Top-five memorable moments in the history of the NASCAR All-Star Race
As Bristol Motor Speedway hosts the prestigious NASCAR All-Star Race for the first time on Wednesday night, July 15, here is a look back at five memorable moments from the NASCAR All-Star Race through the years at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
1987, The Pass In the Grass - Famed broadcaster Ken Squier accurately described the spectacle that was the 1987 NASCAR All-Star Race: "Earnhardt would not be denied."
Overcoming heated run-ins with Geoff Bodine and Bill Elliott - who won the race's first two stages - Dale Earnhardt put on a driving clinic in the All-Star Race's first 10-lap trophy dash.
Earnhardt deftly kept his blue-and-yellow No. 3 Chevrolet ahead of Elliott's dominant No. 9 Ford despite being knocked sideways and into the frontstretch grass with seven laps to go.
"(Elliott) came up there and tried to spin me out twice," Earnhardt said. "I didn't take it."
1989, Wallace and Waltrip's Duel - Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace led 123 of 135 laps in the 1989 All-Star Race. Fittingly, the battle for the victory came down to the prominent pair.
Waltrip took the lead on lap 79 and was poised to win - provided he could hold Wallace at bay for the final 10 circuits. Waltrip maintained a slight advantage until Wallace got to his rear bumper in Turns 3 and 4 coming to the white flag. The two cars touched, sending Waltrip's "Tide Ride" into the grass, the two pit crews into a fracas and Wallace into the winner's circle for an unforgettable $200,000 payday.
1992, Allison and Petty's Spectacular Finish - Few sporting events can match the excitement that surrounded the 1992 All-Star Race. Even fewer can deliver an exhilarating outcome like NASCAR's first night race on a modern superspeedway.
Davey Allison dominated early, but was third with one lap remaining. A rapidly approaching Kyle Petty forced leader Dale Earnhardt to over-drive his car and spin in Turn 3. When Petty lifted to avoid Earnhardt, Allison pounced. Allison edged Petty in a thrilling fight to the line before contact sent Allison's car into the frontstretch wall. The spectacular finish soon turned NASCAR racing under the lights into a worldwide phenomenon.
2000, 'We Came Here to Take All the Money' - In 2000, Dale Earnhardt Inc. shined brightly during the All-Star Race. When teammate Steve Park won the All-Star Race Open, second generation phenom Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept the team's momentum going by earning the $1 million payday in the NASCAR All-Star Race.
"We didn't come here to run third, we came here to take all the money," Earnhardt Jr. said in winner's circle.
Earnhardt's No. 8 team accomplished its mission after Earnhardt rocketed past race leader Dale Jarrett to become the first rookie to win the special event. A late pit stop for four tires gave Earnhardt the edge he needed to tear through the field for a win worth $500,000.
Earnhardt's stirring drive remains a special highlight, but his emotional post-race celebration with his father made the night even more remarkable.
2014, McMurray is Surprise Winner - Jamie McMurray is no stranger to unexpected victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After winning his first points race at Charlotte in the fall of 2002, McMurray waited nearly 12 years before delivering another shock.
McMurray qualified a pedestrian 11th for the 2014 NASCAR All-Star Race and didn't take the lead until lap 41 of the 90-lap event. After crashes eliminated contenders Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, McMurray withstood a late charge from Kevin Harvick to claim the $1 million winner's prize.
McMurray's victory was his last in a NASCAR Cup Series car before he retired in 2018.
All-Star eligibility includes 2019 or 2020 Cup Series winners; previous All-Star Race winners; or former Cup Series champions. The action gets underway on Wednesday, July 15, with the NASCAR All-Star Open, a last-chance qualifier race for those drivers without a starting spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race. The two stage winners and the race winner of the NASCAR All-Star Open will advance into the NASCAR All-Star Race. The winner of the NASCAR All-Star Fan Vote, which is currently ongoing at NASCAR.com, also will earn a starting spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race. The Fan Vote closes at noon on Tuesday, July 14.
Live coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Open and NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be provided by FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio starting at 7 p.m. (ET).
For ticket information, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/tickets/nascar-all-star-race.