1989 Daytona 500

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1989 Daytona 500
Race details[1]
Race 1 of 29 in the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date February 19, 1989 (1989-02-19)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures reaching up to 64 °F (18 °C); wind speeds approaching 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
Average speed 148.466 miles per hour (238.933 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports
Duel 2 Winner Terry Labonte Junior Johnson & Associates
Most laps led
Driver Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 114
No. 17 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier, Chris Economaki and Ned Jarrett
Nielsen Ratings 8.1/21
(12 million viewers)

The 1989 Daytona 500, the 31st running of the event, was held February 19, 1989, at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Darrell Waltrip won the race after Ken Schrader won the pole for the second time in a row.


Daytona International Speedway, the track where the race was held.

Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida that is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.[2] The standard track at Daytona is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long. The track also features two other layouts that utilize portions of the primary high speed tri-oval, such as a 3.56-mile (5.73 km) sports car course and a 2.95-mile (4.75 km) motorcycle course.[3] The track's 180-acre (73 ha) infield includes the 29-acre (12 ha) Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing. The speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.

The track was built by NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. to host racing that was being held at the former Daytona Beach Road Course and opened with the first Daytona 500 in 1959.[4] The speedway has been renovated three times, with the infield renovated in 2004,[5] and the track repaved in 1978 and 2010.[6]

The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar.[7] It is also the series' first race of the year; this phenomenon is virtually unique in sports, which tend to have championships or other major events at the end of the season rather than the start. Since 1995, U.S. television ratings for the Daytona 500 have been the highest for any auto race of the year, surpassing the traditional leader, the Indianapolis 500 which in turn greatly surpasses the Daytona 500 in in-track attendance and international viewing. The 2006 Daytona 500 attracted the sixth largest average live global TV audience of any sporting event that year with 20 million viewers.[8]


In the last 53 laps without a pit stop and on a nearing empty tank, Darrell Waltrip took his #17 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory lane in the race. It was noted that the CBS announcers said that Darrell Waltrip resided in Franklin, Tennessee as opposed to his "real" home town of Owensboro, Kentucky.

The victory was Waltrip's first (and only) Daytona 500 race win in his 17th try, edging ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ken Schrader, who led the most laps, by 7.64 seconds. "I won the Daytona 500! I won the Daytona 500!," Waltrip shouted on the radio to his crew, adding "I can't believe I won it! Don't lie to me, this is Daytona, ain't it? I'm not dreamin', am I?" Still in disbelief, Waltrip asked television reporter Mike Joy in victory circle, "This is the Daytona 500, isn't it? Don't tell it isn't." In celebration, Darrell performed his memorable 'Ickey Shuffle' dance with a helmet spike. The race is also remembered for Davey Allison flipping his car off of the dirt embankment separating the cars from Lake Lloyd. Waltrip's win gave Hendrick Motorsports their second Daytona 500 win. The first Daytona 500 win for Hendrick Motorsports was by Geoff Bodine three years prior.

With Dale Earnhardt and Geoff Bodine finishing third and fourth respectively, Chevrolet finished 1-2-3-4. Waltrip later won five additional races in the 1989 season, tying Rusty Wallace with the most wins of the season.

Finishing order[edit]

  1. 17-Darrell Waltrip, Led 25 of 200 Laps
  2. 25-Ken Schrader (polesitter), Led 114 Laps
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt, Led 3 Laps
  4. 5-Geoffrey Bodine, Led 9 Laps
  5. 55-Phil Parsons, Led 12 Laps
  6. 66-Rick Mast*, Led 6 Laps
  7. 7-Alan Kulwicki, Led 6 Laps
  8. 4-Rick Wilson, Led 7 Laps
  9. 11-Terry Labonte, Led 3 Laps
  10. 23-Eddie Bierschwale, Led 2 Laps
  11. 94-Sterling Marlin, 1 Lap down
  12. 33-Harry Gant, 1 Lap down
  13. 45-Joe Ruttman, 1 Lap down
  14. 16-Larry Pearson*, 1 Lap down
  15. 75-Morgan Shepherd, 1 Lap down
  16. 10-Ken Bouchard, 2 Laps down
  17. 43-Richard Petty, 2 Laps down
  18. 27-Rusty Wallace, 3 Laps down
  19. 26-Ricky Rudd, 3 Laps down; Led 2 Laps
  20. 71-Dave Marcis, 3 Laps down; Led 1 Lap
  21. 30-Michael Waltrip, 3 Laps down; Led 1 Lap
  22. 40-Ben Hess*, 4 Laps down
  23. 88-Greg Sacks, 4 Laps do
  24. 70-J.D. McDuffie, 7 Laps down
  25. 28-Davey Allison, 7 Laps down
  26. 69-Lee Raymond*, 11 Laps down
  27. 84-Mike Alexander, 12 Laps down
  28. 19-Ronnie Sanders, 16 Laps down
  29. 15-Brett Bodine, 177 Laps Completed (Valve)
  30. 83-Lake Speed, 50 Laps down
  31. 73-Phil Barkdoll, 143 Laps (Accident); Led 2 Laps
  32. 29-Dale Jarrett, 69 Laps down
  33. 6-Mark Martin, 110 Laps (Accident)
  34. 67-Mickey Gibbs*, 76 Laps (Engine Failure)
  35. 9-Bill Elliott (Jody Ridley took over; see other notes), 72 Laps (Accident)
  36. 90-Chad Little*, 72 Laps (Accident)
  37. 89-Rodney Combs, 72 Laps (Accident)
  38. 14-A. J. Foyt, 41 Laps (Shocks); Led 4 Laps
  39. 8-Bobby Hillin Jr., 39 Laps (Accident)
  40. 93-Charlie Baker*, 39 Laps (Accident)
  41. 2-Ernie Irvan, 8 Laps (Engine)
  42. 21-Neil Bonnett, 2 Laps (Oil line).
  • Failed to qualify:

52-Jimmy Means, 57-Hut Stricklin*, 68-Derrike Cope, 42-Kyle Petty, 31-Jim Sauter, 95-Trevor Boys, 77-Connie Saylor, 34-Charlie Glotzbach, 74-Randy LaJoie*, 80-Jimmy Horton, 1-Doug Heveron, 41-Jim Bown*, 32-Philip Duffie*, 49-Tony Spanos*, 0-Delma Cowart*, 85-Bobby Gerhart*, 59-Mark Gibson*, and 39-Ricky Woodward*.

Other notes[edit]

  • On lap 3, Neil Bonnett's engine blew then caught fire. He stopped the Wood Brothers' Ford Thunderbird on the apron between turns 1 & 2 as smoke filled the car. He climbed out and fell to the ground as the race continued under the green flag. A lap later, NASCAR finally issued the yellow flag.
  • Eddie Bierschwale drove the #23 car, and when Neil Bonnett's engine blew on the third lap, Kyle Petty was put in the car en route to a 10th-place finish.
  • At the same time, Bill Elliott was relieved by Jody Ridley due to a wreck in practice before the Twin 125's.
  • On lap 23, the #28 of Davey Allison spun and hit the earthen bank that separated the backstretch grass from the shore of Lake Lloyd. The car slowly rolled once, but Allison finished the race (albeit minus the hood).
  • On lap 145, the Phil Barkdoll in his #73 got loose and spun out of 18th place coming of turn 2, spun through the grass, hit the earthen bank, and ended up on his side.


  1. ^ "Weather of the 1989 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Track facts". DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com. Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The History of ISC". InternationalSpeedwayCorporation.com. International Speedway Corporation. June 14, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Daytona Announces Facility Renovation Plans, No Track Alterations". Roadracing World. Lake Elsinore, California: Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. March 24, 2004. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Daytona International Speedway set to repave following the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola". DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: Daytona International Speedway. April 24, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ What Makes Daytona Special. Daytona International Speedway. May 10, 2012. 2:51 minutes in. YouTube. 
  8. ^ "World’s most watched TV sports events: 2006 Rank & Trends report". Initiative. January 19, 2007. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved November 24, 2015.