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The 1988 Miller High Life 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on June 26, 1988, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. An unrelated race with the same sponsor was implemented on September 11, 1988, at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia.

1988 Miller High Life 400
Race details[1]
Race 14 of 29 in the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Layout of Michigan International Speedway
Date June 26, 1988 (1988-June-26)
Official name Miller High Life 400
Location Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan
Course Permanent racing facility
2.000 mi (3.218 km)
Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (643 km)
Weather Hot with temperatures of 90 °F (32 °C); wind speeds of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
Average speed 153.551 miles per hour (247.116 km/h)
Attendance 68,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Melling Racing
Most laps led
Driver Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing
Laps 106
Winner
No. 27 Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett, and Chris Economaki

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long.[3] Opened in 1968, the track's turns are banked at eighteen degrees, while the 3,600-foot-long front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at twelve degrees.[3] The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.[3]

SummaryEdit

Rusty Wallace defeated Bill Elliott by a time of 0.28 seconds in front of an audience of 68,000.[2] Wallace's first victory out of the five that he would accumulate at Michigan International Speedway would be credited to his methods of fuel conservation. Wallace ran out of fuel in turn 2 of lap 129. He had a large enough lead to coast back to the pits and not lose a lap.[4] Four cautions were given for 15 laps while 13 lead changes were made.[2] The race took two hours and thirty-six minutes to complete.[2] Elliott qualified for the pole position with a speed of 172.687 miles per hour (277.913 km/h) while the average race speed was 153.551 miles per hour (247.116 km/h).[2]

Rick Wilson was the last-place finisher due to an engine issue on lap 3 of 200 with two more engine failures happening on laps 44 and 167.[2] Dale Jarrett was the only driver to retire from an accident; he would crash his vehicle in turn 4 of lap 156.[2] Mike Alexander's first race subbing for Bobby Allison ends with a top-10 finish.[2] Richard Petty had a pretty fast car, running in the top-10 and top-5 for the majority of the race before the engine dropped a cylinder late causing him to limp to a disappointing 24th place finish.[2]

Elmer Simko would make his last appearance as a NASCAR team owner at this event.[2] He would go on to purchase the Owosso Speedway in Ovid, Michigan shortly after retiring from NASCAR. This would be the best career finish in four starts for Dana Patten with a 22nd-place finish.[2] There was a 41-driver grid of American-born males.[2] Only 25 of these drivers finished the race.[2][5]

David Simko would retire from NASCAR Cup Series racing after this event; finishing 40th in the process.[2] David Sosebee would also retire after this race; completing the race in 31st place.[2]

Notable crew chiefs in attendance for this race were Junie Donlavey, Darrell Bryant, Joey Arrington, Andy Petree, Jimmy Means, Dale Inman, Travis Carter, Elmo Langley among others.[6]

Jimmy Horton, Jay Sommers, J.D. McDuffie, and Connie Saylor would fail to qualify for this race.[2] Individual earnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $64,100 ($135,793.16 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $3,050 ($6,461.3 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse for this event was advertised at $440,975 ($934,187.05 when adjusted for inflation).[7]

Finishing orderEdit

Section reference: [2]

  1. Rusty Wallace (No. 27)
  2. Bill Elliott (No. 9)
  3. Terry Labonte (No. 11)
  4. Dale Earnhardt† (No. 3)
  5. Geoffrey Bodine (No. 5)
  6. Ken Schrader (No. 25)
  7. Phil Parsons (No. 55)
  8. Darrell Waltrip (No. 17)
  9. Cale Yarborough (No. 29)
  10. Mike Alexander (No. 12)
  11. Ricky Rudd (No. 26)
  12. Bobby Hillin, Jr. (No. 8)
  13. Buddy Baker (No. 88)
  14. Mark Martin (No. 6)
  15. Ernie Irvan (No. 2)
  16. Joe Ruttman (No. 31)
  17. Ken Bouchard (No. 10)
  18. Dave Marcis (No. 71)
  19. Neil Bonnett† (No. 75)
  20. Brad Noffsinger (No. 98)
  21. Alan Kulwicki† (No. 7)
  22. Dana Patten (No. 96)
  23. Buddy Arrington (No. 67)
  24. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  25. Dale Jarrett (No. 1)
  26. Eddie Bierschwale* (No. 23)
  27. Brett Bodine* (No. 15)
  28. Michael Waltrip* (No. 30)
  29. Lake Speed* (No. 83)
  30. Rodney Combs* (No. 97)
  31. David Sosebee* (No. 92)
  32. Derrike Cope* (No. 68)
  33. Kyle Petty* (No. 21)
  34. Morgan Shepherd* (No. 33)
  35. Davey Allison*† (No. 28)
  36. Jimmy Means* (No. 52)
  37. Sterling Marlin* (No. 44)
  38. Benny Parsons*† (No. 90)
  39. H.B. Bailey*† (No. 36)
  40. David Simko* (No. 51)
  41. Rick Wilson (No. 4)

† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [2]

Rusty Wallace
Terry Labonte
Terry Labonte
Rusty Wallace
1
11
21
31
41
51
61
71
81
91
101
111
121
131
141
151
161
171
181
191

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1   Rusty Wallace 2145 0
2   Dale Earnhardt 2015 -130
3   Bill Elliott 1995 -150
4   Terry Labonte 1939 -206
5   Ken Schrader 1829 -316
6   Geoffrey Bodine 1814 -331
7   Sterling Marlin 1808 -337
8   Phil Parsons 1762 -383
9   Darrell Waltrip 1734 -411
10   Bobby Hillin, Jr. 1723 -422

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1988 Miller High Life 400 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. 2012-09-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "1988 Miller High Life 400 racing information". Racing Reference. 2011-07-19.
  3. ^ a b c "Michigan International Speedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  4. ^ "Fuel mileage pays off for Wallace on superspeedway". NASCAR.com. 2012-12-25.
  5. ^ "1988 Miller High Life 400 racing information (second reference)". Driver Averages. 2012-11-18.
  6. ^ "1988 Miller High Life 400 crew chiefs information". Racing Reference. 2018-08-23.
  7. ^ "NASCAR race results for the 1988 Miller High Life 400". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. 2012-11-18.
Preceded by
1988 Miller Life 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1988
Succeeded by
1988 Pepsi Firecracker 400