FOX Sports Exclusive
Greatest NASCAR moments: Nos. 30-21
Share This Story
What was he thinking?Moment Number 30: Sterling Marlin fixes bumper at Daytona
Date: February 17, 2002
Location: Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Beach, Fla. What happened: To call the conclusion to the 2002 Daytona 500 odd is an understatement.
Top 50 NASCAR moments 50-41| 40-31| 30-21| 20-11| 10-1 Top moments in pictures
Bump and runMoment Number 29: Kurt Busch wins Bristol
Date: March 26, 2006
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol, TN. What happened: No track on the Sprint Cup Series circuit elicits as many strong emotions as Bristol Motor Speedway, and the 2006 Food City 500 was no exception. Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, was not content to finish second behind former Roush Racing teammate Matt Kenseth, so in true short-track style he bumped Kenseth out of the way coming off Turn 2 with five laps remaining. "If I was still a teammate of his, maybe I would have let him live," said Busch, who won his first race for Penske Racing that day. "But I was hungry." The fireworks were hardly complete, though. Although he stayed off the wall, Kenseth lost positions to Busch and Kevin Harvick as a result of the spin, and would lose a position to Jeff Gordon coming off Turn 4 with two laps remaining. Whether inadvertent or not, the driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford pulled off a similar bump-and-run move on Gordon to recapture third.
Staying in controlMoment Number 28: Terry Labonte wins backwards
Date: August 26, 1995
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol, TN. What happened: There's a reason why Dale Earnhardt won seven Cup championships in his career: He would do whatever it takes to get past the competition even if it means making up a seemingly insurmountable 2.5-second gap with less than 15 laps remaining to fight for the lead. But on this night, even that wasn't enough to overcome Terry Labonte. With the help of a few lapped cars that slowed down the leader, Earnhardt made up well over a straightaway on Labonte over the final 15 laps, reaching his rear-bumper just as the duo was reaching Turn 4. And at least for a brief second, it looked like a fairy-tale finish would be coming for The Man in Black. However, Labonte was not to be denied. Coming off the final turn, Earnhardt hit Labonte's left rear making The Iceman lose control of his vehicle. Nonetheless, he slid sideways past the checkered flag to take the victory in the event. Taking advantage of lapped cars that slowed Labonte down, "I just stood on the gas and we beat him across the line," said Labonte in Victory Lane.
If at first you don't succeed ...Moment Number 27: Dale Earnhardt wins by spinning out Terry Labonte
Date: August 28, 1999
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol, TN. What happened: If nothing else, Dale Earnhardt learned a lesson from his 1995 loss to Terry Labonte at Bristol Motor Speedway. He still spun Labonte out of the way, except this time he didn't give him the opportunity to make it anywhere near Victory Lane but it wasn't for a lack of trying on Labonte's part. Due to a late race caution in the 1999 Goody's Headache Powder 500, teams were stuck answering the eternal dilemma: To pit or not to pit. Earnhardt's team said no, Labonte chose yes, and as a result The Man in Black restarted from first while "Texas Terry" dropped to fifth. Although it was only five laps until the end of the race, Labonte chose the right strategy as he breezed by Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and finally Earnhardt to take the lead just before the white flag. But as the two drivers went exited Turn 2, Earnhardt caught Labonte's bumper and spun him out on the final lap allowing him to drive unchallenged to the checkered flag. "I didn't really mean to turn him around," said Earnhardt in Victory Lane. "I meant to rattle his cage though." Mike Joy, NASCAR on FOX race announcer: I really expected that Dale's popularity would take a huge hit after this one. But his legion of fans condoned just about anything he did. When Dale stepped over the line of acceptable on-track behavior, the line often moved with him. This was one of those times.
Survival modeMoment Number 26: Late crash gives Kyle Petty first win
Date: February 23, 1986
Location: Richmond International Raceway. Richmond, VA. What happened: How do you go from fifth to first in a blink of an eye? Ask Kyle Petty, he's one of the few race car drivers in the world that would know the sensation. Late in the running of the 1986 Miller High Life 400, it was looking more and more like the victory would be decided between two of the major-players of the period: Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip. But with four laps remaining in the event, the two crashed as Waltrip, who was trying to make the pass in Turn 3, made contact with the rear of Earnhardt's No. 3 Chevrolet.
Starting overMoment Number 25: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. signs with Hendrick Motorsports
Date: June 13, 2007
Location: JR Motorsports. Mooresville, N.C. What happened: There were a lot of storylines in 2007, including the introduction of NASCAR's first new car the Car of Tomorrow since the 1980 season. But nothing, absolutely nothing, captured the attention of race fans all season as the story of Dale Earnhardt Jr. that season. Things really started to escalate in December of 2006 when Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Jr.'s stepmother and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., told The Wall Street Journal that "Right now the ball's in his court to decide on whether he wants to be a NASCAR driver or whether he wants to be a public personality." Perturbed by that comment, Junior responded with a threat in early February that unless he got 51% ownership of the organization, he would be leaving the organization his father built with him and his siblings in mind once his contact was over at the end of 2007. Sure enough, Earnhardt was true to his word and in the spring the two sides announced he would be leaving DEI at the end of the year. A frenzy took place shortly thereafter, as fans, pundits and most everybody in the garage asked themselves one question: "Where will he go?" That riddle was solved June 13, 2007, as a deal was proclaimed between himself and Rick Hendrick, creating a form of dream team as Junior would join two-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears beginning on January 1st 2008. "We talked with many teams, but one stood out above the rest," said Earnhardt on that day. "It became apparent to me the man that I wanted to drive for. I've known him since childhood. He competes with integrity, and more importantly he wins races."
Brave new worldMoment Number 24: Jeff Gordon wins inaugural Brickyard 400
Date: August 6, 1994
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis, IN.
Share your thoughts on the Top 50 NASCAR moments by starting your own NASCAR blog. Visit the FOXSports.com community and start blogging today.
The start of something bigMoment Number 23: First Daytona Beach race
Date: March 18, 1936
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla. What happened: Using the combination of A1A and the sands of the beach, Daytona Beach, Fla., would host its first stock car race in history on March 18, 1936. Little did anybody know at the time that this brainchild of Sig Haugdahl, a local racer, would be the start of something much bigger. While historians will tell you the winner on that day was Northeaster dirt track racer Milt Marion, the person who benefited the most on that day was fifth place runner Bill France. It is said that France saw the enthusiasm from fans on that day, which drove him to create NASCAR shortly thereafter, and Daytona International Speedway which was opened in 1959.
You must defend this houseMoment Number 22: Jimmie Johnson beats Bobby Labonte
Date: May 29, 2005
Location: Lowe's Motor Speedway. Concord, N.C.
Stepping upMoment Number 21: FOX/NBC/TNT Television deal
Date: 2001 What happened: In one of the greatest deals in the history of NASCAR, a agreement was reached where three major networks, FOX, NBC and TNT, would combine to broadcast the entire NASCAR schedule for six seasons, beginning in 2001. This was the first time in the history of NASCAR that a television deal was made by the governing body itself, and not the individual tracks, giving the race fans a known place to tune in every week and not scramble around the television looking for the race. Mike Joy, NASCAR on FOX race announcer: For the first time ever, NASCAR was on TV every week, AND the following telecast was promoted every week. Each race wasn't just a single, stand alone sporting event, now it was part of a weekly TV series, much like the NFL. The big winners: the tracks, the teams and drivers, NASCAR, and the fans. Don't forget to tune in this Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. ET for the running of the 50th Daytona 500 on FOX.