1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
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1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

The 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Season was the 43rd of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 20th modern-era Cup Season. It began February 10 and ended November 17. Dale Earnhardt of Richard Childress Racing won his fifth Cup championship at the end of the season.

The 1991 season introduced the past champion's provisional (also known as the "Petty rule"), which allowed a former Cup champion to claim the final starting position if he was too low in the points standings and was unable to qualify by speed. This was implemented after Richard Petty failed to qualify in four races in 1989, resulting in a drop in ratings that season.[1][2]

The season was marred by the death of the driver and team owner J. D. McDuffie, who was killed in a wreck at The Bud At The Glen.

The 1991 season was also the final year of Buick as a full-time manufacturer in the series; Buick cars would run in limited schedules in 1992 and 1993 before leaving the series for good.

The 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season marked the debut of NASCAR Winston Cup Series races being televised on TNN. As of the 1991 season, there were 5 television networks broadcasting the 29 Winston Cup Series schedule: CBS, ABC, ESPN, TBS, and TNN.

1991 was the last season without the legendary Jeff Gordon until the 2017 season.

1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers

Full-time teams

Manufacturers Team No. Driver Crew chief
Buick Bobby Allison Motorsports 12 Hut Stricklin Jimmy Fennig
King Racing 26 Brett Bodine
Stavola Brothers Racing 8 Rick Wilson Harry Hyde
Chevrolet Darrell Waltrip Motorsports 17 Darrell Waltrip Jeff Hammond
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Ricky Rudd Waddell Wilson
25 Ken Schrader Richard Broome
Marcis Auto Racing 71 Dave Marcis Bob Marcis
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Ernie Irvan Tony Glover
Richard Childress Racing 3 Dale Earnhardt Kirk Shelmerdine
Travis Carter Enterprises 98 Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter
Whitcomb Racing 10 Derrike Cope Buddy Parrott
Ford AK Racing 7 Alan Kulwicki Paul Andrews
Bud Moore Engineering 15 Morgan Shepherd Donnie Wingo
Junior Johnson & Associates 11 Geoffrey Bodine 25 Tim Brewer
Tommy Ellis 4
22 Sterling Marlin Mike Beam
Little Racing 19 Chad Little Harry Hyde
Means Racing 52 Jimmy Means 25
Bobby Hillin Jr. 2
Mike Wallace 2
Melling Racing 9 Bill Elliott Ernie Elliott
Robert Yates Racing 28 Davey Allison Larry McReynolds
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Robin Pemberton
U.S. Racing 55 Ted Musgrave (R)
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Dale Jarrett Eddie Wood
Oldsmobile Hagan Racing 94 Terry Labonte Steve Lloyd
Leo Jackson Motorsports 33 Harry Gant Andy Petree
Precision Products Racing 1 Rick Mast
Pontiac Bahari Racing 30 Michael Waltrip Bill Ingle
Cale Yarborough Motorsports 66 Dick Trickle 4
Lake Speed 20
Chuck Bown 1
Dorsey Schroeder 1
Randy LaJoie 3
Penske Racing 2 Rusty Wallace Jimmy Makar
Petty Enterprises 43 Richard Petty Robbie Loomis
SABCO Racing 42 Kyle Petty 18 Gary Nelson
Kenny Wallace 2
Tommy Kendall 1
Bobby Hillin Jr. 7
Team III Racing 24 Mickey Gibbs 15 Barry Dodson
Dick Trickle 6
Dorsey Schroeder 1
Kenny Wallace 3
Jimmy Hensley 4
RahMoc Enterprises 75 Joe Ruttman Bob Rahilly
Tri-Star Motorsports 68 Bobby Hamilton (R)

Part-time teams

Make Team No. Driver Crew chief Rounds
Buick AAG Racing 34 Gary Balough 1
Dick Trickle 4
Hylton Motorsports 48 James Hylton 1
Labonte Motorsports 44 Jack Sellers 2
Linro Motorsports 13 Brian Ross 1
Kerry Teague 1
Randy LaJoie 1
Gary Balough 1
Oma Kimbrough 1
29 Kerry Teague 1
BS & S Motorsports 49 Stanley Smith (R) 11
Chevrolet 1
A. J. Foyt Enterprises 14 Mike Chase 1
Bahre Racing 65 Dave Mader III 2
Mader Racing 3
Ball Motorsports 99 Brad Teague 3
Buck Baker Racing 87 Randy Baker 3
Daytona Speed Inc. 18 Greg Sacks 1
Faggart Racing 76 Robbie Faggart 1
Hylton Motorsports 48 James Hylton 1
Italian Connection 96 Phil Parsons 1
Larry Hedrick Motorsports 41 Larry Pearson 14
O'Neil Racing 63 Norm Benning 1
Phoenix Racing 51 Jeff Purvis 2
Pinnacle Racing 86 Jeff Green 1
Ross Racing 58 Brian Ross 1
Sadler Brothers Racing 95 Rick Jeffrey 1
Kerry Teague 1
Eddie Bierschwale 2
Spears Motorsports 76 Bill Sedgwick 4
Team Ireland 53 John Paul Jr. 3
Bobby Hillin Jr. 3
S & H Racing 80 Jimmy Horton 1
Ford 5
Compton Racing 69 Dorsey Schroeder 1
Donlavey Racing 90 Robby Gordon Junie Donlavey 2
Wally Dallenbach Jr. (R) 11
Steve Perry 1
Freymiller Racing 23 Mike Chase 1
Ragan Racing 77 Ken Ragan 1
Stahl Racing 82 Mark Stahl 10
Waters Racing 0 Delma Cowart 5
Oldsmobile Barkdoll Racing 73 Phil Barkdoll 4
Bierschwale Motorsports 23 Eddie Bierschwale 5
Close Racing 47 Rich Bickle 6
Greg Sacks 13
A. J. Foyt Enterprises 14 Mike Chase 3
Labonte Motorsports Bobby Labonte 1
44 2
Irv Hoerr 4
Moroso Racing 20 Sammy Swindell 1
Bobby Hillin Jr. 9
Kim Campbell 2
Buddy Baker 6
Ricky Craven 1
27 Bobby Hillin Jr. 1
88 Buddy Baker 1
Phoenix Racing 51 Jeff Purvis 9
Sadler Brothers Racing 95 Kerry Teague 1
Pontiac Bahre Racing 65 Dave Mader III 3
Mansion Motorsports 27 Gary Balough 1
Mark Gibson Racing 59 Mark Gibson 3
McDuffie Racing 70 J. D. McDuffie 15
Mueller Brothers Racing 89 Jim Sauter 10
Osterlund Motorsports 88 Buddy Baker 1


No. Race Title Track Date TV
Busch Clash Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach February 10 CBS
Gatorade Twin 125 Qualifiers February 14
1 Daytona 500 February 17
2 Pontiac Excitement 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond February 24 TBS
3 Goodwrench 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham March 3 TNN
4 Motorcraft 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton March 18-19 ABC
5 TranSouth 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington April 7 ESPN
6 Valleydale Meats 500 Bristol International Raceway, Bristol April 14
7 First Union 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro April 21
8 Hanes 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway April 28
9 Winston 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega May 6
Winston Open Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord May 19 CBS
The Winston
10 Coca-Cola 600 May 26 TBS
11 Budweiser 500 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover June 3 TNN
12 Banquet Frozen Foods 300 Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma June 9 ESPN
13 Champion Spark Plug 500 Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond June 16
14 Miller Genuine Draft 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn June 23 CBS
15 Pepsi 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach July 6 ESPN
16 Miller Genuine Draft 500 Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond July 21
17 DieHard 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega July 28 CBS
18 Budweiser At The Glen Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen August 11 ESPN
19 Champion Spark Plug 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn August 18
20 Bud 500 Bristol International Raceway, Bristol August 24
21 Heinz Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington September 1
22 Miller Genuine Draft 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond September 7 TBS
23 Peak Antifreeze 500 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover September 15 TNN
24 Goody's 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway September 22 ESPN
25 Tyson/Holly Farms 400 North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro September 29
26 Mello Yello 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord October 6 TBS
27 AC Delco 500 North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham October 20 TNN
28 Pyroil 500K Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix November 3
29 Hardee's 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton November 17 ESPN


Busch Clash

The Busch Clash, an invitational event for all Busch Pole winners the previous year, was held February 10 at Daytona International Speedway. The #10 of Derrike Cope started in first (the starting grid was determined by a blind draw).

Top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 9-Bill Elliott
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 2-Rusty Wallace
  6. 25-Ken Schrader
  7. 42-Kyle Petty
  8. 5-Ricky Rudd
  9. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  10. 26-Brett Bodine
  • After several years of mediocre competition, the race's format was slightly re-tooled. Instead of a single 20-lap sprint, the race was divided into two 10-lap segments. After the first 10-lap half, the caution was displayed (caution laps did not count), freezing the field. The field was inverted for the second 10-lap half. Prize money was awarded for finishing positions in both halves, encouraging drivers to race hard during the first segment, and not hold back or "sandbag" in order to start up front for the second half.

Gatorade 125s

The Gatorade 125s, qualifying races for the Daytona 500 were held February 14 at Daytona International Speedway. Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan won the pole for each race, respectively.

Race one: top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 43-Richard Petty
  3. 12-Hut Stricklin
  4. 1-Rick Mast
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd
  6. 33-Harry Gant
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip
  8. 9-Bill Elliott
  9. 21-Dale Jarrett
  10. 11-Geoffrey Bodine

Race two: top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 42-Kyle Petty
  4. 2-Rusty Wallace
  5. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  6. 22-Sterling Marlin
  7. 75-Joe Ruttman
  8. 88-Buddy Baker
  9. 6-Mark Martin
  10. 68-Bobby Hamilton

Daytona 500 by STP

Earnhardt was again a dominating factor, but for the 13th time in his career, he came away empty. After a late-race caution, Irvan led, Earnhardt was second and pole-sitter Davey Allison was third. Earnhardt and Allison battled door-to-door for three laps while Irvan inched out to a slight advantage. Finally, with three laps remaining, Allison and Earnhardt touched, sending both of them into a wild spin. The race finished under caution with Irvan scoring the most significant win of a NASCAR Winston Cup competitor's career. Sterling Marlin, in his first race with Junior Johnson, finished second followed by Joe Ruttman, Rick Mast and Earnhardt. Irvan won the first leg of the Winston Million races and qualified for the $1 million bonus. To collect the Winston bonus, he would have needed to win two of the three remaining "Crown Jewel" races, the Winston 500, Coca-Cola 600 or Southern 500, a feat which he failed to accomplish this year.

Top ten results

  1. 4-Ernie Irvan
  2. 22-Sterling Marlin
  3. 75-Joe Ruttman
  4. 1-Rick Mast
  5. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  6. 21-Dale Jarrett -1
  7. 27-Bobby Hillin Jr. -1
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki -1
  9. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  10. 68-Bobby Hamilton -1

Pontiac Excitement 400

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held February 24 at Richmond International Raceway. The #28 of Davey Allison won the pole. Fueled by his Daytona disappointment, Earnhardt rebounds with a heart-stopping 1½ car length victory over Ricky Rudd. Ironically, the door-to-door battle between the two Chevrolet drivers proves to be a prelude to the chase for the $1 million NASCAR Winston Cup points title. Earnhardt leaves Richmond with a 340-318 point lead over Rudd. The two drivers would remain 1-2 all season long, occasionally trading the point.

Top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 5-Ricky Rudd
  3. 33-Harry Gant
  4. 2-Rusty Wallace
  5. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1
  9. 22-Sterling Marlin -2
  10. 25-Ken Schrader -2

Failed to qualify: 70-J. D. McDuffie

Goodwrench 500

The Goodwrench 500 was held March 3 at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Kyle Petty won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 42-Kyle Petty
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 33-Harry Gant -1
  4. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  5. 9-Bill Elliott -1
  6. 4-Ernie Irvan -2
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip -2
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt -3
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip -4
  10. 15-Morgan Shepherd -4

Failed to qualify: 64-Gary Wright, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 82-Mark Stahl

  • This was the first live flag-to-flag Winston Cup Series race televised on TNN. Both races at Rockingham, along with Dover, and the series penultimate race at Phoenix, switched from ESPN to TNN starting in 1991. This was after ESPN moved some races to tape delay at the last minute in 1990. ESPN likewise decided to drop some of the longer, less-prestigious events, in favor of freeing up their schedules in favor of other sports (which they were rapidly gaining rights to at the time). This was not the first race ever on TNN, however. Previous Winston Cup races had been shown tape-delayed on American Sports Cavalcade.

Motorcraft 500

The Motorcraft 500 was held March 18-19 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Alan Kulwicki won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 25-Ken Schrader
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  5. 30-Michael Waltrip
  6. 5-Ricky Rudd
  7. 22-Sterling Marlin
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki* -1
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1
  10. 2-Rusty Wallace -1

Failed to qualify: 49-Stanley Smith, 82-Mark Stahl*

  • This was the last NASCAR race in this series not to be televised. It had been slated to air on ABC, but was a two-day race because of rain early in the race. The majority of the race was not televised and results were available only by local news.

TranSouth 500

The TranSouth 500 was held April 7 at Darlington Raceway. Geoffrey Bodine won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 5-Ricky Rudd
  2. 28-Davey Allison
  3. 30-Michael Waltrip
  4. 6-Mark Martin -1
  5. 2-Rusty Wallace -2
  6. 42-Kyle Petty -2
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan -2
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd -2
  9. 11-Geoffrey Bodine -2
  10. 22-Sterling Marlin -2

Failed to qualify: #82-Mark Stahl

Valleydale Meats 500

The Valleydale Meats 500 was held April 14 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rusty Wallace won the pole. Sterling Marlin suffered second and third degree burns following a crash late in the race.

Top ten results

  1. 2-Rusty Wallace
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 28-Davey Allison
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd
  6. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  7. 21-Dale Jarrett
  8. 98-Jimmy Spencer
  9. 94-Terry Labonte
  10. 15-Morgan Shepherd -2

Failed to qualify: 52-Jimmy Means, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 71-Dave Marcis

  • After numerous complaints about the pit road procedure where cars could not pit for tires under caution, NASCAR attempted a new procedure for cautions. When the pits opened, the blue flag waved to permit the odd-numbered cars to pit first. The second lap, the even-numbered cars (based on starting position) would then be able to pit. The blue-sticker cars lined up on the inside, the orange-sticker cars on the outside, and lapped cars to the rear on all restarts. Pit road was open for any cars on green flag situations.
  • ESPN moved the finish of the race on tape delay because of a rain delay lasting 1 hour and 12 minutes.

First Union 400

The First Union 400 was held April 21 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The #26 of Brett Bodine won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 98-Jimmy Spencer
  4. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  5. 25-Ken Schrader
  6. 28-Davey Allison
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip
  8. 9-Bill Elliott
  9. 6-Mark Martin
  10. 4-Ernie Irvan

Failed to qualify: 19-Chad Little, 41-Larry Pearson, 44-Irv Hoerr, 47-Rich Bickle, 51-Jeff Purvis, 52-Jimmy Means, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 76-Bill Sedgwick

  • NASCAR tinkered and modified the pit procedure one final time. The odd/even policy was abandoned. On the first lap of a caution flag after the field had lined up behind the pace car, all cars on the lead lap could pit. On the second lap of caution following the opening of pit road, all of the cars that were not on the lead lap could pit. The rule was waived if NASCAR called a "quickie caution". A new pit speed limit was implemented, and for the remainder of the 1991 season, cars would be run through pit road for tachometer readings. The use of a "second" pace car during cautions for the pit road (to control the speed) was abandoned. The pit speed limit was in place for all situations when a car was on pit road, including green-flag stops. A violation of the speed limit on entrance was subject to a 15-second holding penalty before the car exited the pit. A violation on exit was subject to a stop-and-go penalty. A violation under caution resulted in being sent to the rear of the field on the ensuing restart.
  • Waltrip's victory set a modern era NASCAR record with seven different winners in the first seven races of the season (at the time). It was the overall longest such streak since 1964.

Hanes 500

The Hanes 500 was held April 28 at Martinsville Speedway. The #6 of Mark Martin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 42-Kyle Petty
  3. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  4. 26-Brett Bodine
  5. 33-Harry Gant -1
  6. 98-Jimmy Spencer -1
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip -1
  8. 28-Davey Allison -1
  9. 7-Alan Kulwicki -3
  10. 12-Hut Stricklin -4

Failed to qualify: 10-Derrike Cope, 52-Jimmy Means, 68-Bobby Hamilton, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 71-Dave Marcis

  • Dale Earnhardt becomes the 9th driver to win 50+ NASCAR races.
  • Ernie Irvan required relief from Dick Trickle during the race due to heat exhaustion. Trickle had started the race in the #34 Buick for owner Ken Allen, but finished last (32nd) after overheating problems popped up after only 12 laps.

Winston 500

The Winston 500 was scheduled for Sunday May 5 but was delayed until Monday May 6 due to rain at Talladega Superspeedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole. Irvan was also the center of controversy after "The Big One" on lap 71, which took out 20 cars and injured Kyle Petty, who was out until the Southern 500 in September due to a broken leg. Harry Gant won the race on a gas-mileage gamble. He out-lasted Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, and reportedly ran out of fuel right after taking the checkered flag.

Top ten results

  1. 33-Harry Gant
  2. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 22-Sterling Marlin
  5. 30-Michael Waltrip
  6. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  7. 25-Ken Schrader
  8. 9-Bill Elliott
  9. 98-Jimmy Spencer
  10. 1-Rick Mast -1

Failed to qualify: 59-Mark Gibson, 65-Dave Mader III, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 77-Ken Ragan, 53-Don Paul

  • During the Big One on lap 71, Mark Martin's car became airborne, lifting to its nose, but it did not flip over.
  • A mild controversy stirred up after the race, when it appeared Gant was being pushed by his teammate Rick Mast on the final lap (pushing is not allowed on the final lap). Video footage was inconclusive, and the results were unchanged. Gant and Mast insisted they were simply drafting very closely.
  • Dale Earnhardt would take over the points lead from Ricky Rudd. He would hold on to the lead for the rest of 1991.
  • Footage of Kyle Petty's rehabilitation from his injury was shown during the starting lineup on the telecast of the 1992 Daytona 500 on CBS.

The Winston

The Winston, an invitational event for all past winners in the Cup series, was held May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Davey Allison won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  4. 9-Bill Elliott
  5. 4-Ernie Irvan
  6. 30-Michael Waltrip
  7. 2-Rusty Wallace
  8. 12-Hut Stricklin
  9. 33-Harry Gant
  10. 3-Dale Earnhardt

Winston Open

The Winston Open, a qualifying race for drivers who are normally not eligible for The Winston, was held May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Michael Waltrip won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 30-Michael Waltrip
  2. 22-Sterling Marlin
  3. 12-Hut Stricklin
  4. 1-Rick Mast
  5. 68-Bobby Hamilton
  6. 43-Richard Petty
  7. 47-Greg Sacks
  8. 19-Chad Little
  9. 94-Terry Labonte
  10. 71-Dave Marcis

Winston Legends Race

During the festivities of The Winston, a special exhibition race of 22 retired NASCAR legends took place on a quarter-mile oval paved in the quad oval segment of the speedway. Elmo Langley battled Cale Yarborough on the final lap, and held him off for the victory by less than a car length. Dick Brooks started on the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 64-Elmo Langley
  2. 11-Cale Yarborough
  3. 99-Paul Goldsmith
  4. 06-Neil Castles
  5. 28-Fred Lorenzen
  6. 14-Coo Coo Marlin
  7. 61-Hoss Ellington
  8. 90-Dick Brooks
  9. 42-Marvin Panch
  10. 300-Tim Flock
  • The race was shortened by 10 laps due to damp conditions.

Coca-Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #6 of Mark Martin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 25-Ken Schrader
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 33-Harry Gant
  5. 21-Dale Jarrett
  6. 12-Hut Stricklin
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan -1
  8. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1
  9. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  10. 94-Terry Labonte -1

Failed to qualify: 29-Kerry Teague, 44-Bobby Labonte, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 82-Mark Stahl, 99-Brad Teague, 86-Jeff Green

  • During the previous week's The Winston, the #11 Junior Johnson-owned Ford was thrown out of the track. Johnson, crew chief Tim Brewer, and substitute driver Tommy Ellis were suspended for 12 weeks for the engine being larger than the legal limit of 358 cubic inches. Regular driver Geoffrey Bodine was injured in a practice crash for The Winston at Charlotte and was out for two races plus The Winston. All three parties appealed; Johnson and Brewer's suspensions were cut to four races, and Ellis, who drove as a late substitute, had his suspension nullified. Here, Ellis finished the race in 16th, 4 laps down. During the ban, Johnson designated his wife, Flossie as the car owner and changed the number of the car to 97.

Budweiser 500

The Budweiser 500 was held June 3 at Dover Downs International Speedway. The #30 of Michael Waltrip* won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 25-Ken Schrader*
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 33-Harry Gant
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 12-Hut Stricklin
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip -1
  8. 15-Morgan Shepherd -2
  9. 2-Rusty Wallace -2
  10. 5-Ricky Rudd -3

Failed to qualify: 45-Billy Fulcher, 80-Jimmy Horton, 85-Bobby Gerhart, 47-Rich Bickle

Banquet Frozen Foods 300

The Banquet Frozen Foods 300 was held June 9 at Sears Point International Raceway. Ricky Rudd won the pole. A wild finish ended in controversy. Accomplished Trans-Am champion and NASCAR road course ringer Tommy Kendall (substituting for the injured Kyle Petty) was leading Mark Martin with 4 laps to go, in Felix Sabates' #42 Pontiac. Going into the turn 7 hairpin, Martin slid by on the outside, but the cars made contact, and Martin spun out. Kendall suffered a flat tire, and limped back to the pits. With 2 laps remaining, Davey Allison who had been running third, took the lead. Allison led Ricky Rudd into turn 11 as the cars were anticipating seeing the white flag. Rudd's nose got inside, touched Allison's rear bumper, and Allison spun out with the white flag waving. Allison refired, and got back on to the track to hold on to second position. The next time by, Ricky Rudd was displayed the black flag and penalized 5 seconds for "dirty driving." Allison, the second car in line, was given the checkered flag and declared the winner. Rudd officially dropped back to 2nd place, with the black-flag being reduced to a 5-second penalty following Allison's time of victory. After the race Dave Marcis, a lapped car who was right behind the incident, and saw it unfold, claimed it that Rudd's tap was not dirty, and in his opinion was simply drivers racing hard on the final lap.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 5-Ricky Rudd
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 25-Ken Schrader
  6. 94-Terry Labonte
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  8. 97-Geoffrey Bodine*
  9. 6-Mark Martin
  10. 30-Michael Waltrip
  • Geoffrey Bodine returned after missing two races and The Winston because of an injury during a practice crash for The Winston.

Champion Spark Plug 500

The Champion Spark Plug 500 was held June 16 at Pocono Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 33-Harry Gant
  5. 97-Geoffrey Bodine
  6. 4-Ernie Irvan
  7. 25-Ken Schrader
  8. 22-Sterling Marlin
  9. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  10. 10-Derrike Cope
  • A caution flag was thrown during the race for (oddly enough) a chicken attempting to cross the track.
  • This race was plagued by rain, even causing a red flag at one point, but it still ran to the full 500 mile distance.
  • During the race, the wife of ESPN color commentator Benny Parsons, Connie, died of an illness. ESPN announcers Bob Jenkins and Ned Jarrett broke word of her death coming back from commercial. A video exists of the satellite feed, in which Jenkins and Jarrett were informed of Connie's passing (Benny Parsons was in North Carolina with her), and previewed an obituary slide that was shown after the commercial break.[3]
  • Bill Elliott, whose day ended early with a valve problem, would leave to return to his hometown of Dawsonville, Georgia; as his grandmother also died later on that same day (when interviewed after his car's problems developed, he mentioned that he had no word of his grandmother's condition at the time of the interview, but that she was still alive before the race began).

Miller Genuine Draft 400

The Miller Genuine Draft 400 was held June 23 at Michigan International Speedway. The #30 of Michael Waltrip won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 12-Hut Stricklin
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  5. 4-Ernie Irvan
  6. 25-Ken Schrader
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 5-Ricky Rudd
  9. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1
  10. 33-Harry Gant -1

DNQ: #70-J. D. McDuffie, #53-Don Paul

Pepsi 400

The Pepsi 400 was held July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Sterling Marlin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 9-Bill Elliott
  2. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  3. 28-Davey Allison
  4. 25-Ken Schrader
  5. 4-Ernie Irvan
  6. 30-Michael Waltrip
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  8. 22-Sterling Marlin
  9. 5-Ricky Rudd
  10. 98-Jimmy Spencer

Failed to qualify: 95-Kerry Teague, 70-J. D. McDuffie, 80-Jimmy Horton, 95-Eddie Bierschwale, 0-Delma Cowart

  • This race is probably best known for a wild crash involving the #17 of Darrell Waltrip and the #75 of Joe Ruttman on lap 119. Sterling Marlin got loose, slid into Alan Kulwicki, and Kulwicki slid into Ruttman. Waltrip and Ruttman hooked together on the backstretch and veered into the grass, jumping over part of the infield road course (both cars got all 4 wheels off the ground when this happened). Waltrip's car landed hard on the left side, dug into the dirt and grass, and barrel rolled while Ruttman's car spun back toward the racing surface.
  • This was Bill Elliott's last win for Melling Racing; he would drive for Junior Johnson beginning in 1992. It was also Elliott's only win in a car that was not red (it was a blue Ford Thunderbird, sponsored by Coors Light).
  • This race was the first race Benny Parsons covered for ESPN after the loss of his wife Connie three weeks earlier.
  • A bizarre sidelight emerged involving Terry Labonte (driving the #94 Sunoco Oldsmobile Cutlass). Labonte would drop out of the race after 8 laps claiming an engine vibration, but when the car was tested in the garage, the engine was working normally. By that time, however, Labonte had already left and with the team unable to find a replacement driver, it was ultimately decided that the car would not attempt to return to the race.

Miller Genuine Draft 500

The Miller Genuine Draft 500 was held July 21 at Pocono Raceway. The #7 of Alan Kulwicki won the pole. The race was shortened to 179 laps due to rain.

Top ten results

  1. 2-Rusty Wallace*
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  4. 12-Hut Stricklin
  5. 22-Sterling Marlin
  6. 21-Dale Jarrett
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan
  8. 26-Brett Bodine
  9. 9-Bill Elliott -1
  10. 75-Joe Ruttman -1

Failed to qualify: 85-Bobby Gerhart, Walter Surma, Norm Benning

  • When the red flag was thrown for rain, Rusty Wallace's car was nearly out of gas. The red flag was out for over two hours before the track dried and the cars were started again under a yellow condition. However, after just running 1 lap under yellow the rain started falling again. Rusty Wallace was VERY close to running out of gas so he was pushed around by Dale Earnhardt so that he wouldn't run out of gas. Once the field was given the white flag Earnhardt backed off. Under NASCAR rules, this is legal unless it is the final scheduled lap of the race.

DieHard 500

The DieHard 500 was held July 28 at Talladega Superspeedway. Sterling Marlin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 9-Bill Elliott
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 5-Ricky Rudd
  5. 22-Sterling Marlin
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip
  8. 21-Dale Jarrett
  9. 28-Davey Allison
  10. 75-Joe Ruttman

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 51-Jeff Purvis, Walter Surma

  • This race featured a blowover crash for the #1 of Rick Mast after he was spun around in the tri-oval by the #20 of Buddy Baker on lap 166.

The Budweiser At The Glen

The Budweiser At The Glen was held August 11 at Watkins Glen International. Terry Labonte won the pole. The race was marred by the death of veteran J. D. McDuffie in a Lap 5 crash in the Loop with the #52 of Jimmy Means. The other drivers were not informed of McDuffie's fatal accident until after the race. Chip Williams, a media coordinator for NASCAR, was the first to learn of McDuffie's death.

Top ten results

  1. 4-Ernie Irvan
  2. 5-Ricky Rudd
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 2-Rusty Wallace
  5. 21-Dale Jarrett
  6. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  7. 9-Bill Elliott
  8. 12-Hut Stricklin
  9. 43-Richard Petty
  10. 28-Davey Allison

Failed to qualify: 89-Jim Sauter, 65-Jerry O'Neil, 45-Ed Ferree

  • The wreck that claimed J. D. McDuffie's life resulted in a nearly 2 hour long red flag to repair the Armco barrier and remove the two wrecked race cars. 23 years later, a similar accident happened again in 2014 at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka when Jules Bianchi crashed heavily, sustaining serious head trauma (similar to J. D. McDuffie) and thus Adrian Sutil helps Bianchi to get out of his car. 9 months later Jules Bianchi died after suffering serious head injury.
  • McDuffie's crash was just one in a long series of big wrecks in the Loop-Chute area at Watkins Glen in 1991. Before this crash, Tommy Kendall had broken both legs in the IMSA Camel Continental race in June after spinning out at 180 mph and hitting the Armco head on. Multiple drivers in the Winston Cup Series and in IROC crashed in Turn 5 during the August race weekend. A bus stop chicane (Inner Loop) was added before the entrance of Turn 5 for the 1992 season to slow cars before the entrance of what is now the Outer Loop.
  • Chip Williams, a media coordinator for NASCAR, made the first announcement of McDuffie's death, which was after the red flag period ended, in an interview with Jerry Punch of ESPN.
  • Last career top 10 for Richard Petty.

Champion Spark Plug 400

The Champion Spark Plug 400 was held August 18 at Michigan International Speedway. Alan Kulwicki won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 21-Dale Jarrett*
  2. 28-Davey Allison
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 9-Bill Elliott
  6. 33-Harry Gant
  7. 4-Ernie Irvan
  8. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  9. 30-Michael Waltrip
  10. 25-Ken Schrader -1

Failed to qualify: 53-John Paul Jr., 82-Mark Stahl

  • This was Dale Jarrett's first career Winston Cup victory. Jarrett raced door to door to the finish line with the #28 of Davey Allison. The official margin of victory was 10 inches. The win was special to Dale's father Ned Jarrett who was in the ESPN broadcast booth for the telecast.[4]

Bud 500

The Bud 500 was held August 24 at Bristol International Raceway. The #9 of Bill Elliott won the pole. Jimmy Spencer led the majority of the race and appeared to be on his way to his first victory, but two late pit stop errors cost him the victory and Spencer would eventually fall to mechanical issues. During the race, #8-Rick Wilson needed relief help from Bobby Labonte after Wilson was suffering from the flu-like symptoms.[5]

Top ten results

  1. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  2. 22-Sterling Marlin
  3. 25-Ken Schrader
  4. 6-Mark Martin -1
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd -1
  6. 15-Morgan Shepherd -2
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt -2
  8. 17-Darrell Waltrip -2
  9. 94-Terry Labonte -7
  10. 26-Brett Bodine -7

Failed to qualify: 41-Larry Pearson, 52-Jimmy Means

Heinz Southern 500

The Heinz Southern 500 was held September 1 at Darlington Raceway. The #28 of Davey Allison won the pole. This was Kyle Petty's first race since breaking his leg at Talladega in May.

Top ten results

  1. 33-Harry Gant
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 25-Ken Schrader
  4. 10-Derrike Cope -1
  5. 94-Terry Labonte -1
  6. 22-Sterling Marlin -2
  7. 11-Geoffrey Bodine -2
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt -2
  9. 75-Joe Ruttman -2
  10. 68-Bobby Hamilton -3

Miller Genuine Draft 400

The Miller Genuine Draft 400 was held September 7 at Richmond International Raceway. Rusty Wallace won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 33-Harry Gant
  2. 28-Davey Allison
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 5-Ricky Rudd
  6. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 25-Ken Schrader
  9. 9-Bill Elliott
  10. 22-Sterling Marlin -1

Peak Antifreeze 500

The Peak Antifreeze 500 was held September 15 at Dover Downs International Speedway. The #7 of Alan Kulwicki won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 33-Harry Gant
  2. 11-Geoffrey Bodine -1
  3. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1
  4. 12-Hut Stricklin -1
  5. 30Michael Waltrip -2
  6. 24-Dick Trickle -4
  7. 5-Ricky Rudd -7
  8. 68-Bobby Hamilton -7
  9. 1-Rick Mast -7
  10. 71-Dave Marcis -10
  • Harry Gant's official margin of victory in this race was 1 lap, and an additional 19 seconds.

Goody's 500

The Goody's 500 was held September 22 at Martinsville Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 33-Harry Gant*
  2. 26-Brett Bodine
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 4-Ernie Irvan
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 94-Terry Labonte
  7. 2-Rusty Wallace
  8. 5-Ricky Rudd
  9. 25-Ken Schrader
  10. 24-Jimmy Hensley

Failed to qualify: 52-Jimmy Means

  • This was Harry Gant's 4th consecutive victory, tying the modern-era record for consecutive victories. Gant more or less dominated the race, but crashed on lap 377 in Turn 3. The crash damaged the right front of the #33 Skoal Bandit Oldsmobile. This incident led ESPN's race analyst Benny Parsons to discount Gant as a threat to win the race. The team repaired the car the best they could (since this was Martinsville, this consisted of removal of sheetmetal that could rub against the right front tire), and sent Gant back out. Gant proceeded to charge up through the field and overtook Brett Bodine for the victory with about 50 laps to go.

Tyson Holly Farms 400

The Tyson Holly Farms 400 was held September 29 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Harry Gant won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 33-Harry Gant
  3. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  4. 28-Davey Allison
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 26-Brett Bodine
  8. 25-Ken Schrader
  9. 21-Dale Jarrett
  10. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  • Dale Earnhardt passed Harry Gant for the victory with 12 laps to go, denying Gant a 5th consecutive victory. Gant had dominated the race when with just a few laps to go an O-Ring failed giving Gant limited braking for the final few laps allowing Earnhardt to pass.

Mello Yello 500

The Mello Yello 500 was held October 6 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #6 of Mark Martin won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  2. 28-Davey Allison
  3. 7-Alan Kulwicki -1
  4. 33-Harry Gant -1
  5. 22-Sterling Marlin -3
  6. 94-Terry Labonte -4
  7. 30-Michael Waltrip -4
  8. 26-Brett Bodine -4
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip -5
  10. 19-Chad Little -5

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 41-Larry Pearson, 76-Robbie Faggart, 20-Buddy Baker, 51-Jeff Purvis 74-Mike Potter, 89-Jim Sauter, 87-Randy Baker, 72-Tracy Leslie

AC Delco 500

The AC Delco 500 was held October 20 at North Carolina Speedway. Kyle Petty won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 33-Harry Gant
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 11-Geoffrey Bodine
  5. 25-Ken Schrader -1
  6. 68-Bobby Hamilton -2
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt -2
  8. 22-Sterling Marlin -2
  9. 42-Kyle Petty -2
  10. 9-Bill Elliott -2

Failed to qualify: 53-Bobby Hillin Jr., 05-Bill Meacham

Pyroil 500K

The Pyroil 500 was held November 3 at Phoenix International Raceway. Geoffrey Bodine won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 28-Davey Allison
  2. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  3. 22-Sterling Marlin
  4. 7-Alan Kulwicki
  5. 2-Rusty Wallace
  6. 4-Ernie Irvan
  7. 98-Jimmy Spencer -1
  8. 11-Geoffrey Bodine -1
  9. 3-Dale Earnhardt -1
  10. 15-Morgan Shepherd -1

Failed to qualify: 93-Troy Beebe, 44-Jack Sellers, 89-Jim Sauter, 00-Scott Gaylord

Hardee's 500

The Hardee's 500 was held November 17 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. This was the race in which Dale Earnhardt clinched his fifth Winston Cup championship. ESPN ran a comedic segment on "How to Steal a Championship" where two crew members from Davey Allison and Ricky Rudd's teams which were second and third and points respectively, attempted to steal Earnhardt's driving uniform and helmet, in an effort so Earnhardt could not start the race.[6] Those efforts were thwarted by longtime Earnhardt crewman Chocolate Myers and Earnhardt won by merely starting the race, and completing the first lap.

Top ten results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 4-Ernie Irvan
  3. 9-Bill Elliott
  4. 33-Harry Gant
  5. 3-Dale Earnhardt*
  6. 15-Morgan Shepherd
  7. 22-Sterling Marlin -1
  8. 11-Geoffrey Bodine -1
  9. 7-Alan Kulwicki -2
  10. 17-Darrell Waltrip -2

Failed to qualify: 0-Delma Cowart, 13-Kerry Teague, 35-Bill Venturini, 36-H.B. Bailey, 59-Mark Gibson, 65-Dave Mader III, 65-Keith Van Houten

Final points standings

  1. Dale Earnhardt - 4287
  2. Ricky Rudd - 4092
  3. Davey Allison - 4088
  4. Harry Gant - 3985
  5. Ernie Irvan - 3925
  6. Mark Martin - 3914
  7. Sterling Marlin - 3839
  8. Darrell Waltrip - 3711
  9. Ken Schrader - 3690
  10. Rusty Wallace - 3582
  11. Bill Elliott - 3535
  12. Morgan Shepherd - 3438
  13. Alan Kulwicki - 3354
  14. Geoffrey Bodine - 3277
  15. Michael Waltrip - 3254
  16. Hut Stricklin - 3199
  17. Dale Jarrett - 3124
  18. Terry Labonte - 3024
  19. Brett Bodine - 2980
  20. Joe Ruttman - 2938
  21. Rick Mast - 2918
  22. Bobby Hamilton - 2915
  23. Ted Musgrave - 2841
  24. Richard Petty - 2817
  25. Jimmy Spencer - 2790
  26. Rick Wilson - 2723
  27. Chad Little - 2678
  28. Derrike Cope - 2516
  29. Dave Marcis - 2374
  30. Bobby Hillin Jr. - 2317
  31. Kyle Petty - 2078
  32. Lake Speed - 1742
  33. Jimmy Means - 1562
  34. Mickey Gibbs - 1401
  35. Dick Trickle - 1258
  36. Stanley Smith - 893
  37. Larry Pearson - 848
  38. Wally Dallenbach Jr. - 803
  39. Greg Sacks - 791
  40. Buddy Baker - 552
  41. Jimmy Hensley - 488
  42. Eddie Bierschwale - 431
  43. Jim Sauter - 423
  44. Kenny Wallace - 412
  45. Jeff Purvis - 399
  46. Phil Barkdoll - 364
  47. Mike Chase - 356
  48. J. D. McDuffie - 335
  49. Bill Sedgwick - 324
  50. Randy LaJoie - 304

Rookie of the Year

Bobby Hamilton, driving for Tri-Star Motorsports, narrowly defeated Ted Musgrave for Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. Stanley Smith, Wally Dallenbach Jr., and Sammy Swindell also declared for the award, but did not complete enough races to challenge Hamilton or Musgrave.

See also


  1. ^ Newton, David (February 1, 2007). "Past champion's provisional entry limited to six". ESPN. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Martin, Mark. "NASCAR for Dummies". International Data Group via Google Books. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "1991 Champion Spark Plug 500 - Sad News". YouTube. Battalionfan888. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ 1991 Champion Spark Plug 400 Telecast
  5. ^ 1991 Bud 500 ESPN telecast
  6. ^ 1991 ESPN Broadcast of Hardee's 500

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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