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1994 Coca-Cola 600

The 1994 Coca-Cola 600, the 35th running of the event, was the 11th race of the 1994 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. It was won by Jeff Gordon, who started from the pole and earned his first victory in a points-paying race.[3] Gordon won the race 3.3 seconds ahead of Rusty Wallace with Geoff Bodine and Dale Jarrett following behind.[4]

1994 Coca-Cola 600
Race details[1][2]
Race 11 of 31 of in the 1994 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Layout of Charlotte Motor Speedway
Date May 29, 1994 (1994-05-29)
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Distance 400 laps, 600 mi (965.606 km)
Weather Very hot with temperatures of 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds of 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)
Average speed 139.445 mph
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Rusty Wallace Penske Racing
Laps 187
Winner
No. 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network TBS
Announcers Ken Squier, Richard Petty

BackgroundEdit

Charlotte Motor Speedway is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina, 13 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina. The complex features a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend and The Winston, as well as the Mello Yello 500. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area. The track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) with Marcus G. Smith (son of Bruton Smith) as track president.

Race reportEdit

Four drivers failed to qualify for this race: Jimmy Hensley, Dave Marcis, Bobby Hillin Jr. and Jim Sauter. Nearly 12% of this race would be held under a caution flag while the average green flag run was just over 35 laps.[5]

Rusty Wallace leads the most laps en route to a second-place finish, coming up just short of giving Penske a sweep.[5]

I told Rick [Hendrick] I didn't think the kid was ever going to make it. I mean, seriously, he hit everything but the pace car that year. At the time I thought I was right because he seemed to wreck almost every week. I remember Ray Evernham ... telling me that they had to replace something like 13 noses on the cars from where Jeff wrecked. ... I for one was pretty skeptical of his future at the time.

Gordon's crew chief Ray Evernham made the call for two tires while Wallace's crew chief made the call for four. Evernham's call paid off and Gordon outlasted Wallace in the closing laps. Following this race, Gordon would be referred to by Dale Earnhardt as the "Wonder Boy".[7] Gordon ended up crying in Victory Lane after his victory.

Top ten finishersEdit

Pos[5] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Winnings Laps led Points Time/Status
1 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 400 $196,500 16 180 4:18:10
2 21 2 Rusty Wallace Ford 400 $88,075 187 180 +3.91 seconds
3 3 7 Geoff Bodine Ford 400 $75,500 101 170 Lead lap under green flag
4 16 18 Dale Jarrett Chevrolet 400 $56,400 9 165 Lead lap under green flag
5 14 28 Ernie Irvan Ford 400 $47,800 23 160 Lead lap under green flag
6 13 10 Ricky Rudd Ford 400 $28,700 10 155 Lead lap under green flag
7 18 33 Harry Gant Chevrolet 399 $32,500 0 146 +1 lap
8 31 75 Todd Bodine Ford 398 $26,400 0 142 +2 laps
9 24 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 397 $37,950 0 138 +3 laps
10 30 30 Michael Waltrip Pontiac 397 $26,800 0 134 +3 laps

Standings after the raceEdit

Pos Driver Points[5] Differential
1   Ernie Irvan 1799 0
2   Dale Earnhardt 1737 -62
3   Rusty Wallace 1470 -329
4   Ken Schrader 1440 -359
5   Mark Martin 1436 -363
6   Morgan Shepherd 1374 -425
7   Ricky Rudd 1370 -429
8   Lake Speed 1346 -453
9   Ted Musgrave 1301 -498
10   Michael Waltrip 1297 -502

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Weather information for the 1994 Coca-Cola 600". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
  2. ^ "05-29-1994 - Coca-Cola 600 - Charlotte Motor Speedway". Fantasy Racing Cheatsheet. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "1994 Coca-Cola 600". race-database.com. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "Gordon tricks veterans for Coca-Cola 600 win". Toledo Blade. May 30, 1994. p. 28.
  5. ^ a b c d "Racing information for the 1994 Coca-Cola 600". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  6. ^ Waltrip, Darrell (July 30, 2014). "Is Indy winner Jeff Gordon NASCAR's greatest of all time? DW says ..." Foxsports.com. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  7. ^ "Jeff Gordon's First Victory". Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
Preceded by
1994 Save Mart Supermarkets 300
NASCAR Winston Cup Races
1994
Succeeded by
1994 Budweiser 500