1992 NASCAR Budweiser 500

Ricky Rudd battles Darrell Waltrip in the 1992 NASCAR Budweiser 500

Just finished watching ESPN Classic’s re-broadcast of the August 29, 1992 Budweiser 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway. What a great race. If you’re not catching these classic NASCAR race broadcasts every Thursday, you’re missing out.

I didn’t know who was going to win the race, which made it as good as live. Even better though was watching NASCAR drivers like Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison & Alan Kulwicki racing. Cool also was seeing the likes of Ken Schrader, Kyle Petty & Geoff Bodine running up front and competetive. Plus (yes there is more) the early days for Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace & Dale Jarrett.

The race came down to the last 10 laps not knowing who could make it on fuel. Darrell Waltrip had 1/2 track advantage and was able to stay out to easily capture the victory. There were great battles for the top 5 spots between Waltrip, Rudd, Bodine, Earnhardt & Schrader.

It’s amazing that watching a 1992 NASCAR race seems like ancient history. So much has changed. Here’s some notes of the glaring differences.

  • Neither Darrell Waltrip’s victory lane interview nor crew chief Jake Elder’s interview in the pits did either of them mention the sponsor. Not once! They thanked the team. It was all about the team.
  • Bristol Motor Speedway was not enclosed with seating. Not even close. One section had a group of mini hot air balloons. Another section had fans sitting on a grassy hill.
  • I was wowed with Davey Allison’s driving (up until he wrecked). But a shot from the stands showed a number of people cheering with arms raised in the air as he crashed hard into the inside wall.
  • Sterling Marlin sucks on short tracks. Ok, so some things remain the same.
  • Ernie Irvan, Mark Martin & Davey Allison all wrecked. They all took responsibility and said ‘they messed up.’
  • Only 32 cars started the race. Only 4 cars were on the lead lap at the end.
  • There were several spinouts that the driver gathered it back up and the race stayed green.
  • Benny Parson’s was as personable and sounded just the same 15 years ago as he did last year.

This race was even better than 2 weeks ago 1992 Hooters 500. Hopefully next Thursday’s race, the 1990 Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro, will air as scheduled. Set your DVR’s!”