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The 1987 Goody's 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on September 27, 1987, at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.

1987 Goody's 500
Race details[1]
Race 24 of 29 in the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
A map showing the layout of Martinsville Speedway
Date September 27, 1987 (1987-September-27)
Official name Goody's 500
Location Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Virginia
Course Permanent racing facility
0.525 mi (0.844 km)
Distance 500 laps, 262.5 mi (442.4 km)
Weather Temperatures ranging between 57 °F (14 °C) and 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds of 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)
Average speed 76.41 miles per hour (122.97 km/h)
Attendance 44,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Laps 170
No. 17 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network SETN
Announcers Eli Gold
Jerry Punch

The most dominant drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series during the 1980s were Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip, Terry Labonte, Bobby Allison, and Dale Earnhardt.


Martinsville Speedway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races.[3] The standard track at Martinsville Speedway is a four-turn short track oval that is 0.526 miles (0.847 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at eleven degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at zero degrees. The back stretch also has a zero degree banking.[4]

Race reportEdit

There were 31 American-born drivers on the starting grid; Buddy Baker was credited with the last-place finish due to an issue with his brakes on lap 39 (of 500).[2] Bonnett would break his wrists during this race but kept on racing as nobody was eliminated from the race yet during lap 40. Most of the drivers who failed to finish the race had problems with either crashing into other drivers, their engine, or with overheating.[5] Former NASCAR driver Bryan Baker attempted to qualify for the field but failed to make it; this race would have been his Winston Cup Series debut had he qualified. His only professional stock car racing event came at the 1986 Delaware 500.

This race contained typical Martinsville racing where three cars are nearly touching going into turn 1 or 3 and have to slow way down to make the turn. However, the third car does not slow down enough, and turns their wheel to the right into the second car's left rear end. It is going to push the second car into the first car and cause them both to spin too far in the direction they are turning.

During the closing laps of the race, a closely packed racing trio (consisting of Earnhardt, Labonte, and Waltrip) would constantly bang on each other for the chance to finish the race as the winner.[6] Those three drivers raced in a similar manner to current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.[6] Geoffrey Bodine would clinch the pole position for this race with an incredible qualifying run of 91.218 miles per hour (146.801 km/h).[2] Darrell Waltrip managed to "intimidate" Dale Earnhardt by being nearly two seconds faster than him. Martinsville's own Buddy Arrington makes his final Cup start on his hometown track but the #67 Pannill Knitting Ford was sidelined on the 87th lap by overheating issues. Virginia racer Curtis Markham, making just his second Cup start, ends up sidelined on lap 203 but still finishes in 26th place to claim the best finish of his short career in the series. This was the first of three late-season races for Markham in Elmo Langley's #64 Ford, he'd become the team's last new driver before it closed at the end of the year.[2]

Darrell Waltrip's oldest daughter Jessica would be born just 10 days prior to this race.[7] This is similar to current driver Jimmie Johnson and now-retired driver Jeff Gordon winning races after the births of their respective daughters (Genevieve Marie for Johnson and Ella Sofia for Jeff Gordon).

Other notable drivers in this race were Terry Labonte, Neil Bonnett, Alan Kulwicki, Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip.[2] Forty-four thousand fans would see almost three and a half hours of racing with eight caution flags being handed out for a staggering 35 laps.[2] Both Richard Petty and his son Kyle participated in this racing event.[2]

Notable crew chiefs who actively participated in the race were Joey Arrington, Andy Petree, Dale Inman, Harry Hyde, Travis Carter, Larry McReynolds, Bud Moore, Tim Brewer, Kirk Shelmerdine among others.[8]

Waltrip would earn $43,830 out of the prize purse ($96,659.66 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher Baker would acquire a meager $1,160 ($2,558.18 when adjusted for inflation).[5]


Grid[2] No. Driver Manufacturer
1 5 Geoffrey Bodine Chevrolet
2 26 Morgan Shepherd Buick
3 11 Terry Labonte Chevrolet
4 75 Neil Bonnett Pontiac
5 8 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Buick
6 21 Kyle Petty Ford
7 33 Harry Gant Chevrolet
8 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet
9 71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet
10 18 Dale Jarrett Chevrolet
11 90 Ken Schrader Ford
12 27 Rusty Wallace Pontiac
13 9 Bill Elliott Ford
14 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet
15 15 Ricky Rudd Ford
16 43 Richard Petty Pontiac
17 22 Bobby Allison Buick
18 35 Benny Parsons Chevrolet
19 50 Greg Sacks Pontiac
20 30 Michael Waltrip Chevrolet

Finishing orderEdit

Section reference:[2]

  1. Darrell Waltrip (No. 17)
  2. Dale Earnhardt (No. 3)
  3. Terry Labonte (No. 11)
  4. Neil Bonnett (No. 75)
  5. Morgan Shepherd (No. 26)
  6. Alan Kulwicki (No. 7)
  7. Sterling Marlin (No. 44)
  8. Bobby Allison (No. 22)
  9. Kyle Petty (No. 21)
  10. Dale Jarrett (No. 18)
  11. Bill Elliott (No. 9)
  12. Ken Schrader (No. 90)
  13. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  14. Harry Gant* (No. 33)
  15. Ernie Irvan (No. 6)
  16. Phil Parsons (No. 55)
  17. J.D. McDuffie (No. 70)
  18. Michael Waltrip (No. #30)
  19. Steve Christman (No. 62)
  20. Geoffrey Bodine (No. 5)
  21. Ricky Rudd* (No. 15)
  22. Bobby Hillin, Jr.* (No. 8)
  23. Benny Parsons* (No. 35)
  24. Greg Sacks* (No. 50)
  25. Slick Johnson* (No. 12)
  26. Curtis Markham* (No. 64)
  27. Dave Marcis* (No. 71)
  28. Rusty Wallace* (No. 27)
  29. Buddy Arrington* (No. 67)
  30. Jimmy Means* (No. 52)
  31. Buddy Baker* (No. 88)

* Driver failed to finish race

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Dale Earnhardt 3961 0
2   Bill Elliott 3393 -568
3   Terry Labonte 3261 -700
4   Darrell Waltrip 3212 -749
5   Ricky Rudd 3168 -793
6   Neil Bonnett 3167 -794
7   Rusty Wallace 3148 -813
8   Richard Petty 3070 -891
9   Kyle Petty 3004 -957
10   Ken Schrader 2915 -1046


  1. ^ Weather for the 1987 Goody's 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 1987 Goody's 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Martinsville Speedway". Martinsville Speedway. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  5. ^ a b 1987 Goody's 500 Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine racing information at Driver Averages
  6. ^ a b Close finish at the 1987 Goody's 500 at YouTube
  7. ^ Faith Lane at Google News Archive Search
  8. ^ 1987 Goody's 500 crew chiefs information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1987 Delaware 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Races
Succeeded by
1987 Holly Farms 400