Irwin Tools Night Race

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Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol
2010 Irwin Tools Night Race logo.jpg
Venue Bristol Motor Speedway
Sponsor Newell Rubbermaid
First race 1961
Distance 266.5 miles (428.89 km)
Laps 500
Previous names Volunteer 500 (1961–1975, 1978–1979)
Volunteer 400 (1976–1977)
Busch Volunteer 500 (1980)
Busch 500 (1981–1990)
Bud 500 (1991–1993)
Goody's 500 (1994–1995)
Goody's Headache Powder 500 (1996–1999)
goracing.com 500 (2000)
Sharpie 500 (2001–2009)

The Irwin Tools Night Race is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. It is one of two Sprint Cup races held at Bristol, the other being the Food City 500, but it is by far the more popular of the two. Since 1978, the race has been held in late-August, typically on the last weekend of the month, on a Saturday night, and is considered among the most difficult tickets to obtain in sports, with waiting lists for this event one of the longest in motorsports. The race has aired on ESPN from 2007 through 2009 and began airing on ABC in 2010, the first time the race has been on broadcast television in many years.

Since 2001 Newell Rubbermaid has been the title sponsor of the race, and until 2009 their marker pen brand Sharpie lent its name to the race. Newell Rubbermaid elected to change the race branding to promote one of its other brands, Irwin Industrial Tools.

Past winners[edit]

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
1961 July 30 Jack Smith*
Johnny Allen*
Jack Smith Pontiac 500 250 (402.336) 3:39:23 68.373 Report
1962 April 29 Bobby Johns Shorty Johns Pontiac 500 250 (402.336) 3:24:22 73.397 Report
1963 July 28 Fred Lorenzen*
Ned Jarrett*
Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:20:25 74.844 Report
1964 July 26 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:12:12 78.044 Report
1965 July 25 Ned Jarrett Bondy Long Ford 500 250 (402.336) 4:02:37 61.826 Report
1966 July 24 Paul Goldsmith Ray Nichels Plymouth 500 250 (402.336) 3:12:24 77.963 Report
1967 July 23 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Plymouth 500 250 (402.336) 3:10:35 78.705 Report
1968 July 21 David Pearson Holman-Moody Ford 500 250 (402.336) 3:16:34 76.31 Report
1969 July 20 David Pearson Holman-Moody Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:07 79.737 Report
1970 July 19 Bobby Allison Bobby Allison Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:23 84.88 Report
1971 July 11 Charlie Glotzbach*
Raymond Hassler*
Richard Howard Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:38:12 101.074 Report
1972 July 9 Bobby Allison Richard Howard Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:30:28 92.735 Report
1973 July 8 Benny Parsons L.G. DeWitt Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:53:04 91.342 Report
1974 July 14 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:31:59 75.43 Report
1975 November 2 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:44:49 97.016 Report
1976 August 29 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 400 213.2 (343.112) 2:08:59 99.175 Report
1977 August 28 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 400 213.2 (343.112) 2:40:27 79.726 Report
1978* August 26 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Oldsmobile 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:25:00 88.628 Report
1979 August 25 Darrell Waltrip DiGard Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:54:46 91.493 Report
1980 August 23 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:03:51 86.973 Report
1981 August 22 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:44 84.723 Report
1982 August 28 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:49:32 94.318 Report
1983 August 27 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 418* 222.794 (358.552) 2:29:50 89.43 Report
1984 August 25 Terry Labonte Hagan Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:07:19 85.365 Report
1985 August 24 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:27:44 81.388 Report
1986 August 23 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:03:55 86.934 Report
1987 August 22 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:56:56 90.373 Report
1988 August 27 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:22:59 78.775 Report
1989 August 26 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:04:14 85.554 Report
1990 August 25 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:54:13 91.782 Report
1991 August 24 Alan Kulwicki AK Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:14:56 82.028 Report
1992 August 29 Darrell Waltrip DarWal, Inc. Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:55:20 91.198 Report
1993 August 28 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:01:21 88.172 Report
1994 August 27 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:55:01 91.363 Report
1995 August 26 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:15:03 81.979 Report
1996 August 24 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:55:12 91.267 Report
1997 August 23 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:19:51 80.013 Report
1998 August 22 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:03:54 86.949 Report
1999 August 28 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:55:11 91.276 Report
2000 August 26 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:07:15 85.394 Report
2001 August 25 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:07:53 85.106 Report
2002 August 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:27:24 77.097 Report
2003 August 23 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:26:32 77.421 Report
2004 August 28 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:00:36 88.538 Report
2005 August 27 Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:50 84.678 Report
2006 August 26 Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:57:37 90.025 Report
2007 August 25 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:59:39 89.006 Report
2008 August 23 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:54:36 91.581 Report
2009 August 22 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:08:31 80.24 Report
2010 August 21 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:41:24 99.071 Report
2011 August 27 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:45:16 96.753 Report
2012 August 25 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 266.5 (428.89) 3:09:27 84.402 Report
2013 August 24 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:57:07 90.279 Report
2014 August 23 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 500 266.5 (428.89) 2:52:00 92.965 Report
  • 1961: Relief driver Johnny Allen drove the race for Jack Smith; Smith is credited with the win for starting the race.[1]
  • 1963: Relief driver Ned Jarrett drove the race for Fred Lorenzen; Lorenzen is credited with the win for starting the race.[1]
  • 1971: Relief driver Raymond Hassler drove the race for Charlie Glotzbach; Glotzbach is credited with the win for starting the race.[1]
  • 1978: Race changed to become a Saturday night event.
  • 1983: Race shortened due to rain.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# Wins Driver Years Won
7 Darrell Waltrip 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992
5 Cale Yarborough 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980
4 Dale Earnhardt 1985, 1987, 1988, 1999
3 Rusty Wallace 1994, 1996, 2000
Matt Kenseth 2005, 2006, 2013
2 Fred Lorenzen 1963, 1964
David Pearson 1968, 1969
Bobby Allison 1970, 1972
Richard Petty 1967, 1975
Terry Labonte 1984, 1995
Mark Martin 1993, 1998
Carl Edwards 2007, 2008
Kyle Busch 2009, 2010

Multiple winners (teams)[edit]

# Wins Team Years Won
9 Junior Johnson & Associates 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986
7 Roush Fenway Racing 1993, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
5 Joe Gibbs Racing 2001, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Team Penske 1994, 1996, 2000, 2011, 2014
4 Holman-Moody 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969
Richard Childress Racing 1985, 1987, 1988, 1999
3 Hendrick Motorsports 1989, 1995, 2002
2 Petty Enterprises 1967, 1975
Richard Howard 1971, 1972

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
20 Chevrolet 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004
18 Ford 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014
4 Toyota 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
3 Buick 1981, 1982, 1983
Pontiac 1961, 1962, 2001
Dodge 1970, 1975, 2011
1 Oldsmobile 1978

Notable races[edit]

  • 1964: Richard Petty led 442 laps but broke the rear end coming to the white flag and Fred Lorenzen erased a deficit of several laps to take the win.
  • 1969: David Pearson survived multiple wrecks to win the first race with Bristol's new banking; the track banked its turns from 18 degrees to 36 to boost speeds; the change was criticized by most drivers due to the speeds, the resulting wrecks, and the greatly increased physical strain.
  • 1971: Charlie Glotzbach needed relief help from Friday Hassler to post the win, the first for the new Richard Howard Chevrolet team wrenched by Junior Johnson; the race was run caution-free.
  • 1973: Benny Parsons needed relief help from John Ustman to post his only win of the season; it was enough to help win the season championship.
  • 1974: Neil Bonnett tore open forty feet of inside guardrail but was uninjured. On the final lap Cale Yarborough forearmed Buddy Baker sideways out of the lead; the win was the first for Junior Johnson since Carling Brewery sponsorship helped him purchase the team from Richard Howard.
  • 1977: Janet Guthrie needed relief help from John Utsman, who drove Guthrie's Chevrolet home sixth, the best NASCAR finish of Guthrie's career. Cale Yarborough took the win, his eighth of the season.
  • 1978: Yarborough took the win in the first night running of the Volunteer 500. Following announcement that Darrell Waltrip would drive for Harry Ranier in 1979, Ranier's present driver Lennie Pond got into several on-track skirmishes with Waltrip.
  • 1979: Richard Petty won the final pole of his driving career and finished second to Darrell Waltrip.
  • 1981: Waltrip finished a season sweep of Bristol races as Dale Earnhardt survived a brutal crash into pit road.
  • 1984: After seven straight wins by Waltrip, Terry Labonte ended that streak by scratching to his second win of the 1984 season, a key win in his run to the '84 title.
  • 1990: After Dale Earnhardt fell back Ernie Irvan beat Rusty Wallace in a late sprint to his first win.
  • 1992: The track was resurfaced in concrete, and Darrell Waltrip took his final Bristol win.
  • 1993: Fatigue affected Rusty Wallace as Mark Martin took the win, his third straight of 1993.
  • 1995: Multiple crashes (including several skirmishes between Bobby Hamilton and Brett Bodine that led to a black flag for Hamilton) and the start being delayed by rain pushed the finish past midnight and as Terry Labonte ran into lapped traffic he was spun into the wall crossing the stripe by Dale Earnhardt. Labonte drove his wrecked Chevrolet to victory lane.
  • 1998: Mark Martin took the win and dedicated the race to his father Julian, who had died weeks earlier in a plane crash.
  • 1999: Terry Labonte was spun out by Darrell Waltrip as they checked up for another car's wreck ahead of them; the skirmish occurred in the final ten laps, but Labonte got tires and blasted from sixth to the lead; he scraped past Dale Earnhardt on the final lap but off turn 2, Earnhardt blasted Labonte into a spin, wiping out several cars. The win was booed savagely by the surprised audience and Labonte's crew chief Andy Graves bitterly described "two washed up former champions" (Waltrip and Earnhardt).
  • 2002: Jeff Gordon won after doing a bump-and-run in the last laps on Rusty Wallace. Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were the dominant drivers, Earnhardt leading the opening 130 laps. The race was full of flaring tempers, a lot of people ended up being summoned for various reason to the Big Red Truck. One of these examples was Ward Burton, who threw his brakepads at Earnhardt after Earnhardt wrecked him in turn 3 on lap 403.
  • 2003: After a postrace confrontation with Kurt Busch at Michigan, Jimmy Spencer was suspended for a week by NASCAR. Busch was booed when he took the win.
  • 2005-8: Roush-Fenway Racing won four straight Sharpie 500s with the wins split by Matt Kenseth (2005 & 2006) and Carl Edwards (2007 & 2008).
  • 2010: Kyle Busch won after dominating despite a tire going down on the final lap. This put Busch in the record books as the first driver to sweep all three top series' races on the same track on the same weekend, dubbed "The Trifecta". He also won the Camping World Truck race on Wednesday night, and the Nationwide race on Friday night. Out of a possible 956 laps he led 116 out of 206 in the truck event (race ended with G-W-C finish six laps past the scheduled distance of 200), 116 of 250 in the Nationwide event, and 282 of 500 in the Cup event. Together he led 514 of 956 laps, or about 53.8% of the laps run.
  • 2012: Denny Hamlin won, holding off Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. This was the first race after the top groove had been regrinded, leading to the return of bump-and-run racing. There were several on-track altercations. On lap 333, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart tangled fighting for the lead, and Stewart responded by throwing his helmet at Kenseth's hood. Later, Danica Patrick was wrecked by Regan Smith and flipped him the bird.
  • 2013: Matt Kenseth held off Kasey Kahne over the last 40 laps to win his fifth race of the season. This was the third race of the season where Kahne was within striking distance of the lead but was just unable to overtake Kenseth.

Television broadcasters[edit]

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2014 ABC Allen Bestwick Dale Jarrett
Andy Petree
2013
2012
2011 Marty Reid
2010
2009 ESPN Jerry Punch
2008
2007
2006 TNT Bill Weber Benny Parsons
Wally Dallenbach
2005
2004 Allen Bestwick
2003
2002
2001
2000 ESPN Jerry Punch Benny Parsons
Ned Jarrett
1999 Bob Jenkins
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988 Ned Jarrett
1987 Larry Nuber
1986 Larry Nuber
Benny Parsons
1985 Larry Nuber Benny Parsons

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Daily Trackside Report". The Auto Channel. August 2, 1996. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]


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