Elliott holds off Martin for Dover win 23-race drought ends with victory


September 17, 1990

DOVER, Del. -- Bill Elliott cured two droughts in one race yesterday, and it took a record run to do it.

Elliott beat Mark Martin by 1.38 seconds to win the Peak 500, ending his 23-race NASCAR winless streak. He became the first driver in 14 years to win from the pole at Dover Downs International Speedway.

"There's been a little joke going around the fans, that I got caught breaking into a Chevrolet dealership because I wanted to see what the front end of a Lumina looks like," Elliott, who drives a Ford, said. "I saw one today."

That Chevy, driven by eight-time winner Dale Earnhardt, finished third, behind the Fords of Elliott and Martin, the season points leader who threatened briefly in the late stages to catch Elliott.

Martin chopped Elliott's lead to 1.5 seconds with 25 laps to go, XTC but Elliott stretched it back to 2.2 seconds 10 laps later.

"They asked me with 15 to go if I could catch him. I said, 'No,and they told me to give it up and save gas," Martin said.

Elliott also was concerned about fuel, saying he let up in the latelaps to save it.

"I had less than a half a gallon left," he said.

Elliott set a track race record of 125.945 mph, breaking RickRudd's 3-year-old mark of 124.706 mph.

Elliott's car was the class of the field most of the day, leadin364 of 500 laps, including the last 149 on the high-banked, one-mile oval.

The victory was Elliott's fourth at Dover, where he won in 1985 and twice in 1988, and the 33rd of his Winston Cup career. His previous win came last Nov. 5 at Phoenix.

"I think it puts a lot of things to rest. This race team's a good race team," said Elliott, whose crew chief, Mike Beam, won for the first time as the head of a Winston Cup crew. "Today was our day, and we couldn't do anything wrong. Those other races we can't do anything right."

Pole winners had gone 26 races at Dover without a victory since Cale Yarborough won the Delaware 500 on Sept. 19, 1976.

Earnhardt's Chevrolet was strong early on, leading 102 laps, including a 61-lap stretch until lap 152 in which he built up a quarter-lap lead on Elliott before the first caution.

Martin added eight points to his margin in the Winston Cup championship battle and leads Earnhardt by 21. Martin has 3,519 points with six races remaining. A driver can get up to 185 points at one race.

"We lost a few points, but we didn't lose a lot like we did here the first race, so we're happy about that," said Earnhardt, who finished 31st in the June race at Dover, completing only 159 laps because of engine failure.

Geoff Bodine's outside shot at the championship took a serious blow on lap 175, when the fourth-place car went out with engine trouble. He entered the race 224 points behind, but his 36th-place finish left him 339 off the pace.

1. (1) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford Thunderbird, 500, $83,100, 125.945. 2. (6) Mark Martin, Greensboro, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 500, $35,325.3. (3) Dale Earnhardt, Doolie, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 500, $29,375. 4. (8) Harry Gant, Taylorsville, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 499, $19,425. 5. (19) Michael Waltrip, Huntersville, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 499, $16,825. 6. (11) Dale Jarrett, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 499, $13,675. 7. (9) Rusty Wallace, Concord, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 499, $18,175. 8. (15) Kyle Petty, High Point, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 499, $13,675. 9. (7) Davey Allison, Hueytown, Ala., Ford Thunderbird, 499, $14,075. 10. (23) Ken Schrader, Concord, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 498, $14,875.

11. (26) Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Buick Regal, 497, $8,282. 12(18) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 497, $8,625. 13. (25) Derrike Cope, Kings Mountain, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 496, $9,775. 14. (21) Bobby Hillin Jr., Harrisburg, N.C., Buick Regal, 495, $8,025. 15. (22) Terry Labonte, Archdale, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 495, $8,350. 16. (16) Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 494, $5,600. 17. (27) Butch Miller, Coopersville, Mich., Chevrolet Lumina, 493, $5,350. 18. (30) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Pontiac Grand Prix, 493, $7,000. 19. (24) Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet Lumina, 492, $12,650. 20. (10) Brett Bodine, Harrisburg, N.C., Buick Regal, 492, $7,475.

21. (29) Greg Sacks, Winter Park, Fla., Chevrolet Lumina, 491, $3,550. 22. (14) Dave Marcis, Avery's Creek, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 491, $6,500. 23. (12) Dick Trickle, Iron Station, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 478, $7,400. 24. (35) Jimmy Means, Forest City, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 461, engine, $4,250. 25. (13) Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 441, $6,200. 26. (4) Ernie Irvan, Concord, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina, 427, $6,000. 27. (31) Rick Wilson, Lake Norman, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 395, engine, $5,925. 28. (17) Rob Moroso, Charlotte, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 394, crash, $4,600. 29. (5) Alan Kulwicki, Charlotte, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 342, engine, $5,775. (34) Jimmy Horton, Hammonton, N.J., Pontiac Grand Prix, 318, engine, $3,100.

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