2000 Winston 500

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2000 Winston 500
Race details
Race 30 of 34 in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway
Date October 15, 2000 (2000-October-15)
Location Talladega Superspeedway (Talladega, Alabama)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)[1]
Average speed 190.279 miles per hour (306.224 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Joe Nemechek Andy Petree
Most laps led
Driver Bill Elliott Bill Elliott
Laps 40
Winner
No. 3
Dale Earnhardt
Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Jerry Punch
Benny Parsons
Ned Jarrett

The 2000 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event held on October 15, 2000, at Talladega Superspeedway in the American community of Talladega, Alabama. As one of the final five races of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, this event turned out to be the "event of the year" as Dale Earnhardt's "astounding five laps" would secure him an unlikely win within the twilight of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Individual race earnings ranged from the winner's share of $135,900 ($186,110.78 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $44,086 ($60,374.39). A grand total of $2,329,646 was awarded to all the qualifying drivers of this event ($3,190,377.04).[2]

Summary[edit]

Three different incidents resulted in yellow flags; a stalled vehicle near the start/finish line, debris on the race track and a four-car accident on the tri-oval. 13 laps were run under a caution flag while the green flag lasted for an average of 44 laps. The first 104 laps proved to be the longest green flag stretch of the race. After that, the longest green lap stretch was from lap 120 to lap 168. Although Bill Elliott ended up leading most of the laps, the fastest speed in qualifying went to Joe Nemechek; who has recently gained notoriety for finishing in last-place during the twilight of his career. Nemechek qualified for the pole position driving his stock car up to 190.279 miles per hour (306.224 km/h).[3]

The 188-lap racing event lasted for three hours and one minute. Dale Earnhardt won the race, his second victory of the year and 76th and final in his career, beating Kenny Wallace by .119 seconds in front of about 170,000 fans.[3] The last five laps of this event saw Earnhardt come from 18th place to first place to win; a feat NASCAR fans continue to regard as a memorable moment. Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemechek would play a role in Earnhardt's win by holding off most of the competition. Four months later, Earnhardt would be killed in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500.

All 43 drivers were born in the United States of America. Chevrolet and Ford vehicles made up 33 of the 43 positions on the starting grid. Chevrolet's sister make Pontiac made up the remaining 10 positions. Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Blaise Alexander and Hut Stricklin failed to qualify for the race. Both Dale Earnhardt and his son Dale Earnhardt, Jr. participated at this event; the younger Earnhardt finished 14th. Kevin Lepage finished last as a result of problems with his ignition on lap 20.[3]

The race was televised by ESPN, with pit reporter Jerry Punch, filling in for regular ESPN broadcaster Bob Jenkins who was covering the Indy Car race in Texas that same day, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett commentating. Punch's normal position on pit road was filled by Ray Dunlap.

Finishing order[edit]

* Driver failed to finish race

Post-race standings[edit]

Pos Driver Points[3]
1 Bobby Labonte 4537
2 Dale Earnhardt 4327
3 Jeff Burton 4229
4 Dale Jarrett 4135
5 Ricky Rudd 4102

References[edit]

Preceded by
2000 UAW-GM Quality 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
2000
Succeeded by
2000 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400