1991 Budweiser at The Glen

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1991 Budweiser at the Glen
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 18 of 29 in the 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Watkins Glen short course from 1971–1991, before the Inner Loop was added.
Watkins Glen short course from 1971–1991, before the Inner Loop was added.
Date August 11, 1991 (1991-August-11)
Official name Budweiser at the Glen
Location Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York
Course Permanent racing facility
2.428 mi (3.909 km)
Distance 90 laps, 218.52 mi (351.81 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures approaching 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
Average speed 98.997 miles per hour (159.320 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hagan Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Laps 39
No. 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins
Ned Jarrett
Benny Parsons

The 1991 Budweiser At The Glen racing event was officially sanctioned as part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Taking place on August 11, 1991, at Watkins Glen International, this race was the 18th race completed out of the 29 attempted during the 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.[2][3] The race was won by Ernie Irvan driving the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet Lumina for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, but was marred by an early crash that claimed the life of veteran driver J. D. McDuffie.


The entire race took approximately two hours and twelve minutes to complete.[2][3]

Terry Labonte, driving the No. 94 Sunoco Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme for Billy Hagan, qualified on pole for the race. Irvan, who won the race, qualified third.[4] Five cautions were given out for eleven laps.[2][3] Ricky Rudd finished second behind Irvan in the No. 5 Tide Chevrolet Lumina for Hendrick Motorsports, and Richard Petty recorded his final career top ten finish in the No. 43 STP Pontiac Grand Prix by finishing ninth.[2][3]

ESPN carried the race as part of its coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, and Ned Jarrett called the race while Jerry Punch and John Kernan were pit reporters. Jenkins called the race from the broadcast booth near the front straightaway while his analysts were stationed on the track, with Parsons reporting from the first turn and Jarrett stationed at the fifth turn known as the "Loop".

Lap 5 crash[edit]

On the fifth lap of the race, a huge crash halted the event. McDuffie, driving the No. 70 L.C. Whitford Racing Pontiac Grand Prix, was racing Jimmy Means, driving the No. 52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac Grand Prix, into the Loop turn. Suddenly, a chain reaction of mechanical failures in McDuffie's car sent him careening across the track with no way to stop as his brakes had failed. McDuffie plowed into the tire barrier guarding the fence with enough force to cause his car to fly into the air and do a 180-degree turn in mid-air. Means slid across the track right behind McDuffie and crashed into the tire barrier just under the flipping McDuffie.[2][3] McDuffie was killed instantly.[5] The No. 70 landed on its roof and Means, with only a scrape on his chin, walked over to McDuffie to see if he could help him out. After looking inside the upside-down No. 70 car, Means stood up and began waving frantically for assistance. The race was red-flagged for nearly two hours after the accident. Later, as the race was restarting, NASCAR Winston Cup Media Director Chip Williams relayed to both the television audience and the national radio audience listening on MRN that McDuffie had died from his injuries sustained in the crash. On ESPN, Bob Jenkins then eulogized McDuffie before Benny Parsons spoke directly to McDuffie's widow, Ima Jean.[6] Parsons had lost his wife two months earlier.[7] McDuffie was credited with a last-place finish of 40th.[8] A brief ceremony honoring McDuffie was held during the 1992 Coca-Cola 600 race held the following year.

"Jean, I know exactly what you're going through sweetheart. And, you fans out there, you wonder how these guys can get in these cars can go back out and restart this race. Hey, it's their job, it's what they do and there's a hundred thousand people here this afternoon to watch them do that job. There's not a one of these drivers that wants to be in that racecar right now, they want to be in the garage area hugging their wife, their girlfriend, their mom, their crewmembers, whoever. I don't want to be here now, I want to be over there looking at Ned, looking at Bob and just not saying anything. But we've got a job to do, and that's report to you who wins, who loses, and what happens during the day. Jean, we all love you and we're sorry."

Benny Parsons, addressing J.D. McDuffie's death on ESPN.[6]

This incident was the second serious accident at Turn 5 that year. During June's Camel Continental sports car race, Tommy Kendall crashed in the same area after losing control of his vehicle and broke both of his legs. Coincidentally, Kendall was scheduled to take part in this particular race prior to his accident driving the No. 42 Mello Yello Pontiac for Felix Sabates in place of an injured Kyle Petty, but his injuries allowed Bobby Hillin, Jr. to take over the ride for the Budweiser at the Glen. (Hillin finished 18th.)

In the wake of both serious incidents, Watkins Glen International track officials decided to reconfigure the track and added a chicane called the Inner Loop to the entrance to Turn 5, which was renamed the Outer Loop. As of 2016 the track is laid out in such a manner that race organizers can use the chicane or bypass it in favor of the traditional setup, depending on the series.


When the race restarted, Terry Labonte maintained the lead. On lap 20, Labonte cut a left-rear tire and spun entering turn one, bringing out the caution to retrieve his tire. Ernie Irvan ran up front until he spun out of the lead in turn six on lap 48. Irvan re-entered the track in fifth place. A caution for rain came out on lap 59. The shower was brief and Ken Schrader emerged in the lead after pitting shortly before the caution. Schrader led until lap 68 when he broke a camshaft in turn five and coasted back to the pits. Later that lap, Kim Campbell spun in turn five, hitting the wall with the back of his Oldsmobile and bringing out the fifth and final caution of the day. The race came down to a three car battle between Irvan, Mark Martin, and Davey Allison for the victory. On the final lap, Martin attempted a pass for the lead entering turn one. Irvan blocked the attempt forcing Martin to slam on the brakes. This disrupted the balance of Martin's Thunderbird causing him to spin and Davey Allison to spin in avoidance. Irvan drove to a seven-second victory. Martin finished third while Allison had trouble restarting his car, finishing tenth. Coming out of the final turn, Bill Elliott and Hut Stricklin spun across the finish line, finishing seventh and eight respectively.


Pos Grid No. Driver Team Constructor Laps Points
1 3 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 90 185
2 22 5 Ricky Rudd Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90 175
3 2 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 90 165
4 21 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing South Ford 90 160
5 14 21 Dale Jarrett Wood Brothers Racing Ford 90 155
6 7 17 Darrell Waltrip DarWal Inc. Chevrolet 90 150
7 19 9 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 90 146
8 30 12 Hut Stricklin Bobby Allison Motorsports Buick 90 142
9 31 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Pontiac 90 138
10 9 28 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 90 139
11 23 19 Chad Little Little Racing Ford 90 130
12 28 22 Sterling Marlin Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 90 127
13 26 10 Derrike Cope Whitcomb Racing Chevrolet 90 124
14 29 75 Joe Ruttman RahMoc Enterprises Oldsmobile 90 121
15 8 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 90 123
16 27 53 John Paul, Jr. Team Ireland Chevrolet 90 115
17 11 24 Dorsey Schroeder Team III Racing Pontiac 90 117
18 16 42 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Team Sabco Pontiac 89 109
19 17 8 Rick Wilson Stavola Brothers Racing Buick 89 106
20 38 54 Jim Derhaag Hakes-Welliver Racing Oldsmobile 88 103
21 40 30 Michael Waltrip Bahari Racing Pontiac 88 100
22 4 11 Geoff Bodine Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 86 102
23 12 7 Alan Kulwicki AK Racing Ford 82 94
24 39 13 Oma Kimbrough Linro Motorsports Buick 80 91
25 18 26 Brett Bodine King Racing Buick 77 88
26 34 55 Ted Musgrave # U.S. Racing Pontiac 76 90
27 33 98 Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter Enterprises Chevrolet 72 82
28 15 33 Harry Gant Precision Products Racing Oldsmobile 71 79
29 32 68 Bobby Hamilton # TriStar Motorsports Oldsmobile 70 76
30 6 25 Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 68 78
31 37 20 Kim Campbell Moroso Racing Oldsmobile 64 70
32 5 90 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. # Donlavey Racing Ford 58 67
33 10 66 Lake Speed Cale Yarborough Motorsports Pontiac 55 64
34 1 94 Terry Labonte Hagan Racing Oldsmobile 47 66
35 24 1 Rick Mast Leo Jackson Motorsports Oldsmobile 41 58
36 25 15 Morgan Shepherd Bud Moore Engineering Ford 33 55
37 20 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 11 52
38 13 44 Irv Hoerr Labonte Motorsports Oldsmobile 8 49
39 36 52 Jimmy Means Means Racing Pontiac 4 46
40 35 70 J. D. McDuffie McDuffie Racing Pontiac 4 43


  1. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "1991 Budweiser At The Glen racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "1991 Budweiser At The Glen racing results (second reference)". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  4. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen winner's prize money". Everything Stock Car. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  5. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen death scene". Legends of NASCAR. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  6. ^ a b Jenkins, Bob; Jarret, Ned; Parsons, Benny (August 11, 1991). Budweiser at the Glen (Television). Watkins Glen, New York: ESPN. 
  7. ^ Jenkins, Bob; Jarret, Ned (June 16, 1991). Champion Spark Plug 500 (Television). Long Pond, Pennsylvania: ESPN. 
  8. ^ a b "Budweiser at The Glen Race Results". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
Preceded by
1991 DieHard 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1991 Champion Spark Plug 400