1998 Daytona 500

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1998 Daytona 500
Race details
Race 1 of 33 in the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date February 15, 1998 (1998-02-15)
Location Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Chilly with temperatures up to 70 °F (21 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
Average speed 172.712 miles per hour (277.953 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Joe Gibbs Racing
Time 46.776 seconds
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Sterling Marlin SABCO Racing
Duel 2 Winner Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Laps 107
Winner
No. 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Mike Joy, Buddy Baker, and Ned Jarrett
Nielsen Ratings 8.6/23
(13.0 million viewers)

The 1998 Daytona 500, the 40th running of the event, was held on February 15 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida as the first race of the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season. It was memorable in that it marked Dale Earnhardt's only Daytona 500 victory after 19 previous attempts and many heartbreaking finishes. Not only was it Earnhardt's 20th 500 start, but also CBS's 20th consecutive live broadcast of the Daytona 500. Also, his long-awaited Daytona 500 win snapped a 59-race winless streak dating back to Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 1996.

The race was remarkably clean for a restrictor plate race. There were only three cautions - all of which were for minor incidents (as well, there were no accident-related retirements), and there was a pit stop incident involving Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton and Derrike Cope but no caution was waved. The race was run under the green flag for the first 125 laps. This resulted in it being the second-fastest Daytona 500 ever, behind the 1980 Daytona 500 won by Buddy Baker, and the fastest of the restrictor plate era.

Background[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] The speedway has been renovated three times, with the infield renovated in 2004,[4] and the track repaved in 1978 and 2010.[5]

The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar.[6] 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.[7]

Qualifying[edit]

Bobby Labonte won the pole position for the Daytona 500 with a time a 46.776 seconds, and his brother Terry qualified on the outside pole position next to him. Sterling Marlin qualified third winning the first Gatorade Twin 125 and Dale Earnhardt qualified fourth winning the second Twin 125.

Race summary[edit]

Pre-race buildup[edit]

The race began with emphasis on NASCAR's 50th Anniversary Celebration. The pre-race show on CBS featured some of the greatest Daytona 500 finishes in recent memory. It also detailed the famous Daytona Beach Road Course and it featured Russ Truelove, Buck Baker, Tim Flock, Red Farmer and Junior Johnson on the Daytona Beach with one of Tim Flock's old "Full Jeweled" #300 Chryslers.

Kansas Governor Bill Graves gave the command for drivers to start their engines and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino waved the green flag to start the race.

Caution #1[edit]

In the mid stage of the event, green flag pit stops were still in progress with Jeff Gordon leading, and were on pace of breaking the average speed of 198. Ward Burton cut down a tire, leaving debris on the track. This would bring out the first caution.

Caution #2[edit]

Late in the race with a possibility of a second round of green flag stops, John Andretti and Robert Pressley made contact in turn 2and both spun out, which brought out the second caution. During pit spots, Dale Earnhardt came out first, Michael Waltrip had a penalty after running over a hose while pitting, thus held back at the rear of the pack.

Caution #3 (Lap 198) and finish[edit]

Dale Earnhardt led Bobby Labonte and Jeremy Mayfield heading into turn 2. Lake Speed and John Andretti, who already was spun out at the same corner, got together and both cars spun, setting up a scenario where Earnhardt, Labonte, and Mayfield were all in contention for the win. With 1½ laps, the three came up on the lapped car of Rick Mast. Earnhardt easily passed Mast on the outside. Labonte lost Earnhardt's draft while Mayfield sped to the inside of Mast. Earnhardt led Labonte and Mayfield, who were side by side. Earnhardt took the white and yellow flags in first while Labonte edged Mayfield for second by a fender. The race would end under the caution flag.

Results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Make Laps Led Status
1 4 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 107 Running
2 1 18 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 200 22 Running
3 13 12 Jeremy Mayfield Penske-Kranefuss Racing Ford 200 0 Running
4 31 33 Ken Schrader Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet 200 0 Running
5 12 2 Rusty Wallace Penske-Kranefuss Racing Ford 200 4 Running
6 10 36 Ernie Irvan (W) MB2 Motorsports Pontiac 200 0 Running
7 21 97 Chad Little Roush Racing Ford 200 0 Running
8 8 31 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 1 Running
9 6 21 Michael Waltrip Wood Brothers Racing Ford 200 0 Running
10 19 94 Bill Elliott (W) Elliott-Marino Racing Ford 200 0 Running
11 39 44 Kyle Petty PE2 Motorsports Pontiac 200 0 Running
12 22 4 Bobby Hamilton Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 200 0 Running
13 2 5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 2 Running
14 32 50 Ricky Craven Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 0 Running
15 7 23 Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter Motorsports Ford 200 0 Running
16 29 24 Jeff Gordon (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 56 Running
17 16 9 Lake Speed Melling Racing Ford 200 0 Running
18 17 43 John Andretti Petty Enterprises Pontiac 200 0 Running
19 38 28 Kenny Irwin, Jr. (R) Robert Yates Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
20 37 16 Ted Musgrave Roush Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
21 16 13 Jerry Nadeau (R) Elliott-Marino Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
22 3 40 Sterling Marlin (W) SABCO Racing Chevrolet 199 2 Flagged
23 23 73 Mike Wallace Barkdoll Racing Chevrolet 199 0 Flagged
24 42 11 Brett Bodine Scandia-Bodine Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
25 9 22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Pontiac 199 0 Flagged
26 28 42 Joe Nemechek SABCO Racing Chevrolet 199 0 Flagged
27 34 90 Dick Trickle Donlavey Racing Ford 198 0 Flagged
28 41 41 Steve Grissom Larry Hedrick Motorsports Chevrolet 198 0 Flagged
29 18 95 Andy Hillenburg (R) Sadler Brothers Racing Chevrolet 198 0 Flagged
30 27 75 Rick Mast Butch Mock Motorsports Ford 197 0 Flagged
31 25 7 Geoff Bodine (W) Mattei Bodine Racing Ford 197 0 Flagged
32 30 77 Robert Pressley Jasper Motorsports Ford 197 0 Flagged
33 43 17 Darrell Waltrip (W) Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Chevrolet 196 0 Flagged
34 5 88 Dale Jarrett (W) Robert Yates Racing Ford 196 0 Flagged
35 36 47 Billy Standridge (R) Standridge Auto Racing Ford 196 0 Flagged
36 35 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 193 0 Flagged
37 11 30 Derrike Cope (W) Bahari Racing Pontiac 191 0 Flagged
38 15 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 187 0 Flagged
39 24 98 Greg Sacks Cale Yarborough Motorsports Ford 173 0 Flagged
40 14 99 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford 160 0 Engine
41 33 1 Steve Park (R) Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 158 0 Ignition
42 40 10 Ricky Rudd Rudd Performance Motorsports Ford 117 0 Ignition
43 20 91 Kevin Lepage (R) LJ Racing Chevrolet 78 0 Engine
Failed to Qualify
46 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. SABCO Racing Chevrolet
81 Kenny Wallace FILMAR Racing Ford
96 David Green (R) American Equipment Racing Chevrolet
78 Gary Bradberry (R) Triad Motorsports Ford
29 Jeff Green (R) Diamond Ridge Motorsports Chevrolet
79 Norm Benning (R) T.R.I.X. Racing Chevrolet
8 Hut Stricklin Stavola Brothers Racing Chevrolet
14 Loy Allen, Jr. Precision Products Racing Pontiac
80 Mike Ciochetti (R) Hover Motorsports Ford
59 Mark Gibson (R) CSG Motorsports Ford
26 Johnny Benson Roush Racing Ford
35 Todd Bodine ISM Racing Pontiac
07 Dan Pardus (R) Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet
85 Randy Renfrow (R) Mansion Motorsports Ford
Source:[8]

Quotes[edit]

  • "Jean Shepherd once said, 'If horse racing is the sport of kings, then auto racing; this furious, and sometimes brutal game, is the sport of friends. New, or old; come along, friend, and enjoy the Great American Race!'"—Ken Squier during CBS's prerace broadcast.
  • "Earnhardt uses the lap car of Rick Mast to them as the pick...20 years of trying, 20 years of frustration, Dale Earnhardt will come to the caution flag to win the Daytona 500...FINALLY!!!."—Mike Joy commentating the final seconds of the Daytona 500.
  • "Look, out on pit road! Every man on every crew has come out to the edge of pit lane to congratulate the man who has dominated everything there is to win in this sport, except this race; until today."—Mike Joy on the crew members congratulating Dale Earnhardt on his Daytona 500 victory.
  • "The most anticipated moment in the history of motor racing, Dale Earnhardt rolling into Victory Lane in the Daytona 500"—Mike Joy during the broadcast
  • "Dale was like a kid at Christmas, and there was a time where I just wanted to sit back and just watch him"--Larry McReynolds on Earnhardt's win.
  • "It took ten years off my life, if I had made that race, I would have lived another ten years"—Rick Mast on missing the 1997 Daytona 500 after making the 1998 race.
  • "The Daytona 500 is ours. We won it, we won it, we won it!" Dale Earnhardt in victory lane during a post race interview
  • "The 20-year quest is over"—Ken Squier in victory lane after Dale Earnhardt's makes the entrance to victory lane.
  • "It will make the strongest man on earth cry when you win this race, it's really special.--Buddy Baker on Earnhardt's win.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Track facts". DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com. Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The History of ISC". InternationalSpeedwayCorporation.com. International Speedway Corporation. June 14, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Daytona Announces Facility Renovation Plans, No Track Alterations". Roadracing World. Lake Elsinore, California: Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. March 24, 2004. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ What Makes Daytona Special. Daytona International Speedway. May 10, 2012. 2:51 minutes in. YouTube. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "1998 Daytona 500 - Racing-Reference.info". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 

External links[edit]