1995 NAPA 500

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1995 NAPA 500
Race details[1]
Race 31 of 31 in the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Atlanta Motor Speedway, the race track where the race was held.
Atlanta Motor Speedway, the race track where the race was held.
Date November 12, 1995 (1995-November-12)
Official name NAPA 500
Location Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Course Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
Distance 328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Weather Temperatures ranging between 30 °F (−1 °C) and 66 °F (19 °C); wind speeds reaching up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
Average speed 163.633 miles per hour (263.342 km/h)
Pole position
Driver DarWal Inc.
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Laps 268
Winner
No. 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins
Benny Parsons
Ned Jarrett

The 1995 NAPA 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 12, 1995, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia.

Background[edit]

Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of ten intermediate to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway.[2] The standard track at Atlanta Motor Speedway is a four-turn quad-oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long.[3] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.[3]

Summary[edit]

Dale Earnhardt defeated Sterling Marlin by nearly four seconds after 22 lead changes and two grueling cautions for 11 laps.[4][5] Earnhardt started in 11th place and came back from behind to win this race; which lasted for more than three hours and was the final race in NASCAR's pre-Internet era.[4][5][6] Darrell Waltrip would earn the race's pole position with a lightning fast qualifying speed of 185.046 miles per hour or 297.803 kilometres per hour.[4] Ken Schrader would earn the last-place position of the race due to an engine problem on the 92nd lap of this 328-lap race.[4][5] The #26 of Hut Stricklin would be involved in an accident on the third turn.[4] Billy Standridge, Jack Sprague, Mike Wallace, Shane Hall, Delma Cowart, and Eric Smith would fail to qualify for this race.[7] Out of the 42-driver grid, only six of them would not finish the race.[4][5] All 42 of the qualifying drivers were born in the United States of America.[4]

Most of the field would have Chevrolet and Ford as their manufacturer while Pontiac would bring a limited amount of vehicles.[4][5] The average speed of the race was 163.632 miles per hour or 263.340 kilometres per hour.[4][5] Jeff Gordon would go on to win the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship after this race. Jeff Gordon's car, however, ran awful in this race; coughing up a meager 32nd-place finish and only leading a single lap throughout the race. Junior Johnson would make his final appearance in this race as a car owner. He sold his team to Brett Bodine during the off-season.[4][5]

There was an opportunity for Dale Earnhardt to defeat Jeff Gordon by one point. Had Dale Earnhardt won the race and Jeff Gordon either finished in 42nd place or last place, Earnhardt would have won the championship. Jeff Purvis was used as a start-and-park driver to guarantee that Jeff would win the championship that year. Kenny Bernstein would retire from his career as a NASCAR team owner to spend more time with his family after this race.

Qualifying[edit]

Grid[4] No. Driver Manufacturer
1 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
2 10 Ricky Rudd Ford
3 43 Bobby Hamilton Pontiac
4 15 Dick Trickle Ford
5 98 Jeremy Mayfield Ford
6 2 Rusty Wallace Ford
7 30 Michael Waltrip Pontiac
8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
9 6 Mark Martin Ford
10 41 Ricky Craven Chevrolet
11 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet
12 5 Terry Labonte Chevrolet
13 1 Rick Mast Ford
14 26 Hut Stricklin Ford
15 94 Bill Elliott Ford
16 7 Geoffrey Bodine Ford
17 16 Ted Musgrave Ford
18 4 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet
19 8 Jeff Burton Ford
20 11 Brett Bodine Ford
21 18 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet
22 37 John Andretti Ford
23 31 Gary Bradberry Chevrolet
24 12 Derrike Cope Ford
25 19 Loy Allen, Jr. Ford

Top twenty finishers[edit]

Pos[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Led Reason for DNF
1 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 328 268
2 4 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet 328 6
3 2 Rusty Wallace Ford 328 0
4 94 Bill Elliott Ford 328 17
5 22 Ward Burton Pontiac 328 0
6 23 Jimmy Spencer Ford 328 0
7 88 Ernie Irvan Ford 327 0
8 18 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 327 13
9 77 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Ford 327 0
10 10 Ricky Rudd Ford 327 11
11 7 Geoffrey Bodine Ford 327 0
12 30 Michael Waltrip Pontiac 326 0
13 5 Terry Labonte Chevrolet 326 0
14 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 326 0
15 37 John Andretti Ford 325 0
16 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 325 3
17 6 Mark Martin Ford 325 0
18 98 Jeremy Mayfield Ford 325 0
19 9 Lake Speed Ford 324 0
20 11 Brett Bodine Ford 324 0

Timeline[edit]

Section reference: [4]

  • Start of race: Darrell Waltrip had the pole position to start the race
  • Lap 2: Ricky Rudd took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 7: Bobby Hamilton took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
  • Lap 16: Ricky Rudd took over the lead from Bobby Hamilton
  • Lap 18: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
  • Lap 55: Darrell Waltrip took overt the lead from Dale Earnhardt
  • Lap 56: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip
  • Lap 61: Jeff Gordon took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
  • Lap 62: Bill Elliott took over the lead from Jeff Gordon
  • Lap 64: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Bill Elliott
  • Lap 72: Caution for debris; ended on lap 77
  • Lap 82: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
  • Lap 92: Ken Schrader became the last-place finisher due to a faulty engine
  • Lap 104: Robert Pressley had problems with his engine, forcing him to end the race early
  • Lap 138: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Bobby Labonte
  • Lap 141: Todd Bodine's engine started acting up, ending his NASCAR race weekend prematurely
  • Lap 194: Steve Grissom's transmission stopped working properly, causing him to be the fourth DNF
  • Lap 201: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Bobby Labonte
  • Lap 202: Hut Stricklin had a terminal crash
  • Lap 204: Caution due to Hut Stricklin's accident, ended on lap 208
  • Lap 270: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Bill Elliott
  • Lap 289: Dave Marcis' engine gave out, making him the 37th-place finisher in the race
  • Finish: Dale Earnhardt was officially declared the winner of the event

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[4] Differential
1 1rightarrow.png Jeff Gordon 4614 0
2 1rightarrow.png Dale Earnhardt 4580 -34
3 Increase Sterling Marlin 4361 -253
4 Decrease Mark Martin 4320 -294
5 1rightarrow.png Rusty Wallace 4240 -374
6 1rightarrow.png Terry Labonte 4146 -468
7 1rightarrow.png Ted Musgrave 3949 -665
8 Increase Bill Elliott 3746 -868
9 Decrease Ricky Rudd 3734 -880
10 1rightarrow.png Bobby Labonte 3718 -896

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1995 NAPA 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n 1995 NAPA 500 racing results at Racing Reference
  5. ^ a b c d e f g 1995 NAPA 500 results at Race-Database
  6. ^ NASCAR Race Results for the 1995 NAPA 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  7. ^ Qualifying information for the 1995 NAPA 500 at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1995 Dura Lube 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1995-96
Succeeded by
1996 Daytona 500