1996 The Winston Select

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1996 The Winston Select
Race details[1]
Exhibition race in the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Date May 18, 1996 (1996-05-18)
Location Concord, North Carolina
Course Charlotte Motor Speedway
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Distance 70 laps, 105 mi (169 km)
Weather Temperatures around 78.5 °F (25.8 °C), with winds gusting to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)[2]
Average speed 162.721 mph (261.874 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 22
Winner
No. 5 Michael Waltrip Wood Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNN
Announcers Eli Gold, Buddy Baker, and Dick Berggren

The 1996 edition of The Winston Select was a stock car racing competition that took place on May 18, 1996. Held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, the 70-lap race was an exhibition race in the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports won the pole. Terry Labonte of Hendrick Motorsports led the most laps with 22 of the 70 laps. Michael Waltrip of Wood Brothers Racing became the first transferee to win the Winston Select after qualifying in the Winston Select Open.[3][4][5][6]

Background[edit]

Charlotte Motor Speedway, the track where the race was held.

The Winston was open to race winners from last season through the 1996 Winston Select 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and all previous All-Star race winners and NASCAR Winston Cup champions who had attempted to qualify for every race in 1996 were eligible to compete in the All-Star Race. In addition, the top five finishers of The Winston Select Open qualified for this race.

Bill Elliott suffered a broken femur in a crash during the Winston Select 500. Harry Gant, who had retired in 1993, substituted for Elliott for this race.

1996 The Winston Select drivers and eligibility[edit]

Race winners in 1995 and 1996[edit]

Winning team owners in 1991 and 1992[edit]

Previous winners of The Winston Select[edit]

Previous NASCAR Winston Cup Champions[edit]

Top five finishers of The Winston Select Open[edit]

Race summary[edit]

Segment 1[edit]

Jeff Gordon won the pole for the all-star event with a lap time of 142.001 mph (228.528 km/h). Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, and Michael Waltrip served as onboard camera cars throughout the race. Just as the green flag dropped, Jeff Burton limped back to the garage area when his engine expired. As Earnhardt and Dale Jarrett battled for second place, Terry Labonte lost momentum and slid out of the top 10 while Ward Burton charged within the top five. On lap 12, Jarrett took the lead from Gordon and led Bobby Labonte and Ward Burton on lap 30 to win the caution-free Segment 1 and collect the $50,000 bonus.

Segment results
  1. 88-Dale Jarrett ($50,000)
  2. 18-Bobby Labonte ($15,000)
  3. 22-Ward Burton ($7,500)

Segment 2[edit]

During the 10-minute break between segments, the fan balloting on whether or not to invert the field for the second 30-lap segment was unveiled. The fans had spoken and the result flashed on the Winston Cup scoreboard — INVERT!

Jarrett was sent to the rear of the field, while Harry Gant and Darrell Waltrip assumed the front row. By lap 32, Terry Labonte overtook Gant and held the lead until lap 53. On lap 36, Ward Burton got loose and crashed on the turn four wall, triggering the first caution in the race. Earnhardt took the lead from Terry Labonte by lap 54 and won Segment 2 to collect his $50,000 bonus. Terry Labonte crossed the line second and Rusty Wallace finished third. Meanwhile, Michael Waltrip, who started the race 20th, finished fourth.

Segment results
  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt ($50,000)
  2. 5-Terry Labonte ($15,000)
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace ($7,500)

Segment 3[edit]

For the final 10-lap shootout, Earnhardt led the field, but the caution flag waved after Wallace, Bobby Labonte, and Jarrett jumped the restart. The green flag finally dropped with Earnhardt and Terry Labonte battling for the lead. As they both made contact on lap 62, Michael Waltrip blasted past them while Wallace took the second spot away from Earnhardt and Martin overtook Terry Labonte for fourth. With over a one second lead over Wallace, Michael Waltrip took the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford Thunderbird to Victory Lane, earning the team $211,000. Following the race, he took home roughly $100,000 and used it to build half of a house for his parents.[4]

Being winless at the time, this victory was a huge achievement for Michael Waltrip. He would not win his first points race in the NASCAR Cup Series until the 2001 Daytona 500.

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Owner Manufacturer Laps run Laps led
1 20 21 Michael Waltrip Wood Brothers Racing Ford 70 9
2 15 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing South Ford 70 0
3 2 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 70 8
4 3 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 70 0
5 7 5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 70 22
6 8 10 Ricky Rudd Rudd Performance Motorsports Ford 70 0
7 13 28 Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing Ford 70 0
8 1 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 70 11
9 4 88 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford 70 19
10 5 4 Sterling Marlin Morgan–McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 70 0
11 10 42 Kyle Petty Team SABCO Pontiac 70 0
12 17 9 Lake Speed Melling Racing Ford 70 0
13 12 18 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 70 0
14 16 23 Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter Enterprises Ford 70 0
15 14 94 Harry Gant Bill Elliott Racing Ford 70 1
16 18 8 Hut Stricklin Stavola Brothers Racing Ford 70 0
17 11 7 Geoff Bodine Geoff Bodine Racing Ford 70 0
18 9 17 Darrell Waltrip Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Chevrolet 70 0
19 6 22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Pontiac 36 0
20 19 99 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford 0 0
Source:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "1996 The Winston Select". Racing-Reference. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "Weather information for the 1996 The Winston Select". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Photos: 30 years of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners". Fox Sports. October 20, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Michael Waltrip marks 20th anniversary of improbable NASCAR Sprint All-Star win". Fox Sports. May 19, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "Michael Waltrip wins Winston Select". United Press International. May 19, 1996. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  6. ^ Scott, David (May 19, 1996). "Michael Waltrip remembers unlikely 1996 NASCAR All-Star Race victory". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved July 30, 2019.