This Week in NASCAR History: April 27-May 3
by Tom Jensen April 27, 2020
Exciting moments in NASCAR history from April 27 - May 3.
April 27, 1980
It was an all-Hall of Fame top four in the Virginia 500, as Darrell Waltrip (2012) had his DiGard Racing Chevrolet out front for 303 of 500 laps at Martinsville Speedway to capture the $26,850 first place purse. Waltrip bested Benny Parsons (2017), Richard Petty (2010) and Cale Yarborough (2012). The top four drivers were the only ones to finish on the lead lap.
April 28, 1991
Driving for car owner and fellow Hall of Famer Richard Childress (2017), Dale Earnhardt (2010) led 251 of 500 laps to capture the Hanes 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The victory at the Virginia short track paid $63,600. Later that season, Earnhardt would go on to capture his fifth of a record-tying seven NASCAR premier series championships.
April 29, 2007
The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway was a historic day for Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (2019), as he scored his 77th career NASCAR premier series victory. The Talladega win allowed Gordon to surpass the victory total of another Hall of Famer, Dale Earnhardt (2010). All 93 of Gordon’s career wins came in Chevrolets owned by Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick (2017). First place at the mammoth 2.66-mile Alabama track paid $355,511, along with a hail of beer cans thrown over the fence, presumably by fans who didn’t want to see Gordon surpass Earnhardt’s victory total.
April 30, 1972
Just how dominant was Hall of Famer Richard Petty (2010) at Martinsville Speedway? One of his record-setting 15 victories at the paper clip-shaped track came in the Virginia 500, when he finished seven laps ahead of arch-rival and fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Allison (2011). Third place Dave Marcis was lapped 13 times by Petty, who earned $8,250 for the win.
May 1, 1955
At the 0.75-mile Charlotte Speedway dirt track near where Charlotte-Douglas Airport stands today, Hall of Famer Buck Baker (2013) pocketed the winner’s purse of $1,000 after holding off fellow Hall of Famer Tim Flock (2014) to score his second of three victories on the season.
May 2, 1959
At North Carolina’s Hickory Speedway, Hall of Famer Junior Johnson (2010) was always one of the drivers to beat. In the Hickory 250, Johnson finished two laps ahead of fellow Hall of Famer Joe Weatherly (2015), with another Hall of Famer Lee Petty (2011) in third, one lap behind “Little Joe.” Johnson’s victory paid $800.
May 3, 2008
Clint Bowyer put Hall of Famer Richard Childress’ (2017) Chevrolet in Victory Lane at Richmond Raceway in the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400. The top nine finishers all drove for teams owned by or founded by a Hall of Famer, and first place paid a cool $226,550 for Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.