If You’re Not Watching Classic NASCAR You’ll Hate Yourself Later

dale earnhardt 1989 first union 400The classic NASCAR race broadcasts each week on ESPN Classic are solid gold nuggets of 1980’s and 1990’s NASCAR history. Yesiree Bob. ESPN Classic and a Dish Direct DVR [Tivo][VCR] are your best friends right now for redeeming lost years of great NASCAR races.

If you’re not tuning into these races your starving your inner-NASCAR child of much needed love. Stop the insanity! Show yourself some love.

Although the Daytona Speedweeks hoopla got me a little behind in classic NASCAR nurturing, I just finished watching the final 100 laps of the 1989 First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

North Wilkesboro Speedway

North Wilkesboro Speedway is a 5/8th mile oval. It’s one of the great old NASCAR tracks that was phased out to bring us not-so-great cookie-cutter race tracks like my beloved Texas Motor Speedway. From the television footage, it very much resembles the race track you see each weekend in your hometown. Bleacher style stands along the front stretch filled with ball-cap wearing fans. A catch fence and 3-foot jump down onto the track pavement the only thing separating you from the racing action. Trees and grass are everywhere.

New Goodyear Radial

The big talk of the race was the new Goodyear radial tire. It was a divided battle between teams running the new Goodyear and those running Hoosiers. Goodyear tires came out dominate, lasting many laps longer than the Hoosiers.

The race turned out to be a nail-biter as Darrel Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Alan Kulwicki and Mark Martin all had strong runs. In the end, Dale held off a hard charging Kulwicki to win the race.

Dale Wins Sale

In victory lane Dale gave a shout out to his daughter Taylor Nicole. I’m not a Earnhardt fan, but it’s fascinating to watch Dale Sr. and see the resemblance in body language, mannerisms and speech rhythms that Dale Jr has picked up from him. Dale also made a plug for his Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet dealership. He dubbed the next day the ‘Dale Wins Sale’ at his dealership and promised any car on the lot he would sell for dealer cost.

Many fans took him up on the offer. Lines formed at 7:00 am and the dealership stayed open until 10:00 pm. Earnhardt Chevrolet normally sold 35 cars per month. They sold 23 cars that one day.”