1994 Daytona 500

The 1994 Daytona 500, the 36th running of the event, was held February 20 at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Loy Allen Jr., ARCA graduate and Winston Cup rookie, driving the No. 19 for TriStar Motorsports, won the pole. Speedweeks 1994 was marked by tragedy when two drivers, Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr, were killed in separate practice accidents for this race. Sterling Marlin in the Morgan-McClure Motorsports No. 4 won the race, the first win of his NASCAR career.

1994 Daytona 500
Race details[1]
Race 1 of 31 in the 1994 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
1994 Daytona 500 program cover
1994 Daytona 500 program cover
Date February 20, 1994 (1994-02-20)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures reaching up to 77 °F (25 °C); wind speeds approaching 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
Average speed 156.931 miles per hour (252.556 km/h)
Pole position
Driver TriStar Motorsports
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing
Duel 2 Winner Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Most laps led
Driver Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing
Laps 84
Winner
No. 4 Sterling Marlin Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Ken Squier, Chris Economaki and Ned Jarrett
Nielsen Ratings 9.6/26
(13.6 million viewers)
Logo for the 1994 Daytona 500.

TragediesEdit

During Speedweeks, on the first day of practice for the Daytona 500, legendary driver Neil Bonnett crashed in turn four. Bonnett died at Halifax Hospital from massive head injuries. Three days later, reigning Goody's Dash Series (NASCAR's four-cylinder class) champion, Rodney Orr, making his Cup debut, lost control and spun in turn two. His car flipped and hit the catch fence with the roof above the driver's seat. Orr was killed instantly. After the deaths of Bonnett and Orr, NASCAR Veteran Jimmy Means announced his retirement from driving. Following these tragedies, a worried Rusty Wallace gave a lecture, calling out the drivers for over-aggression on the track, during the pre-race Drivers Meeting. In his lecture, Wallace was extremely critical of the drivers taking bold risks such as gambling on their tires, making overly-aggressive moves early in the races, and not taking much time to fix any damages to their car on pit road. In conclusion, he told the drivers, "Use your damn heads!" He was given a round of applause from the drivers and teams after his lecture.

In the middle of the Goodyear-Hoosier tire war, Hoosier released teams from their contracts three days following Orr's death. Hoosier received blame from some observers as the tires were the only linking factor between the two deaths. However, the criticism was purely speculative and NASCAR never blamed the tires for the deaths and never offered an official cause of the accident for either fatality.

An investigation done by the Orlando Sentinel blamed Orr's crash on a broken right-rear shock absorber mounting bracket. That same part was reportedly broken on Bonnett's car. NASCAR refused to comment on the outside investigation. However, it was known teams were using extremely soft shock absorbers and springs at Daytona and Talladega in order to reduce drag. The cars often bottomed out, creating sparks, which became visible at Daytona after the Firecracker 400 was run at night in 1998.

The extremely soft shock absorbers and springs, along with aged pavement (last replaced in 1979) caused the mounting brackets to fail. By 1999, drivers were complaining about the extremely soft shock package for safety issues, and NASCAR implemented rules in 2000 mandating specification shock absorbers and springs supplied by the sanctioning body at Daytona and Talladega in order to stop this dangerous practice.[2] As of 2022, teams in the Cup Series are required to use specification shock absorbers and springs from seventh-generation specification supplier DRiV, Inc.

Race resultsEdit

Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status Laps led Points
1 4 4 Sterling Marlin Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 200 Running 30 180
2 3 28 Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing Ford 200 Running 84 180
3 9 5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 Running 1 170
4 6 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 Running 7 165
5 12 21 Morgan Shepherd Wood Brothers Racing Ford 200 Running 7 160
6 31 77 Greg Sacks U.S. Racing Ford 200 Running 0 150
7 2 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 Running 45 151
8 20 10 Ricky Rudd Rudd Performance Motorsports Ford 200 Running 0 142
9 8 11 Bill Elliott Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 200 Running 0 138
10 13 25 Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 Running 0 134
11 39 7 Geoff Bodine Geoff Bodine Racing Ford 200 Running 1 135
12 23 40 Bobby Hamilton Team SABCO Chevrolet 200 Running 2 132
13 7 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 199 Out of fuel 5 129
14 22 15 Lake Speed Bud Moore Engineering Ford 199 Running 0 121
15 25 55 Jimmy Hensley RaDiUs Motorsports Ford 199 Running 0 118
16 42 22 Bobby Labonte Bill Davis Racing Pontiac 199 Running 0 115
17 18 43 Wally Dallenbach Jr. Petty Enterprises Pontiac 199 Running 0 112
18 34 9 Joe Ruttman Melling Racing Ford 199 Running 0 109
19 28 80 Jimmy Horton Hover Motorsports Ford 199 Running 0 106
20 29 32 Dick Trickle Active Motorsports Ford 198 Running 0 103
21 16 98 Derrike Cope Cale Yarborough Motorsports Ford 198 Running 7 105
22 1 19 Loy Allen Jr. # TriStar Motorsports Ford 198 Running 0 97
23 37 12 Chuck Bown Bobby Allison Motorsports Ford 198 Running 0 94
24 33 90 Bobby Hillin Jr. Donlavey Racing Ford 198 Running 0 91
25 27 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 198 Running 0 88
26 35 8 Jeff Burton # Stavola Brothers Racing Ford 197 Running 0 85
27 30 1 Rick Mast Precision Products Racing Ford 197 Running 0 82
28 32 17 Darrell Waltrip DarWal Inc. Chevrolet 197 Running 0 79
29 17 97 Chad Little Mark Rypien Motorsports Ford 196 Running 1 81
30 40 95 Jeremy Mayfield # Sadler Brothers Racing Ford 195 Out of fuel 0 73
31 14 30 Michael Waltrip Bahari Racing Pontiac 194 Running 0 70
32 10 26 Brett Bodine King Racing Ford 185 Running 0 67
33 38 23 Hut Stricklin Travis Carter Enterprises Ford 174 Running 0 64
34 36 33 Harry Gant Leo Jackson Motorsports Chevrolet 165 Running 0 61
35 41 18 Dale Jarrett Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 146 Engine 3 63
36 11 75 Todd Bodine Butch Mock Motorsports Ford 79 Accident 7 60
37 21 27 Jimmy Spencer Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 79 Accident 0 52
38 24 16 Ted Musgrave Roush Racing Ford 79 Accident 0 49
39 26 42 Kyle Petty Team SABCO Pontiac 64 Accident 0 46
40 19 54 Robert Pressley Leo Jackson Motorsports Chevrolet 62 Accident 0 43
41 5 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing South Ford 61 Accident 0 40
42 15 14 John Andretti # Hagan Racing Chevrolet 47 Accident 0 37
Failed to Qualify
43 89 Jim Sauter Mueller Racing Ford
44 41 Joe Nemechek # Larry Hedrick Motorsports Chevrolet
45 52 Brad Teague Means Racing Ford
46 45 Rich Bickle # Isenhour Racing Chevrolet
47 34 Bob Brevak Brevak Racing Ford
48 02 T. W. Taylor Taylor Racing Ford
49 0 Delma Cowart H. L. Waters Racing Ford
50 48 Trevor Boys Hylton Racing Pontiac
51 47 Billy Standridge # Johnson Racing Ford
52 56 Jerry Hill Tierney Motorsports Ford
53 74 Kerry Teague KT Motorsports Chevrolet
54 29 Steve Grissom # Diamond Ridge Motorsports Chevrolet
55 73 Phil Barkdoll Barkdoll Racing Chevrolet
56 20 Buddy Baker Moroso Racing Ford
57 53 Ritchie Petty Petty Brothers Racing Ford
58 61 Rick Carelli Chesrown Racing Chevrolet
59 31 Ward Burton # Dillard Racing Chevrolet
60 37 Rodney Orr #1 Orr Motorsports Ford
61 51 Neil Bonnett1 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet
# Rookie of the Year candidate / 1 Withdrawn due to driver fatality
Source:[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Weather of the 1994 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  2. ^ Harris, Mike. "NASCAR puts in new shock rule". Las Vegas Sun. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  3. ^ "1994 Daytona 500". Racing-Reference.info. 1994-02-20. Retrieved 2013-06-03.