/winstoncup.htm (Archived 2009-10-21), scroll over "Irv Hoerr – #0" on page to see a picture of his colors.
  3. ^ Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: Forty Plus Four 1990–1993 by Greg Fielden, pp. 49–51
  • Racing Reference
  • Race Summaries are from Maxx Trading Card's 1990 NASCAR set.
  • Non-qualifiers taken from contemporary reports in Grand National Scene magazine.