Open main menu

1992 Champion Spark Plug 400

The 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on August 16, 1992, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.

1992 Champion Spark Plug 400
Race details[1]
Race 19 of 29 in the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Michigan International Speedway grandstands; picture taken in the 1990s
Michigan International Speedway grandstands; picture taken in the 1990s
Date August 16, 1992 (1992-August-16)
Official name Champion Spark Plug 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 Mild with temperatures of 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds of 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
Average speed 145.056 miles per hour (233.445 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Alan Kulwicki Racing
Most laps led
Driver Bill Elliott Junior Johnson & Associates
Laps 73
Winner
No. 33 Harry Gant Leo Jackson Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, Benny Parsons

Harry Gant would set a record for being the oldest winner of a NASCAR Cup Series racing at 52 years and 219 days in what was his 18th and final career victory. Oldsmobile would get their final victory as an active manufacturer and would be sidelined in favor of Pontiac (who left NASCAR after 2003) and Dodge (who left NASCAR after 2012). Davey Allison would die within months of this race while his younger brother and Clifford would eventually be killed in a racing accident in 1992.

Then-current IndyCar driver Lyn St. James was the grand marshal of the race who shouted "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

BackgroundEdit

Michigan International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long.[2] 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.[2] The back stretch, has a five degree banking and is 2,242 feet long.[2]

Race reportEdit

Approximately 13% of this 200-lap race was run under a caution flag; each green flag lasted for an average of 30 laps. There were four accidents in this event; a total of nine different cars were involved. Greg Sacks was the last-place finisher on the fourth lap due to three-car pileup that also took Jimmy Means out of the race and severely affected Bobby Hamilton. It took nearly two hours and fifty minutes to decide the race; Harry Gant would defeat Darrell Waltrip by five seconds. [3]

Dale Earnhardt started 41st after failing post-qualifying inspection after second round qualifying.[3]

It was Gant's final NASCAR Cup series win, leading twice for 23 laps, including the last 15.[4] The win was based on the fuel strategy devised by Harry Gant and crew chief Leo Jackson. Alan Kulwicki earned the pole position at 178.156 miles per hour or 286.714 kilometres per hour during qualifying while the average race speed would be 145.056 miles per hour or 233.445 kilometres per hour. Seven drivers failed to qualify for the race; including Delma Cowart. All of the drivers in this event were born in the United States of America.[3]

At the end of the event, only twelve drivers remained on the lead lap. Jeff McClure was the lowest finishing driver to complete the race; even though he was 33 laps the lead lap.[3] Individual prize winnings varied from the winner's share of $71,545 ($127,736 when considering inflation) to the last-place finishers' share of $7,140 ($12,748 when considering inflation). The combined prize purse was $641,610 ($1,145,526 when considering inflation).[5]

QualifyingEdit

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 7 Alan Kulwicki Ford Alan Kulwicki
2 6 Mark Martin Ford Jack Roush
3 28 Davey Allison Ford Yates Racing
4 25 Ken Schrader Chevrolet Rick Hendrick
5 4 Ernie Irvan Chevrolet Larry McClure
6 21 Morgan Shepherd Ford Wood Brothers
7 11 Bill Elliott Ford Junior Johnson
8 22 Sterling Marlin Ford Junior Johnson
9 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet Darrell Waltrip
10 26 Brett Bodine Ford Kenny Bernstein

Failed to qualify: H.B. Bailey (#36), James Hylton (#48), Jerry O'Neil (#65), Andy Belmont (#59), Chuck Bown (#90), Delma Cowart (#0), Bill Venturini (#35)[6]

Finishing orderEdit

  1. Harry Gant (No. 33)
  2. Darrell Waltrip (No. 17)
  3. Bill Elliott (No. 11)
  4. Ernie Irvan (No. 4)
  5. Davey Allison (No. 28)
  6. Kyle Petty (No. 42)
  7. Sterling Marlin (No. 22)
  8. Dale Jarrett (No. 18)
  9. Mark Martin (No. 6)
  10. Morgan Shepherd (No. 21)
  11. Ken Schrader (No. 25)
  12. Brett Bodine (No. 26)
  13. Rick Mast (No. 1)
  14. Alan Kulwicki (No. 7)
  15. Bobby Hamilton (No. 68)
  16. Dale Earnhardt (No. 3)
  17. Chad Little (No. 9)
  18. Richard Petty (No. 43)
  19. Dick Trickle (No. 8)
  20. Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (No. 16)
  21. Rusty Wallace (No. 2)
  22. Michael Waltrip (No. 30)
  23. Terry Labonte (No. 94)
  24. Hut Stricklin (No. 12)
  25. Ted Musgrave (No. 55)
  26. Bobby Hillin, Jr. (No. 31)
  27. Jeff Purvis (No. 51)
  28. Eddie Bierschwale (No. 23)
  29. Jimmy Hensley (No. 66)
  30. Mike Potter (No. 77)
  31. Jeff McClure (No. 27)
  32. Dave Marcis* (No. 71)
  33. Derrike Cope* (No. 10)
  34. Lake Speed* (No. 83)
  35. Stanley Smith* (No. 49)
  36. Ricky Rudd* (No. 5)
  37. Stan Fox* (No. 13)
  38. Jimmy Horton* (No. 32)
  39. Jimmy Means* (No. 52)
  40. Geoffrey Bodine* (No. 15)
  41. Greg Sacks* (No. 51)

* Driver failed to finish race

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[3] Differential
1   Bill Elliott 2796 0
2   Davey Allison 2759 -37
3   Harry Gant 2661 -135
4   Alan Kulwicki 2653 -143
5   Mark Martin 2511 -285
6   Kyle Petty 2431 -365
7   Ernie Irvan 2429 -367
8   Morgan Shepherd 2415 -381
9   Terry Labonte 2401 -395
10   Dale Earnhardt 2400 -396

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c "Michigan International Speedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  3. ^ a b c d e Racing information for the 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 at Racing Reference
  4. ^ Racing information for the 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 at Race Database
  5. ^ Race information for the 1992 Champion Spark Plug 400 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  6. ^ Qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1992 Budweiser At The Glen
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1992
Succeeded by
1992 Bud 500