1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500
|Race 4 of 29 in the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|
Layout of Atlanta International Raceway, used until 1997
|Date||March 20, 1988|
|Official name||Motorcraft Quality Parts 500|
|Location||Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia|
|Course||1.522 mi (2.449 km)|
|Distance||328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures of 68 °F (20 °C); wind speeds of 15.9 miles per hour (25.6 km/h)|
|Average speed||137.588 miles per hour (221.426 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|No. 3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||American Broadcasting Company|
Keith Jackson |
A souvenir program was handed out at this racing event; each copy sold at $5 USD ($10.59 when adjusted for inflation).
This was the last NASCAR race called for ABC by Keith Jackson. Paul Page began calling races at the 1988 Firecracker 400 until Bob Jenkins took over in the 1990s.
Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate tracks 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. However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.
The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long. 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.
|1||5||Geoffrey Bodine||Chevrolet||Rick Hendrick|
|2||3||Dale Earnhardt||Chevrolet||Richard Childress|
|3||9||Bill Elliott||Ford||Harry Melling|
|4||27||Rusty Wallace||Pontiac||Raymond Beadle|
|5||15||Brett Bodine||Ford||Bud Moore|
|6||14||A. J. Foyt||Oldsmobile||A.J. Foyt|
|7||6||Mark Martin||Ford||Jack Roush|
|8||90||Benny Parsons||Ford||Junie Donlavey|
|9||25||Ken Schrader||Chevrolet||Rick Hendrick|
|10||17||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet||Rick Hendrick|
- Buddy Arrington (No. 67)
- Charlie Baker (No. 93)
- Mickey Gibbs (No. 01)
- Jimmy Horton (No. 80)
- Dale Jarrett (No. 1)
- Rick Jeffrey (No. 86)
- Jocko Maggiacomo (No. 63)
- Steve Moore (No. 22)
- Dave Pletcher (No. 03)
- Greg Sacks (No. 50) (accident in practice)
- Tony Spanos (No. 48) (accident in practice)
Two drivers were awarded provisional qualifying positions at the back of the grid. These were Davey Allison (41st), and Ken Bouchard (42nd). Dale Jarrett started in 40th position on the grid, in Connie Saylor's No. 99 car, thus Jarrett was awarded the driver points for the car's finish.
There were 42 cars on the starting grid for this 328-lap race. Approximately 12% of this event was held under caution. A long green flag stretch between laps 152 and 297 would be dominated by Dale Earnhardt, Benny Parsons and Rusty Wallace in addition to several other drivers. Benny Parsons had a car worthy of winning this race, he was the only one who could hang with Earnhardt through the first half of the race. He got trapped a lap down after a crash during green flag pit stops. Dale Earnhardt would end up besting Rusty Wallace by 9 seconds after racing for more than three and a half hours. This would become his first points victory in the #3 black Chevrolet machine.
This race was only a tease for the rest of 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Dale Earnhardt and his devoted fans; Bill Elliott and Rusty Wallace would win most of the races that year. By the time that Earnhardt achieved his final NASCAR Cup Series win at the 2000 Winston 500, he had already picked up 45 wins with the black Chevrolet that people still associate with him today. Former NASCAR crew chief and driver Kirk Shelmerdine would guide Earnhardt to the 32nd win of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
Jimmy Means finished in the last place position due to a problem with his engine on the third lap. All of the drivers in this event were born in the United States of America. Brad Noffsinger made his debut and finished in 14th place (after starting in a 25th place). Geoffrey Bodine would win the pole position for Hendrick Motorsports at a speed of 176.623 miles per hour (284.247 km/h); while racing speeds would average 137.588 miles per hour (221.426 km/h). Sixty-two thousand attended this event and would see Derrike Cope become the lowest-finishing driver to complete the event; despite being more than 100 laps behind the lead vehicles. Bill Elliott's crash on lap 312 would prevent him from a top ten finish. A.J. Foyt had a competitive run from his 6th-place qualification right up to lap 85; where his engine gave out and knocked him out of the race.
Ricky Rudd's Quaker State car blew a motor on lap 253. The first commercial break played on television after the incident was ironically a Quaker State "Quaker State Engines Don't Quit" message showing the alleged superiority of car engines using Quaker State.
Despite Bill Elliott's lackluster performance in this race, he would go on to defeat Rusty Wallace for the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup championship by a mere 24 points. The only drivers to win a Ford vehicle were him, Dale Jarrett and Alan Kulwicki. Brad Noffsinger and Rodney Combs were refused NASCAR championship points for not submitting their entry forms to the NASCAR officials in a suitable amount of time. They did, however, qualify for their respective spots and were cleared to compete.
Individual monetary earnings from this event ranged from the winner's share of $69,750 ($147,762 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place share of $4,410 ($9,342 when adjusted for inflation). The total prize purse for this racing event was $416,355 ($882,031 when adjusted for inflation).
- Dale Earnhardt
- Rusty Wallace
- Darrell Waltrip
- Terry Labonte
- Kyle Petty
- Bobby Hillin, Jr.
- Buddy Baker
- Ken Schrader
- Brett Bodine
- Rick Wilson
- Bobby Allison
- Michael Waltrip
- Benny Parsons
- Brad Noffsinger
- Dave Marcis
- Ken Bouchard
- Eddie Bierschwale
- Ernie Irvan
- Bill Elliott
- Sterling Marlin
- Harry Gant
- Neil Bonnett
- Richard Petty
- Ricky Rudd
- Jimmy Sauter
- Derrike Cope
- Rodney Combs
- David Sosebee
- Dale Jarrett
- Morgan Shepherd
- Mark Martin
- Cale Yarborough
- Geoffrey Bodine
- A.J. Foyt
- Ken Ragan
- Brad Teague
- Phil Parsons
- Lake Speed
- Alan Kulwicki
- Davey Allison
- H.B. Bailey
- Jimmy Means
Standings after the raceEdit
|10||Bobby Hillin, Jr.||516||-116|
- Weather information for the 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- Racing information for the 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Racing Reference
- "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 - Racing-Reference.info". www.racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Motor Racing Network original broadcast (1988 Motorcraft 500)
- NASCAR Winston Cup standings for 1988 at Racing Reference
- Racing/crew chief information for the 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Race Database
- Timeline of Bill Elliott Archived 2012-08-29 at the Wayback Machine at Bill Elliott's official website
- Points situation regarding Noffsinger/Combs at CBS Sports
- Racing information for the 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
1988 Goodwrench 500
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1988 TranSouth 500