Editor’s Note: The following stories were featured on page two of the Oct. 18, 1989 issue of National Speed Sport News.
Hollywood Finish At Wilkes
NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — It may become the million dollar wreck. Three remaining races will tell.
Metal against metal, squealing tires, smoking rubber and a wild spin on the final lap abruptly ended Dale Earnhardt’s cakewalk in the Holly Farms 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
For 399 of 400 laps, drivers ran two abreast through turn one, when they so desired. But on the last lap, the turn wasn’t wide enough for Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd, both racing for the victory. Rudd ran the inside lane as the two came under the white flag at the start-finish line. He put the nose of his Buick under Earnhardt’s Chevrolet in turn four, pulling alongside. In turn one, side-by-side, they came together, both spinning wildly up the banking.
At that point, Geoff Bodine became the beneficiary of victory circle. The only lap he led all day was the last one. He was riding along in third place when Earnhardt and Rudd spun. Mark Martin came in second, Terry Labonte third, Harry Gant fourth and Morgan Shepherd fifth.
From the first to last lap, Earnhardt had things his way, leading 342 laps. Recovering from the spin, he finished 10th, one position ahead of Rudd.
Earnhardt lost two points to Rusty Wallace in their battle for the national driving championship, worth $1 million.
– Miller Gets A Surprise
Butch Miller avoided a collision between leaders Jody Ridley and Bobby Dotter with only five laps remaining to win the All-American 400 at Nashville Motor Raceway.
– Former Star Agabashian Dead At 76
Former Indianapolis 500 and midget racer Fred Agabashian died in Alamo, Calif. He was 76.
– Muldowney Ends NHRA Drought
Three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney claimed her first NHRA national victory since 1983 at Arizona’s Firebird Int’l Raceway.