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1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500 (June)

The 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on June 4, 1995, at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.

1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500
Race details[1]
Race 12 of 31 in the 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Layout of Dover International Speedway
Date June 4, 1995 (1995-June-04)
Official name Miller Genuine Draft 500
Location Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 500 laps, 500.0 mi (804.6 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures of 77.9 °F (25.5 °C); wind speeds of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)
Average speed 119.880 miles per hour (192.928 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Kyle Petty SABCO Racing
Laps 271
Winner
No. 42 Kyle Petty SABCO Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNN
Announcers Mike Joy
Buddy Baker
Dick Berggren

Souvenir programs of this race sold for a price of $10.00 ($16.44 when adjusted for inflation) per copy and featured the then-favored driver Rusty Wallace. This race would see the final race victory from a Petty family member: Kyle Petty, son of Richard Petty and grandson of Lee Petty.

BackgroundEdit

Dover Downs International Speedway, now called Dover International Speedway, is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway.[2] The NASCAR race makes use of the track's standard configuration, a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[3] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, and both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the backstretch are banked at nine degrees.[3]

Race reportEdit

Kyle Petty would defeat Bobby Labonte by nearly a quarter of a second after racing for more than four hours in front of an unspecified live audience; leading Pontiac into its first victory since Penske Racing South switched to Ford vehicles. Ted Musgrave would've won this race had he not run out of gas on the backstretch on the lap he made his final pit stop. He was flying at the end when he ran down Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty from a long way back, but he just couldn't get by Bobby.[4] He would have an awful season prior to this event and used it to springboard a comeback.[5]

After the race, Petty had to be put on oxygen due to the double pneumonia that he had at the time. His victory also came at a time where Pontiac was underfunding their NASCAR teams in advance of their permanent withdrawal from NASCAR after the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. 1994 and 1995 were critical years for drivers using the Pontiac manufacturer as first-rate equipment started to become harder to come by.

While future superstar Jeff Gordon would clinch the pole position driving up to 153.669 miles per hour (247.306 km/h) during solo qualifying runs, the average pace of the race was 119.880 miles per hour (192.928 km/h). The fan favorite, Rusty Wallace, started in an agonizing 16th place and would make an improvement of seven positions to finish in ninth place on lap 499. Almost 8% of the race was run under caution and the average green flag run was a mere 77 laps.[4] Petty's final race in the NASCAR Cup Series would eventually signal an end to the dominance that the Petty family had in NASCAR (with his father Richard not winning a race after the 1984 Firecracker 400 and retiring after the 1992 Hooters 500)[6] and would cement the dominance of the Earnhardt family over the then-current NASCAR scene.

Ward Burton started on the front row and had a strong run early, leading all but one of the first 44 laps. He was still running around the top 10 when the suspension failed in his car and he slapped the turn 4 wall. No caution came out, but Burton was done for the day.[4]

There were 20 difference changes in the first-place position of this race; with Petty holding the lead for 82 laps at one point during the event. There were 500 laps in this event which took place on a paved oval track. All of the 42 drivers on the racing grid were male and American-born. Bobby Hillin, Jr. would become the last-place finisher of this race on lap 2 along with Elton Sawyer, Dale Jarrett, and John Andretti.[4] This was the very first race at Dover after the track was repaved, converting from black asphalt to its now famous white concrete. The switch was accompanied by a brief push to change the track's famous nickname from the "Monster Mile" to "White Lightning" but a 19-car crash on Lap 2 showed the monster still had plenty of bite in it despite its new look.[4]

This event was known as The Big One at Dover.[7] Kyle Petty walked away $77,665 richer ($127,700.32 when adjusted for inflation) while Hillin, Jr. walked away with only $12,780 more to his name ($21,013.46 when adjusted for inflation). The overall winnings for this racing event were $1,031,965 ($1,696,803.77 when adjusted for inflation).[8]

QualifyingEdit

Grid[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Rick Hendrick
2 31 Ward Burton Chevrolet Alan Dillard, Jr.
3 18 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet Joe Gibbs
4 37 John Andretti Ford Michael Kranefuss
5 4 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Larry McClure
6 7 Geoffrey Bodine Ford Geoffrey Bodine
7 41 Ricky Craven Chevrolet Larry Hedrick
8 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Joe Nemechek
9 26 Hut Stricklin Ford Kenny Bernstein
10 11 Brett Bodine Ford Junior Johnson

Failed to qualify: Doug French (#79), Loy Allen, Jr. (#19)[9]

Finishing orderEdit

TimelineEdit

Section reference: [4]

  • Start: Jeff Gordon was leading the starting grid as the first official lap commenced
  • Lap 4: Caution due to an accident involving Rusty Wallace and 18 other drivers on turn four, ended on lap 19
  • Lap 27: Caution due to Geoffrey Bodine having an accident in the frontstretch, ended on lap 29
  • Lap 44: Caution due to debris throughout the track, ended on lap 48
  • Lap 149: Ward Burton had a terminal crash
  • Lap 290: Terry Labonte managed to blow his vehicle's engine
  • Lap 338: Caution due to Dave Marcis' accident on turn two, ended on lap 346
  • Lap 363: Caution due to Jimmy Spencer's accident on the backstretch, ended on lap 367
  • Finish: Kyle Petty was officially declared the winner of the event

Post-race standingsEdit

Pos Driver Points[4] Differential
1   Dale Earnhardt 1809 0
2   Sterling Marlin 1709 -100
3   Jeff Gordon 1703 -106
4   Mark Martin 1627 -182
5   Ted Musgrave 1626 -183
6   Bobby Labonte 1531 -278
7   Rusty Wallace 1495 -314
8   Michael Waltrip 1455 -354
9   Bobby Hamilton 1451 -358
10   Terry Labonte 1431 -378

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Dover International Speedway". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  5. ^ Petty enjoys Monster turnaround in 1995 at NASCAR.com
  6. ^ Tires, wrecks at Dover lead to Petty's final Cup victory at NASCAR.com
  7. ^ The Big One at Dover Part I, June 1995 at YouTube
  8. ^ NASCAR Race Results for the 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  9. ^ Qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1995 Coca-Cola 600
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1995
Succeeded by
1995 UAW-GM Teamwork 500