For Allison, 500 equals two-thirds of million

May 04, 1992|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Davey Allison said he felt like a nervous wreck when he crossed the finish line to win the Winston 500 stock car race yesterday, but he looked like a million bucks.

Circling Talladega Super Speedway on his way to victory lane, Allison realized he is one victory away from the Winston Million, a bonus that goes to the driver who wins three of NASCAR's four big races in a single season.

"I don't like to think about it too much," Allison said, after he haadded the Winston 500 to his Daytona 500 victory. "I'm afraid it will distract from my main goal, winning the [points] championship. There will be a good party tonight in Hueytown, but it will be a lot bigger and a lot better in New York in December if we win the championship.

"For me, the ideal thing would be to win Charlotte in two weekand get the million stuff behind us."

To claim the Winston Million, which has been won once, by Bill Elliott in 1985, Allison must win either the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on May 24 or the Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., on Sept. 6.

Yesterday, as a record crowd of 145,000 waved and roared its approval for the hometown favorite, Allison drove his Havoline Ford to a two-length victory over Elliott's Budweiser Ford.

For the victory, he pocketed $89,325 in purse money and a $100,000 bonus check from Winston for winning two of the big four.

Allison is the fourth driver to win three Winston 500s, joining David Pearson, Buddy Baker and his father, Bobby Allison.

"I was raised with the background, that the last race you won may be the last one you ever win," Allison said after giving Ford its 13th straight Winston Cup victory. "Until I've actually taken the checkered flag, I'm a basket case."

Allison spent most of the afternoon making basket cases of the competition.

On a wonderful, sunny afternoon in Dry Valley, in the Smokey Mountain foothills, Allison led Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Sterling Marlin and Ernie Irvan on a thunderous chase around the 2.66-mile tri-oval.

Thursday, during qualifying, no one could go faster than Irvan's 192.8 mph pole speed. But yesterday, Allison ran laps in excess of 194 mph over the last 32 miles.

It was up to Elliott and company to calculate a way to beat Allison's Ford. But Allison, who wore a flak jacket to protect his injured ribs, ignored the turmoil in his rearview mirror.

"I knew Dale wasn't going to go with me when I tried to pass, because he had nothing to lose between second and third place," said Elliott, who barely held off Earnhardt and his Chevrolet for second.

Marlin finished fourth, followed by Irvan.

"Ernie was trying to help Dale pass by lining up with him when he tried to take me," Elliott said. "If Sterling could've gotten to me, he and I would've won the race. But we couldn't get together, and it was all Davey's."

NOTES: Allison averaged 167.608 mph, to finish the race in 2:59:01, the fifthsub-three-hour 500-miler in the history of this race and the 14th in NASCAR history. . . . Allison maintained his Winston Cup point lead, a 67-point margin over Elliott, 1,399 to 1,332. . . . Terry Labonte, who had been the only driver this season to have finished in the top 10 in every race, left the race when his Sunoco Ford suffered engine problems on lap 75. Labonte finished 36th. . . . Richard Petty had one of his best runs of the season, finishing on the lead lap, his car untouched and in 15th place. "It was good," Petty said. "We didn't hit but one car today, and that happened when . . . the 66 car [Jimmy Hensley] hit me. . . . It sure feels better to finish one." . . . There were five caution flags for 21 laps and 16 lead changes among six drivers.

1. (2) Davey Allison, Ford Thunderbird, 188 laps, $89,325, 167.608 mph. 2. (5) Bill Elliott, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $56,225. 3. (10) Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet Lumina, 188, $46,970. 4. (3) Sterling Marlin, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $45,470. 5. (1) Ernie Irvan, Chevrolet Lumina, 188, $34,840. 6. (20) Alan Kulwicki, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $25,315. 7. (15) Dale Jarrett, Chevrolet Lumina, 188, $19,215. 8. (21) Mark Martin, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $22,765. 9. (6) Morgan Shepherd, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $19,065. 10. (9) Kyle Petty, Pontiac Grand Prix, 188, $17,665.

11. (18) Rusty Wallace, Pontiac Grand Prix, 188, $18,530. 12. (29) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet Lumina, 188, $15,050. 13. (32) Geoff Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $15,420. 14. (11) Wally Dallenbach Jr., Ford Thunderbird, 188, $9,240. 15. (17) Richard Petty, Pontiac Grand Prix, 188, $114,660. 16. (8) Brett Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $14,070. 17. (14) Rick Mast, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 188, $13,055. 18. (23) Dave Mader III, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $13,365. x-19. (28) Dick Trickle, Ford Thunderbird, 188, $12,325. 20. (34) Bobby Hamilton, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 187, $13,765.

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