|Race Time: 3:29:13||Average Speed: 75.424|
|Lead Changes: 12||Lead Change Drivers: 8|
|Caution Flags: 12||Caution Laps: 67|
|Victory Margin: 0.19 sec|
Kyle Puts on the Show; But
Bodine Best at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, VA (Sept. 28) - Geoff Bodine held off a late bid by Rusty Wallace and a determined effort by Kyle Petty and drove to his first win of the season in the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The 500-lap contest on the .525-mile oval was delayed until Monday afternoon by heavy rains. When the race finally began at 2:20 pm, the race resembled a bull fight. "It felt like dirt track racing out there," said the winner. "This was the toughest race I've run here and ended up winning. It was rough."
In all, there were a dozen caution flags - most for spins and crashes. Racing scribe Benny Phillips commented, "After a 26 hour wait, they dropped their guard and beat on each other like road warriors in a street rumble. When it was over, the only unscathed piece of sheet metal was the scoreboard."
Bodine led the final 43 laps and outran Rusty Wallace by 0.19-second to claim his first win for the Bud Moore Ford team. Third place went to Brett Bodine, who lost second place in the final laps. Kyle Petty made up a two lap deficit in a crowd pleasing run and claimed fourth place money. Fifth place went to Alan Kulwicki.
Point leader Bill Elliott never got on track and departed early with engine problems. He wound up 30th in the 31-car field and watched as his lead in the standings was reduced to 112 points over Davey Allison.
Allison squandered a golden opportunity and managed only a 16th place finish after spinning out twice. Kulwicki kept his slim hopes alive and trails Elliott by 191 points.
Petty started on the pole and led the first 135 of the first 141 laps. He ran out of fuel, which put him back in the pack, then lost a lap when he collided with Bodine in the 169th lap.
Kyle scrambled back into the lead lap but got stuck in the wet infield grass trying to avoid the spinning cars of Allison and Wallace. That dropped him two laps off the pace, but he never gave up.
"I had a car and engine that killed them all day," said Petty. "I just couldn't get back into position to win the race. Although I was two laps down with 100 laps to go, I knew I could catch up if the cautions fell right. As well as we ran and as hard as the guys worked, I'm a little disappointed with fourth place."
Wallace knocked Allison into a spin on lap 373 while the two were battling for second place. Wallace claimed Allison "jammed on the brakes and I was getting on the gas. Later he popped me and spun me."
Allison said his Ford developed brake problems. "I tried to conserve them, but all the action started when I challenged for the lead. I wasn't trying anything silly, but the roof caved in."
Allison said his second wreck was caused "when the brake pedal went right to the floor. We gained some points, but it could have been a lot more. We're going to keep working to make a horse race out of it."
Bodine went the final 124 laps without a pit stop. He passed by the opportunity to get new tires during three caution periods during that span. "We didn't stop because we didn't run well on new tires," said Bodine "Besides, we didn't want to give up track position. We took a gamble that the cars with new tires wouldn't improve enough to pass us."
Wallace took on tires in the final caution period with 30 laps to go and had to charge out of the pack. "I thought I would win the thing, but I think we broke a shock or something," said Wallace. "It was hopping real bad and I couldn't get around him (Bodine)."
Michael Waltrip lost his cool when he and Dave Marcis tangled in turn three on lap 363. Both cars spun after making contact. "After the wreck," said Marcis, "I'm strapped in my car and Michael comes over and hits me in the mouth and cuts my lip open. I'm strapped in the race car. How can I defend myself? It's up to NASCAR to handle it now."
Waltrip said the wreck "was hard to take" and left it at that.
NASCAR fined Waltrip $500 for his actions.
Dale Earnhardt dropped out of the top 10 in points when he blew an engine and finished last. It was the third time in the last 10 races he has finished last.