1992 Daytona 500
|Race 1 of 29 in the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
|Date||February 16, 1992|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
|Distance||200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds approaching 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)|
|Average speed||160.256 miles per hour (257.907 km/h)|
|Driver||Sterling Marlin||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Qualifying race winners|
|Duel 1 Winner||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|Duel 2 Winner||Bill Elliott||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Racing|
||Robert Yates Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Ken Squier, Neil Bonnett and Ned Jarrett|
(13.4 million viewers)
The 1992 Daytona 500 by STP, the 34th running of the event, was held February 16 at Daytona International Speedway. The winner was Davey Allison. Sterling Marlin won the pole award for Junior Johnson in the #22 Maxwell House Ford. Richard Petty gave the command to start the engines from the cockpit of the famous #43 STP Pontiac in his final appearance in the race as a driver. This would also be the final Daytona 500 start for 1972 winner A.J. Foyt. "Super Tex" would also start his final Indianapolis 500 later that year. This marked the debut of Joe Gibbs Racing in the green and black #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet with Dale Jarrett as the driver.
The initial part of the race was clean, though Geoff Bodine and Morgan Shepherd touched exiting Turn 4 with no further incident. Brett Bodine and Ricky Rudd fell out in the first half of the race with separate engine failures, as the Junior Johnson cars of Sterling Marlin and Bill Elliott established themselves as the cars to beat. Davey Allison's crew gambled with a two-tire change, but caught a lucky break when Geoff Bodine was penalised for speeding, and gained a drafting partner.
The Big One
Rain fell after 80 laps, and when the race restarted Ernie Irvan went for the lead on lap 92. He came up in front of Sterling Marlin, but hadn't cleared him, and also moved him up the track into his teammate Bill Elliott who was on the outside. The ensuing mayhem collected polesitter Sterling Marlin, Ernie Irvan, Bill Elliott, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Dale Earnhardt. Also, Bobby Hillin Jr., Dale Jarrett, Alan Kulwicki, Chad Little, Richard Petty, Hut Stricklin, Rusty Wallace, and Darrell Waltrip were involved.
The wreck ended the race for Jarrett, Schrader, Marlin, Hillin, and Little, with their cars being terminally damaged.
On Lap 144 Rick Wilson was planning to pit the Stavola Brothers Ford, but Kerry Teague didn't realise it and ran into him. This brought out the third yellow flag in the race. On Lap 166 Ernie Irvan's crippled car spun to bring out the fourth caution flag. Leaders Allison, Shepherd, and Michael Waltrip made their final stops. Waltrip fell back after the restart with an engine that was quitting. This left the two Ford Thunderbirds of Allison and Shepherd to race for the win, finishing in this order. This win made the Allisons the second father-son duo to win the Daytona 500, joining Lee and Richard Petty. Alan Kulwicki finished a quiet fourth which kicked off an unlikely championship run.
Promotion and aftermath
- Racing Champions ran a promotion for the race and gave out a 3-car gift set of the top 3 finishers, Davey Allison, Morgan Shepherd, and Geoff Bodine in a blister pack. There are some packs that came with errors that had Bodine listed in second but in the same order on the box. The package is considered rare today, but can still be found in some novelty shops.
- Richard Petty ran a promotion where he ran a diecast car of each race he ran in 1992 season, including the Daytona 500.
- A.J. Foyt ran diecast cars for both the Daytona 500 and his final Indy 500 that year.
- The winning car Davey Allison used was auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson car auction complete with the winning driver's trophy and driving uniform.
- Since this Daytona 500, the leader of lap 100 has never gone on to win the race.