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The Daytona 500 That Changed Everything: Speedweeks 1988

The Daytona 500 That Changed Everything: Speedweeks 1988
most of the field has qualified at over 200 miles an hour the leaders will race this afternoon it speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour another aspect of this racetrack unfortunately is violence bobby allison with a horrible crash here on the front stretch it is torn out a complete section protective railings he didn't get up to the fencing but not into the stands and it was close though he has torn out a whole large area of guardrail there it is protecting the crowd from the racetrack and
the daytona 500 that changed everything speedweeks 1988
he came very very close to going into the stands the car became airborne and went flying literally into that wall and catch fencing but fortunately it did stay on to the racetrack

Speedweeks

1988

was the biggest moment of change NASCAR had seen in years it was a week filled with new rules new surroundings controversy uncertainty and chaos on the track the biggest change entering the

1988

season was the reintroduction of restrictor plates for a few years beginning in 1971 NASCAR used the plates
to slow down big engines and make smaller motors more competitive the plates were back at 88 to slow the cars on super speedways with speeds climbing north of 210 miles per hour the death of innocent spectators was becoming more likely a problem that we've had with our cars recently as they get airborne they're going so fast that they try to fly a stock car so fast that they threatened to fly into the grandstands and kill people the speeds have to be limited that was awakening so to
speak if when everybody said we got to slow these cars down particularly at

Daytona

and Talladega before when I'm leaves and goes in the grandstand okay well 200 mile an hour's too fast after Bobby Allison scary crash at Talladega last year insurance companies warned NASCAR get these unguided missiles under control or lose your insurance coverage that was a sobering threat and it was obvious as testing open for next month's

Daytona

500 the NASCAR took it very seriously the

1988

model
cars are capable of running well over 200 miles an hour and that's to fast say the insurance companies so NASCAR's cutting speeds by requiring carburetor restrictor plates the first plates NASCAR tried didn't slow the cars enough only to the mid-19th was issued now speeds are in the high 180s that's okay but officials also realize that at least some of the drivers are now sandbagging deliberately posting slower test speeds to keep away from even tougher restrictors I understand
what they're trying to do at

Daytona

and Talladega we cannot send cars flying through the air we cannot period in discussion despite the avowed intention to make racing safer by slowing down cars on its super tracks NASCAR's mandate of carburetor plate could intensify the competition to an unbelievable extent on track several manufacturers

changed

models to improve aerodynamics in

1988

Winston Cup NASCAR and you're going to see some body changes in different forms Buick Oldsmobile
and Pontiac will have complete different bodies what you're seeing right here is a new Buick Regal this is last year's 87 LeSabre that was raced on the Winston Cup circuit this is a new regal a lot of changes have been made Erol dynamics continued with a smaller roof that leads back to a back window that should bring the air to the spoiler a lot better especially around the corner right here it's nice and smooth and makes the air follow it right to the back of the spoiler compared to
the LeSabre which didn't have this nice curvature all-in-all it's a nice looking race car it ought to go very fast NASCAR had a new tire as well the tiny Hoosier tire company with 16 employees challenged Goodyear's monopoly by entering the sport while the tire war was a big part of

1988

both brands performed equally in the

Daytona

500 to go with the new rules new cars and new tires there were a handful of team changes as well Mark Martin returned a full-time Cup racing with Roush
Racing expanding from road racing into NASCAR Ricky Rudd moved to Kenny Bernstein's team but more now had Brett Bodine in his car Dale Earnhardt was now driving a black Goodwrench car instead of his familiar Wrangler colors and the Obama was back on track after a broken pelvis and shattered Lake ended his season in 1987 NASCAR was also looking good going into

1988

as nearly 70 cars would buy for 42 positions in the field for the

Daytona

500 not only was NASCAR becoming a more popular form of
racing for car owners but for marketing and promotional executives as well importantly over 30 cars Doorn big name products on the side of their race cars as sponsors some teams of as much as two million dollars to complete the full schedule of Winston Cup events ken schrader moved to Hendrick Motorsports replacing an ailing Tim Richmond who resigned at the end of 1987 although unemployed Richmond would be a major storyline throughout speed weeks while Tim won nine times between 86 and 87 he
disappeared for months at a time while they claimed it was pneumonia rumors said he had a drug problem has there ever been a time when the drivers felt that another competitor had a problem and shouldn't be allowed to compete in that event yes there have this past year a couple of times no there was no drug problem at all although I guess it would have been appropriate to to say I guess the status symbol used to be tennis courts and swimming pools and now turned into going to the Betty Ford
Center in fact no there was no drug problem at all involved we don't know what we were we don't know if we were alarmed about drugs or was it something else it's hard to say we didn't have you know we weren't testing so we didn't know and it's a deal where you just kind of look at a gun say I think he's taking drugs that's that's a tough one to call you know the other rumors obviously in today's culture was that you had some sort of terminal condition
be it cancer or via to infectious disease it was incurable that you would not come back now I mean you know they had cancer they had AIDS you know I had

everything

there was to have while Richmond secretly battled aids NASCAR was concerned by rumors surrounding him a response they created a drug testing policy for

1988

Richmond was thrilled about the testing as it would prove he wasn't a drug user Tim do you have a drug problem I'm sorry but that question has been asked more than once
here more than once by everybody and I am not answering that question I'm going to let the drug test in

Daytona

answer it and NASCAR can answer it for y'all if they don't answer it the right way then I'll have my little bottle and there will be another answer there because I know I know whether it's dirty or whether it's clean and it is clean because he won a poll in 1987 Tim was eligible to race in the 20 lap Busch clash while his health probably wouldn't allow him
to run in the

Daytona

500 this could be his last chance to ever drive a race car with all these storylines going in the

1988

Daytona

500 promised to be the climax of one of the most chaotic speed weeks anyone could remember the stock-car portion of

Speedweeks

88 began on Wednesday February 3rd with practice for Iraq and ARCA all eyes were on the comeback of IndyCar star Roberto Guerrero in 1987 Guerrero lost the Indy 500 after hitting a loose wheel and breaking the clutch on his car while the
wheel killed a spectator in the stands the Colombian driver escaped with his life after it came inches from hitting his head in September Guerrero once again she did death four days after winning at mid-ohio he crashed while testing at Indianapolis while tire testing at Indianapolis a broken rear suspensions in his car into the wall the right front tire came back and hit Guerrero in the head unconscious and in critical condition at Methodist Hospital and not an optimistic forecasts from
neurosurgeon dr. Michael Turner it will be six months to a year before we're fully sure how much he'll recover and because the recovery phase from a head injury actually lasts one to two years they will continue will continue to improve for that long period in a coma for over three weeks Guerrero was given experimental near toxic levels of barbiturates by dr. Stephen ol V to reduce pressure on his brain miraculously the driver made a full recovery and rehabbed his brain to pre-accident
the daytona 500 that changed everything speedweeks 1988
condition the IROC event five months later was to be his first race back but in practice the feel-good story ended running in a three car draft Guerrero was spun by Chip Robinson and hit the wall in turn three he was diagnosed with a broken foot and would miss the IROC race the comeback story was over before it began drawing for starting spots in the Busch clash was held on Thursday with Jeff bodean claiming the pole Tim Richmond was negotiating to drive Ken Reagan's car in the event and
expected to have a deal done by Saturday on Thursday afternoon Richmond took his drug tests and the sample is flown overnight - NASCAR's official drug tester dr. Forrest Tennant in California Tennant was also the tester for the NFL practice began on Friday with NASCAR inspectors tearing apart illegal cars this week busy crews were doing corrective surgery on Pontiac deck lids that measured an inch too long and it wasn't an isolated case virtually every potty act in the field was chopped
up Neil Bonnett says it's monkey-see monkey-do just like I've always raced and everybody that comes to

Daytona

races when they give you a set of rules you try to go to the limit on the Roos and where the cars were a little bit longer than what NASCAR had wanted and there were some cars down here like this so we had a car like that ourselves Geoff Bodine was fastest in practice and was the favorite to win the pole position Bobby Allison also had an illegal car Bobby what's the story
well I don't know I think it swelled up on the truck a little on the way down here we were gonna buy that we pressed for an answer but Bobby kept his tongue firmly in his cheek well you can't tell you know you put them on diets and you give them special special things to eat to make him go fast and sometimes it displaces itself in the wrong places on Saturday morning Tim Richmond was ordered to the NASCAR hauler where he was informed he failed the drug test told he had tested positive
for amphetamines and opiates he was suspended indefinitely Richmond gave a second sample that would be tested again in

Daytona

500 qualifying speeds were nearly 20 miles an hour slower than they had in 1987 it was Ken Schrader posting the fastest speed from the

Daytona

International Speedway CBS Sports is pleased to bring you live the

1988

Busch plant pace car is in field is ready to go coming wanna start on the brakes comes with it now full dying Jeff bodean on the bottom side going for the
lead midway down the back straightaway first time and here comes the richard childress at big black machine on the outside marauding right against the wall getting pressed tightly in there but for a moment there might be contact Davey Allison 26 years old is just overwhelmed Rusty Wallace to take over in second place Allisyn up in the third spot Davey Allison his young son right there in second spot can't get to the outside he tries again Bobby Allison and that deal flights encourage
Chevrolet first Ford second Buick third is this just a test wad of next Sunday's

Daytona

500 I believe so here they come to the line coming down for the checkers Earnhardt is in front Davey Allison trying to move at the stripe it will be Dale Earnhardt / Davey Allison will take second Bobby Allison finishing in third Sunday afternoons are Caray saw Mickey Gibbs hold off red farmer for the victory but getting the most attention was fourth place finisher Jay Summers who had a surprising back
story he's the most recent winner of the Michigan Lottery to the tune of 5.7 million dollars and the first thing he did with all that money was go by anarchic are from Haas Ellington qualified at fourth finished at fourth in his very first

Daytona

start hey Jay how does it feel to be a millionare racecar driver I haven't

changed

my ways at all and just now I can race and do things the way I want and I make the decisions cuz I own the cars now one day after the Busch clash NASCAR
announced that Tim Richmond had passed a drug test then on Tuesday officials revealed that until he passes a physical he can't race and he can't pass the physical unless he submits medical records from his 1987 stay in a Cleveland hospital where he was reportedly treated for pneumonia Tim Richmond ineligible to drive a Winston Cup car in the wake of two controversial drug tests is discussing his next move with his lawyer that lawyer is Barry slotnick defense attorney for so-called subway
vigilante Bernard gets on track drivers were struggling with poor handling cars now the face of stock car racing has

changed

new rules have affected the way these cars behave and even the old veterans haven't figured out the answers to all of the questions as we're going to see to overcome the slower speeds teams reduce drag by lowering their spoilers to near horizontal levels the lack of downforce meant the cars were harder to drive than ever before it becomes a guessing game and a
compromise flat spoiler go fast stand it up and be saved we'll see what they decide on a 500 with the car is now running in tighter packs carnage was expected the fear of flying cars returned on Wednesday in Cup practice Charlie Rudolph flipped his car in the tri-oval trying to pass ernie irvan apparently Rudolph's engine blew when he spun across Ervin's nose Richard Peddie suffered damage when he was spun by Bobby Hillin while slowing down for the wreck day of reckoning for drivers
aiming for a

Daytona

500 victory tomorrow 69 cars entered Thursday's twin 125 seeking 42 starting positions in the

Daytona

500 21 cars crashed in the two races in the entire 60-year history of the

Daytona

500 there has never been more wrecked cars in the qualifying races than in that day in

1988

a lap six of the first twin 125 Bobby Way wick suffered two crushed vertebrae and eye injuries when his engine lost fluid and he hit the wall in turn three the crash ended his career late in the race
Richard Petty's week got even worse the back end gets a little loose on Petty's number 43 Pontiac he loses it he tries to correct it and then spins all the way around penny can still consider himself lucky look what happened to New Jersey's Jimmy Horton taking the outside wall and easily he could have been collected by one of those 190 miles per hour missiles including his own son that was traveling off turn number two watch what happened to Ernie Irvan here later in the race
that's Phil Bock tall behind and they touched and ernie irvan went for one of the wildest rides in his first 125 miles there's Brad Teague spinning and the red and white car there that's Marc Staal from California punting a man in front of him Australia's Tony Spano spins and lands right in the center of the track a lot of action some time during the first race someone stole JD mcguffey's driving gloves he entered the second race without any now the second 125 qualifier
offered further proof that the mysterious world of aerodynamics and race cars is often just that a mystery Thursday's 2nd 125 qualifier might be shocked at the green flag two-time 500 winner Bill Elliott pulled out of line with a broken transmission the defending champion will start 31st in today's big race on lap 3 there was shock of a different kind jakey mcDuffie's Pontiac exploded in flames after a three-way tangle with Delma coward and Ralph Jones everyone held their breath as
McDuffie came to a stop on the infield and struggled to escape his charred race car he was taken to the hospital with moderate burns on his hands and face now here's a slow-motion look at the aerodynamic effects of side-by-side racing Cale Yarborough gets into the rough air under Darrell Waltrip and the rear wheels break loose now watch the windshield as the force of the air literally sucks it from the car the right side tires explode almost simultaneously and kailah's into the wall but
the daytona 500 that changed everything speedweeks 1988
the action is all behind him as 12 cars got caught up in a chain reaction crash that left the infield looking like a chop shop the revelation of the race was Waltrip still looking for that first 500 win Darrel showed he could run anywhere on the racetrack on the last lap he proved it by holding off 1st Davey Allison and then Dale Earnhardt he looked like the devil Waltrip of old I just man I'm so excited I don't know what to do it's almost like winning the 500 but not quite after the
twin 125s NASCAR revealed that Tim Richmond's initial failed drug tests showed high levels of advil and sudafed drugs that sometimes cause false positives for amphetamines and opiates Richmond still refused to turn over his medical records in the dash series race for compact cars on Friday morning a pair of female drivers made NASCAR history as they finished second and third in Friday's race defending champ Larry Cottle found himself in a 10 lap door banging battle the checkered flag
with his ex-teammate 22 year old Karen Schultz now Schultz was driving Cottle's 87 title winning car those two don't like each other they got into the door-to-door action though called will manage to hole Schultz at bay for the second year in a row a two three female finish by Schultz the truck racer Shauna Robinson was a NASCAR first the IROC race that afternoon was calm chip Robinson's wall stripe was the only incident of the event Bill Elliott was untouchable leading every lap on
his way to victory on Saturday morning Tim Richmond held a press conference at the

Daytona

Beach Hilton to speak with media and Eira's grievances Richmond says his flamboyant lifestyle and past criticism of NASCAR have made him a target and he cites negative results from two independent drug tests to back it up I do not did not and still do not contrast' NASCAR briefly we've only got a short time is NASCAR trying to keep Tim Richmond out of stock car racing not at all from what I can
see Tim Richmond trying to two months later Richmond would sue NASCAR over the initial false drug test that kept him out of the Busch clash a confidential settlement was reached in early 1989 during the

Daytona

500 Richmond hired an airplane to fly over the track his words to the fans were the last mention of Tim Richmond at a racetrack for quite some time speaking of restrictor plates though with all the top down the big Winston Cup cars hardly anybody has mentioned the restrictor plates being
warned by the Busch grand national machines they'll be wearing restrictors this season and in yesterday's goodies 300 we found out that slowing the cars down doesn't necessarily mean making them safer there were a lot of Winston Cup stars in the race most of whom qualified in the back surprise pole-sitter Mike Swain led early as the Winston Cup guys tried to come through the traffic Kenny Schrader was punted into the wall after working from deep in the field to take the lead and as
he wrote it out Neil Bonnett was tapped while trying to avoid the mess and then really got t-boned by Dale Shaw I know you're wondering about bonnets leg he was okay now watch Geoff Bodine in yellow and Darrell Waltrip right behind him doing a little 180 mile an hour minuet in heavy traffic and traffic was really the story of this 124 cars more than half the field were involved in spins and wrecks this ten car pileup in turn four took a big bite out of the entry list and seven more were
banged up when this freight train derailed but this time a hood flew into the crowd and hit seven spectators none of them were seriously injured in fact one cut up fan said quote it was worth it to see Bobby Allison win and when Bobby Allison did he charged past Geoff Bodine and a dove under Darrell Waltrip with a lap to go and it rushed to the checkers nobody could retaliate the new rules the spoilers being lowered the veterans kind of raised well I'm not really sure about that today I
think you the biggest thing is you had to be patient and that paid off for today after a week of controversy and speculation race morning was a welcome sight car parody yep I think we've got it but driver parody that's the big issue it yes can the driver is very definitely back in the picture once again and I think that was the evidence when Bobby Allison 125-mile qualifying race as well as the 300 mile race on Saturday his experience paid off drafting is very definitely back in play
and those that know how to do it they have raced at the slower speeds like they're running today and those are the drivers who are going to prevail you might say that we've taken the sport back some four or five years and those that ran in that era are going to do well early in the restriction does a restrictor discussion you said slower cars drafting together was more dangerous than fast cars given what happened in the 125 races you still feel that way well you know I feel that way you
know my car got airborne in one of the races and keels car got airborne it's just a situation that looking at this race and looking at the race we had last year a year before then we went the wrong way with the copyrighted rules even though they slowed them down to 15 20 mile long well there's been a late development Davey Allison the front row starter in the last few minutes of practice yesterday after the goodies 300 hit the wall and damaged the right side of his Ford Thunderbird they
worked on the car all night to make it right but they'll not know how it handles until the green flag drops now to Shack fix the Alabama gang Davey Allison ed Hinton picks his father Bobby Allison and I'm afraid both I got to agree with that hidden Bobby Allison's gonna win the

Daytona

500 today many people are picking Bobby Allison to win his third 500 here well it's a true fact that this may be the car then we'll go Victory Lane today it is mommy Allison's car several
things that we've talked about in the last hour restrictors aerodynamics big sponsors agent experience youth and enthusiasm all come together this week I think this could be the best 500 in history and I think Dale Earnhardt alweather gentlemen start your engines forty-two competitors 42 cars straining now coming down at about 55 60 miles an hour and the green is unfurled were underway nice start there in turn two around here comes Allison's first high speed corner with this crime rate
in place the cars really don't get up to speed to about three-quarters of a pound by Allison to the inside Bobby Allison scooting down low on the racetrack the analysis father and son leading the first lap of the

Daytona

500 that's Allison looking right up under the headlights of Darrell Waltrip at 190 miles per hour from that camera out on the back end of the car the point momentarily here comes Waltrip remember that Waltrip won a qualifier and here comes Rusty Wallace in the Pontiac
zipping around Davey Allison and going to the second place there's three and four wide behind the front automobile Davey Allison trailing that front winter rolling into turn number one at 190 miles an hour after 14 laps David the standings look like this as we watch Davey Allison press on the inside and pull up beside his flat there Allison against Allison father against son and the Sun goes out in front and here comes Waltrip back in again all the bone don't want to go anywhere this is
just too good to miss here's Darrell Waltrip down on the inside challenging he's coming up he's going for the lead remarkable for it's amazing that warp star works so well down low on the track and has the Pope to come out of the corners there's a smoker in the back straightaway that's the Roush car that new Ford number six Mark Martin out of Arkansas the driver for Jack Roush and the engine is expiring I mean we've got a crash and turn four again a car spinning
slitters slamming into the wall and it looks like Kayle Kayle our burrows car indeed Cale Yarborough's machine sucked the wall but a couple of times then nailed it gonna bring out the third caution of the day Davey Allison back in about 20th position tried to make a move on the outside and bark dog goes down to the bottom look at this as Kyle Petty is overwhelmed inside and outside Davi scoots up by boy that's typewriting comm Rusty Wallace love on to the Sunday Drive which is what it
is but it's that a tone of 500 and he's sawing away at the wheel finding himself now another position Chris you were talking about Dale Earnhardt a moment ago we haven't seen much of him well maybe you can't wait any longer maybe he's getting itchy because here he is now trying to move up into the third position tremendous battle continuing to third now trying to make the move Rusty Wallace coming with him I had trouble bad trouble okay a char go playing Richard Petty's
car is turned over seven or eight times coming off turn that was just struck by another car it's one of the most vile of accidents we've ever seen at the

Daytona

International Speedway here is we there Darrell Waltrip squeezes through Petty's car nosed into the wall then one side races barrel end over end and then side over side time after time that terrible accident robbing the man who has won this race seven times over the years Alan Kulwicki in car number seven was involved as
cars limping towards the pits and there is the damaged number 43 STP Pontiac if Richard Petty out there on the track and we trust that penny is okay in the car there Schwarz pushing in there yep or a bark dog as Mark Knowles car coils backwards there to card number 73 and Patti's car remains up against the wall and you can see both tires fly off the car and other cars coming in now hitting B that's what worries me is that second crash so even though as you pointed out a few moments ago
Chris they reduced the speed that does not make them that much safer now the car was way up in the air as well as surprising gonna climb down high in the air when is putting him in the ambulance I got there and rode in with him and he might have a broke Hank oh yeah sprained real bad there was no compound fracture nothing doctors said they got a neck brace only but he's raised up looked around with so I don't think he's next heard and he's got just a little bitty scratch right
there nothing the biggest edge or nothing Harel kinder has the flag in hand running 13th buddy baker 14th terry labonte 15 on the restart here's the break Parsons pulling away big job his brothers alongside there in the lap down car meanwhile here comes Earnhardt around Brad T up on Kenny Schrader three wide Michael Waltrip bottom of your picture the yellow car back straightaway Darth Vader's on it here comes bonded for the lead Neil Bonnett you think that six car accident bothered these
people is that like upon a sudden she'd be bothering one bit right now make her eye to win the

Daytona

500 and here's Alison dropping all the way down on the apron wheeling through cars in one car and appears will running very slowly and they just snowplow over it but since this has been an incredibly refined race and this crowd has responded likewise this is electrified crowd and this is going to be one heck of a finish down here they've done to my funding for the 30th time crash in
the corner it is it is Harry Gant scar I would think Waltrip's confidence level is very very high right down the track cars we've seen during speed weeks here Alice I'm gonna make a move for you the winner of the 125 mile qualifier loosen Alison and go for that's gonna be a psychological blow the wall frame well Davey's a key right here who's gonna lead this race mr. Bowie gets behind by staying behind his father he pulls up he goes to second dad goes out in front Waltrip
balls to third so long daddy look at Bobby go I don't think India's comprised for here he comes he's gonna bottom he's down low Bobby Allison hi Davey Allison planned the inside move Bobby Allison holds him off they come to the stripe and the winner of the 30th annual his son in second Mendes family performance today the

1988

Daytona

500 is thought of as one of NASCAR's greatest moments with a father and son racing for the win initial reaction was more negative fans thought
the cars were too slow and drivers thought the race lacked competition Dale Earnhardt called it follow the leader and said the rule changes took all the racing out of it Allyson led the final 18 laps and the finish was a single-file procession among others Earnhardt said the events was much more dangerous with cars hitting each other still flipping into the catch fence he called it a damn fiasco and said somebody is going to get killed restricter ate it all up it made everybody the same speed
and that made it probably more dangerous than when we were running 210 they took an approach that they thought would work and as far as I'm concerned he didn't work well I really felt that a small engine with a small carburetor would be very much more in tune with today's automotive world despite the different opinions restrictor plates were the best way of slowing cars down at the time at super speedways back racing became more common in the

1988

Daytona

500 set the stage for modern
NASCAR after the race Davi was quoted as saying his dad's car was a lot stronger than his own there was no way he could have passed his father what Davey have been able to beat you if the two of you had traded cars that that's really a dirty rotten question then no he couldn't you