1990 Daytona 500

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1990 Daytona 500
Race details
Race 1 of 29 in the 1990 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 18, 1990 (1990-02-18)
Location Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (800 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 82 °F (28 °C); wind speeds approaching 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)[1]
Average speed 165.761 miles per hour (266.766 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 196.515 miles per hour (316.260 km/h)
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Geoff Bodine Junior Johnson & Associates
Duel 2 Winner Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Laps 155
No. 10 Derrike Cope Whitcomb Racing
Television in the United States
Network CBS Sports
Announcers Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Chris Economaki
Nielsen Ratings 7.3/20
(10.5 million viewers)

The 1990 Daytona 500, the 32nd running of the event, was held on February 18, 1990 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida over 200 laps on the 2.5 mile (4 km) asphalt tri-oval. The first race of the 1990 Winston Cup Series season, it was won by Bob Whitcomb's entrant Derrike Cope. Terry Labonte finished second, followed by Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd, and Dale Earnhardt.

Race review[edit]

Ken Schrader won the pole with a speed of 196.515 miles per hour (316.260 km/h). In the Thursday Gatorade 125-mile qualifier, he crashed on the last lap and had to use a backup car on Sunday. He quickly passed several cars at the start.[2] By the first caution flag, Schrader had driven up to second place. Geoff Bodine led the first lap of the race and the season. There were two Days of Thunder cars in the field, completing 100 miles before parking the cars to the garage. Those cars were not listed in the official race results.

On Lap 27, Richard Petty (who started a promising 11th) spun ahead of Phil Parsons while running 13th. The spin left him with all four tires flat, meaning The King would need a wrecker to take him to the pits for new tires, and he would finish well down the order. During the yellow, Davey Allison (running 6th) pitted with the leaders and hit the pit wall as he slid the tires. This was unnoticed by the television broadcast for several minutes; no injuries were reported but Mike Joy confirmed left front toe damage.

On Lap 43, an accident occurred between the tri-oval and Turn 1 involving Mike Alexander, Alan Kulwicki (who would continue), Phil Parsons, and 1989 NASCAR Busch Series champion and Winston Cup rookie Rob Moroso. Moroso said he touched Phil Parsons' left rear with his own right front after Parsons came down on him, and Parsons explained that he was attempting a pass on A. J. Foyt. After 58 laps, Schrader's run to the front was halted by an engine failure. Shortly after halfway, 1972 winner A. J. Foyt quit after experiencing a bizarre problem: In a mid-race interview with CBS's David Hobbs, Foyt claimed he had become intoxicated by fumes produced by his new racing helmet.[3]

Dale Earnhardt was the dominator of the race. He led nearly 3/4 of the race, relinquishing the lead briefly to Bill Elliott, Mark Martin, Derrike Cope, Davey Allison, Geoff Bodine, Terry Labonte, and Bobby Hillin, Jr.. Daytona 500 rookies Jimmy Spencer and Jack Pennington led yellow flag laps early in the race.

Dale Earnhardt had the race in his grasp with a lead of more than 40 seconds until lap 193 when Geoff Bodine spun in the first turn, causing the third and final caution of the race. Derrike Cope assumed the lead again by staying out, a call made by crew chief Buddy Parrott. The Top 5 on the restart were Cope, Bobby Hillin, Jr., Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, and Bill Elliott. Earnhardt dispatched Cope and Hillin simultaneously with help from Geoff Bodine, who was one lap down. With a few laps remaining, Rick Wilson in the RahMoc car lost an engine, and a piece of metal bell housing from that engine had tumbled to a stop on the backstretch. On the last lap, Earnhardt ran over it and shredded the right rear tire. He held the wheel straight, let off the throttle and let his car climb the banking of turn three. Spanaway, Washington's Derrike Cope drove by Earnhardt to his first ever Winston Cup victory. His previous best career finish was 6th the previous year at Charlotte. Although Earnhardt would lose the race, his crew took the shredded tire and hung it on the wall of the race shop using the loss as motivation to win the 1990 Winston Cup championship. Meanwhile, Cope would become an overnight sensation appearing on The Late Show a week or so later to talk about his big win. Although it is considered as one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history, the ratings did not quite show it, as it drew a 7.3, the lowest in Daytona 500 history.


Pos Grid Car Driver Team Make Laps Led Status
1 12 10 Derrike Cope Whitcomb Racing Chevrolet 200 5 Running
2 20 1 Terry Labonte Precision Products Racing Oldsmobile 200 7 Running
3 4 9 Bill Elliott (W) Melling Racing Ford 200 1 Running
4 19 5 Ricky Rudd Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 1 Running
5 2 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 155 Running
6 10 8 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Stavola Brothers Racing Buick 200 4 Running
7 38 27 Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing Pontiac 200 0 Running
8 24 30 Michael Waltrip Bahari Racing Pontiac 199 0 Flagged
9 3 11 Geoff Bodine (W) Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 199 8 Flagged
10 30 15 Morgan Shepherd Bud Moore Engineering Ford 199 0 Flagged
11 31 21 Neil Bonnett Wood Brothers Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
12 32 66 Dick Trickle Cale Yarborough Motorsports Pontiac 199 0 Flagged
13 18 90 Ernie Irvan Donlavey Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
14 9 17 Darrell Waltrip (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 0 Flagged
15 6 57 Jimmy Spencer (R) Osterlund Enterprises Pontiac 199 4 Flagged
16 14 83 Lake Speed Speed Racing Oldsmobile 199 3 Flagged
17 33 26 Brett Bodine King Racing Buick 199 0 Flagged
18 5 33 Harry Gant Leo Jackson Motorsports Oldsmobile 199 1 Flagged
19 21 94 Sterling Marlin Hagan Racing Oldsmobile 198 0 Flagged
20 16 28 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 198 2 Flagged
21 7 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 198 3 Flagged
22 17 98 Butch Miller (R) Travis Carter Enterprises Chevrolet 198 0 Flagged
23 42 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 197 0 Flagged
24 22 42 Kyle Petty SABCO Racing Pontiac 196 0 Handling
25 23 47 Jack Pennington (R) Close Racing Oldsmobile 196 6 Flagged
26 27 32 Joe Ruttman Wellings Motorsports Pontiac 196 0 Flagged
27 26 16 Larry Pearson Pearson Racing Buick 195 0 Flagged
28 29 02 Rich Bickle (R) Bickle Racing Oldsmobile 195 0 Flagged
29 37 52 Jimmy Means Means Racing Pontiac 195 0 Flagged
30 28 75 Rick Wilson RahMoc Enterprises Oldsmobile 193 0 Engine
31 39 53 Jerry O'Neil (R) Aroneck Racing Oldsmobile 193 0 Flagged
32 41 2 Eddie Bierschwale U.S. Racing Oldsmobile 191 0 Flagged
33 34 68 Hut Stricklin (R) TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 190 0 Flagged
34 11 43 Richard Petty (W) Petty Enterprises Pontiac 183 0 Flagged
35 25 7 Alan Kulwicki AK Racing Ford 180 0 Flagged
36 13 14 A. J. Foyt (W) A. J. Foyt Racing Oldsmobile 115 0 Quit
37 40 80 Jimmy Horton (R) S&H Racing Ford 108 0 Transmission
38 36 20 Rob Moroso (R) Moroso Racing Oldsmobile 82 0 Contact T1
39 35 73 Phil Barkdoll Barkdoll Racing Oldsmobile 64 0 Engine
40 1 25 Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 58 0 Engine
41 15 12 Mike Alexander Bobby Allison Motorsports Buick 42 0 Contact T1
42 8 4 Phil Parsons Morgan-McClure Motorsports Oldsmobile 41 0 Contact T1
Failed to Qualify
72 Stan Barrett Barkdoll Racing Oldsmobile
35 Bill Venturini (R) Venturini Racing Chevrolet
44 Jim Sauter Group 44 Racing Pontiac
01 Mickey Gibbs Gibbs Knuckle Racing Ford
19 Chad Little Little Racing Ford
48 Trevor Boys Lusty Racing Buick
85 Bobby Gerhart (R) Gerhart Racing Chevrolet
37 Dennis Langston (R) Langston Motorsports Ford
13 Mike Potter (R) Mansion Motorsports Chevrolet
0 Delma Cowart H. L. Waters Racing Ford
96 Philip Duffie (R) Duffie Racing Buick
70 J. D. McDuffie McDuffie Racing Pontiac
77 Ken Ragan Ragan Racing Ford
82 Mark Stahl Stahl Racing Ford
59 Mark Gibson (R) CoHo Racing Pontiac
34 Charlie Glotzbach AAG Racing Pontiac
39 Blackie Wangerin Wangerin Racing Ford
89 Rodney Combs Mueller Brothers Racing Pontiac
29 Joe Booher Joe Booher Racing Pontiac
  1. After Chad Little failed to qualify for the Daytona 500, his sponsor Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce signed an agreement to sponsor Ernie Irvan's entry for the Daytona 500, which has having difficulty with its original sponsor True Cure.


  1. ^ "Weather of the 1990 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  2. ^ "The 1990 Daytona 500". NASCAR.com; Turner Entertainment Digital Network. July 28, 2003. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ "1990 Daytona 500"
  4. ^ "1990 Daytona 500". Racing-Reference.info. 1990-02-18. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 


Preceded by
1989 Atlanta Journal 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1990 Pontiac Excitement 400