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2000 Winston 500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2000 Winston 500
Race details[1]
Race 30 of 34 in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Layout of Talladega Superspeedway
Date October 15, 2000 (2000-October-15)
Official name Winston 500 Presented by UPS
Location Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Warm and sunny with temperatures of 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds of 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)
Average speed 190.279 miles per hour (306.224 km/h)
Attendance 170,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Andy Petree Racing
Most laps led
Driver Bill Elliott Bill Elliott Racing
Laps 40
No. 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Jerry Punch
Benny Parsons
Ned Jarrett

The 2000 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event held on October 15, 2000, at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. As one of the final five races of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, this event turned out to be the "event of the year" as the poetic final six laps of the race would allow Dale Earnhardt to secure an unlikely win during the twilight of his NASCAR Winston Cup career.

Individual race earnings ranged from the winner's share of $135,900 ($201,762 when adjusted for inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $44,086 ($65,452). A grand total of $2,329,646 was awarded to all the qualifying drivers of this event ($3,458,680).[3] Earnhardt and a fan each won an extra $1 million as part of the Winston No Bull 5 program.[4]

There's a huge difference between gaining a lot of spots early in a race, when drivers are more likely to show some give and take, then at the end when everyone is trying for every position they can get.

Race report

Three different incidents resulted in yellow flags; a stalled vehicle near the start/finish line, debris on the race track, and a four-car accident on the tri-oval. 13 laps were run under a caution flag while the green flag lasted for an average of 44 laps. The first 104 laps proved to be the longest green-flag run. The next longest green lap stretch was from lap 120 to lap 168. Although Bill Elliott ended up leading the most laps with 40, the fastest qualifying speed went to Joe Nemechek, who won the pole position at 190.279 miles per hour (306.224 km/h).[2]

The 188-lap race lasted for three hours and one minute and became the first of only five races to run the roof spoiler package which temporarily dealt with the inconsistencies of restrictor-plate racing. Dale Earnhardt won the race, his second victory of the season and the 76th and final one in his career, beating Kenny Wallace by .119 seconds in front of about 170,000 fans.[2] This race became only the second race in NASCAR history where half the field led.[2]

The final six laps of the race were the definition of poetry as Earnhardt came from 18th place to first to win a feat that NASCAR fans continue to regard as a memorable moment. Kenny Wallace and Nemechek would play a role in Earnhardt's win by holding off most of the competition. Wallace has said that he did not try to pass Earnhardt because he did not recognize his teammate Nemechek car behind him, which had a special Charlie Daniels paint scheme.[5][6] Four months later, Earnhardt would be killed in a crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

All 43 drivers were born in the United States of America. Chevrolet and Ford vehicles made up 33 of the 43 positions on the starting grid. Chevrolet's sister makes Pontiac made up the remaining 10 positions. Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Blaise Alexander, and Hut Stricklin failed to qualify for the race. Both Earnhardt and his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. participated in this event; the younger Earnhardt finished 14th. Kevin Lepage finished last as a result of problems with his ignition on lap 20.[2] This was indisputably the most exciting race of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season; with the last five laps being a power struggle between John Andretti, Mike Skinner, and eventual race winner Dale Earnhardt due to his mastery of the draft.[2]

Dave Marcis went from starting in ninth place to leading the second lap. And they ran an extremely manic race with only one major crash happening on lap 169 involving four different drivers.[2] A driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series during the early-2000s could gain five or six positions in a lap or lose fifteen in a restrictor-plate race. However, it generally feels more like a traffic jam at 190 miles per hour (310 km/h). The race was televised by ESPN, with pit reporter Jerry Punch (filling in for regular ESPN broadcaster Bob Jenkins, who was at Texas Motor Speedway for the Excite 500 IRL race held that same day), Benny Parsons, and Ned Jarrett commentating. Punch's normal position on pit road was filled by Ray Dunlap.

The winning car has been restored and painted with the period-correct logos and Day-Glo numerals and spoilers, remaining with Richard Childress Racing and in the team's museum, and is often driven at historic events, most notably at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with other historic race cars of all motorsport. During the 2019 500, was driven as a two-seater with Johnny Morris of sponsor Bass Pro Shops in the passenger seat as a pace lap.


Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Qualifying time[7] Qualifying Speed Sponsor
1 33 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 50.326 190.279 Oakwood Homes/Charlie Daniels Band
2 94 Bill Elliott Ford 50.388 190.045 McDonald's/Coca-Cola
3 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 50.562 189.391 Budweiser
4 25 Jerry Nadeau Chevrolet 50.681 188.947 Michael Holigan Homes
5 20 Tony Stewart Pontiac 50.713 188.827 The Home Depot
6 18 Bobby Labonte Pontiac 50.737 188.738 Interstate Batteries
7 55 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 50.811 188.463 Square-D Hardware/Cooper Lighting
8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 50.817 188.441 DuPont Automotive Finishes
9 71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet 50.844 188.341 Team Realtree
10 1 Steve Park Chevrolet 50.934 188.008 Pennzoil Synthetic Motor Oil

Finishing order

Section reference: [2]

  1. Dale Earnhardt (No. 3)
  2. Kenny Wallace (No. 55)
  3. Joe Nemechek (No. 33)
  4. Jeff Gordon (No. 24)
  5. Terry Labonte (No. 5)
  6. Mike Skinner (No. 31)
  7. Mark Martin (No. 6)
  8. Rusty Wallace (No. 2)
  9. Mike Bliss (No. 27)
  10. Matt Kenseth (No. 17)
  11. Ricky Rudd (No. 28)
  12. Bobby Labonte (No. 18)
  13. Jerry Nadeau (No. 25)
  14. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8)
  15. Dale Jarrett (No. 88)
  16. Steve Grissom (No. 44)
  17. Elliott Sadler (No. 21)
  18. Chad Little (No. 97)
  19. Steve Park (No. 1)
  20. John Andretti (No. 43)
  21. Rich Bickle (No. 60)
  22. Ward Burton (No. 22)
  23. Stacy Compton (No. 9)
  24. Bill Elliott (No. 94)
  25. Robert Pressley (No. 77)
  26. Brett Bodine (No. 11)
  27. Tony Stewart (No. 20)
  28. Dave Blaney (No. 93)
  29. Jeff Burton (No. 99)
  30. Ricky Craven (No. 50)
  31. Rick Mast (No. 14)
  32. Ted Musgrave* (No. 01)
  33. Johnny Benson Jr. (No. 10)
  34. Michael Waltrip (No. 7)
  35. Darrell Waltrip (No. 66)
  36. Bobby Hamilton* (No. 4)
  37. Ken Schrader* (No. 36)
  38. Jimmy Spencer* (No. 26)
  39. Scott Pruett*(No. 32)
  40. Dave Marcis* (No. 71)
  41. Sterling Marlin* (No. 40)
  42. Jeremy Mayfield* (No. 12)
  43. Kevin Lepage* (No. 16)

* Driver failed to finish race

Did Not Qualify

  1. Blaise Alexander (No. 91) - Ericsson Telecommunications
  2. Wally Dallenbach Jr. (No. 75) - WCW World Championship Wrestling/Red Cell Batteries
  3. Hut Stricklin (No. 90) - Hills Brothers Coffee

Post-race standings

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
Bobby Labonte 4537 0
2 Increase Dale Earnhardt 4327 -210
3 Decrease Jeff Burton 4229 -308
Dale Jarrett 4135 -402
5 Increase Ricky Rudd 4102 -435
6 Decrease Tony Stewart 4064 -473
Mark Martin 3999 -538
Rusty Wallace 3955 -582
9 Increase Jeff Gordon 3729 -808
10 Decrease Ward Burton 3667 -870


  1. ^ Weather information for the 2000 Winston 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Racing information for the 2000 Winston 500 at Racing Reference
  3. ^ Winnings information for the 2000 Winston 500 at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  4. ^ Albert, Zack. "Part 1: The Intimidator's Day at Talladega". NASCAR. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  5. ^ Long, Dustin. "Relive history: The behind-the-scenes story of Dale Earnhardt's last win nearly 10 years ago". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  6. ^ "The man behind Earnhardt's push to victory". NASCAR. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  7. ^ Qualifying information for the 2000 Winston 500 at Racing Reference
Preceded by
2000 UAW-GM Quality 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
2000 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400
This page was last edited on 18 February 2021, at 14:22
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