1988 Retro Race Recap - Daytona 500

Discussion in 'Sports' started by DownNDirty, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. DownNDirty

    DownNDirty Contributor

    My first post here - fitting it will be in the Auto Racing forum.

    Ok..........I was searching through some old documents I had saved and found this one. I have done a couple of other Daytona 500s that I will also post if I can find them. I originally posted this back in 2006 on the old Speed boards it appears...........enjoy.

    Retro Race Recap - 1988 Daytona 500

    The show opens up with Chris Economaki holding this strange device called a restrictor plate. This new fandangled thing was mandated by NASCAR when Bobby Allison tried to enter the grandstand at Dega the previous Summer. Oh, that NASCAR and their crazy ideas. Wonder what ever happened to the plate?

    Big news story about Tim Richmond and NASCAR banning him from competition for testing positive for Sudafed and Asprin. That still sticks me because no one can convince me they didn't really screw him over back then. By the way cheap plug for his book as it's an excellent read about the career of the man, in my opinion, who would have kept Earnhardt from winning a few of those titles.

    Onto the show with Schrader and Davey Allison leading them to green. Bobby Allison and DW in the second row as they both won Gatorade 125s a couple of days before. Bobby Allison takes it 3 wide on the first lap and pushes into the lead at the line. Schrader didn't expect that move as he backed off quite a bit. Bobby slips back and DW to the inside and by both Allison's pulling Rusty into 2nd. 3 wide for 6th on about the 5th lap pretty dicy. The top 5 all getting away with DW, Rusty, Davey, Bobby, and Lake Speed all pulling away. Those 5 stay the same over the next several laps with DW and Rusty trying to pull away. DW very stout early and to commercial.

    Back from break and Bobby Allison has took the lead and now DW back to 5th. Earnhardt and Schrader lead the second pack of cars about 2 seconds behind. Morgan Shepherd in the AC Spark Plug 97 behind the wall. A few laps later and the Allisons and Lake Speed up front with DW and Rusty hanging onto the pack. You can see the Schrader led pack closing up and catching the leaders. 14 laps in and now Davey by Bobby and then DW by both of them - Waltrip has a good piece early that's for sure. Quick observation - I like the 1988 in car camera views better than today's views. You can see them really fighting the wheel in the corner and watch the driver work the wheel and draft. Hmmm the Stroh's Light car and this new kid Mark Martin has just blew up on the backstretch and the caution is out.

    Interview with JD McDuffie from the hospital who had a bad wreck on Thursday and got burnt pretty bad. It was a nasty fire and they said the steering wheel was melted in the car. He had 3rd degree burns on his hands and legs but was upbeat and would return a few weeks later. Tragically, we lost JD a few years later in a horrible crash at Watkins Glen. Back to green and a shot from the flagstand shows that Harold Kinder I presume as the flagman has a cigar in his mouth - awesome. Lake Speed in the lead and Dave Marcis slows up down the backstretch. They keep talking about Bill Elliott and he's not running too good now - it's like everytime someone passes him they go nuts. Little did they realize his dominance on the Super Speedway's was over. Speed, Sterling Marlin in the 44 Piedmont car, and Rusty Wallace lead them. Pretty much single file in the top 15 but cars are moving out of the draft and picking cars off one at a time - actual strategy taking place. Marlin to the lead as he passes Speed right as they go to break.

    Lap 33 and back from commercial Marlin still leading with Speed 2nd, Wallace 3rd, Neil Bonnet in the 75 Valvoline car in 4th, and DW in 5th. Best friends forever Geoff Bodine and Dale Earnhardt run 6th and 7th - there are 11 cars in the lead pack. David Hobbs in the Unocal 76 sign on the backstretch with a spotter. Yes, he was IN the sign in an opening with a NASCAR spotter. I miss the Unocal signs. DW up to 4th from 10th on the restart and still looking very strong. DW by Wallace for 3rd dragging Earnhardt with him. DW to 2nd Earnhardt to 3rd and the top 5 are trying to break away. Connie Saylor crashes out of turn 4 and we have another caution. Speed shot replay shows it looks like he had a tire go down out of 4. Chris Economaki comments the Frenchman Jacques Debris has made an appearance - and there is a big hunk of metal shown. That's the first time I remember hearing anyone say that - but it's been popularized here on the forums in the last couple of years.

    Back to green with Waltrip, chrader, Bonnett, and Bobby Allison leading them down. Sterling and Lake Speed have fell to 18th and 19th due to pitstops. Cale Yarborough in the Hardees 29 car has slammed the wall out of 4 and takes it straight to the garage. DW won't let Dave "Bowser" Marcis get his lap back racing back to the caution. They interview him and he said he blew a tire. Despain mentions they are making a movie of his life story - or maybe it was an analogy. Regardless, I never remember a movie about the life of Cale. DW and Schrader pit and most everyone else stays out.

    Back to green Allison, Bonnett, and Harry Gant lead them down to the green. Another quick observation - I know it's nice to always know where everyone is running I guess but to see a Cup race with a full screen and no busy graphics is a nice change from the over crammed screens we get now. Nothing flashy but a FULL screen capturing the racing. Ken Squier, Jarrett, and Economaki are doing a good job in the booth. Squier hasn't yet deteriorated into a crazy old man at this point in his career and Ned and Chris were both on top of their games. Man a cool in car from Davey Allison in the pack shows a couple of crazy moves in front of him and a near crash that was avoided. Economaki comments that Brett Bodine, new to the Bud Moore ride, has been underwhelming so far. Boy Chris didn't hold back. Speaking of that car that old Crisco scheme was one of my all time favorite paint jobs. Same order at the front with Phil Parsons and Bill Elliott also in the top 5. Nine car lead draft that also includes Geoff Bodine, Earnhardt, and Rusty. Interview with Ernie Elliott on pit road and you can tell he's frustrated with restrictor plate racing. They used to take interesting shots of people watching the race at random times didn't they. It's like well there's not a great deal going on so let's show this drunk watching the race with a goofy look on his face. Oh, racing - 2 by 2 by 2 near the front. Bobby Allison is so strong he's about to pull away from the pack by himself. Now David Hobbs is in the infield with a bunch of fans who are chopping wood and making fires. This old man tries to grab David - this stuff is GREAT. He says boy they are having a jolly old time down here - cue for get me the heck out of here. To commercial...

    Back and Lake Speed has crashed but no caution. Inconclusive shot from Davey's car but it appears Speed has got crunched pretty good. Too bad, he was running well. Bobby Allison now has pulled a good 2 seconds ahead of everyone. He was flying. 65 laps in. Lake says something happened to the engine causing someone to run into him. He's done. Chuck Ryder buys Michael Waltrip into the race after he crashed in the 125. They say that Ryder paid the staggering amount of $50,000 to buy Jim Sauter's ride. Country Time wanted to be in that race bad - and I guess in 88 50k for one race was a HEFTY price. Mikey actually running well in that car though just outside of the top 10. Jim Sauter in the pits being interviewed not exactly happy he's not racing. DW shown picking his way back through the field up to 6th. Allison still out front alone with Earnhardt, Bonnett, Gant, Rusty, and DW all chasing. Over the next few laps the pack closes bit by bit on Bobby. They finally run Bobby down and DW has blew by two more into 3rd. Commercial.......

    Back with Bobby leading, Earnhardt 2nd, DW 3rd, Bonnett 4th, Gant in 5th. Rusty 6th, Geoff Bodine 7th, Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott, and Sterling Marlin round out the top 10. Green flag stops begin....pitstops keep happening and to commercial eventually. Back with DW who was leading in the pits. After the cycle DW is in the lead with Bobby chasing a few seconds behind and Earnhardt in his tracks. Halfway and Neil Bonnett in 3rd on Hoosiers hasn't changed tires yet and has minimal wear, interesting. Not much happens in this segment as they are spread way out after the pitstops. Allison, Earnhardt, and Neil continue to chase but DW about 5 seconds out front. They go to commercial...
  2. DownNDirty

    DownNDirty Contributor


    Back from break to a documentary look at Dale Earnhardt that is interrupted. They have video of Richard Petty's car being destroyed and flying through the air. Ned Jarrett just repeating bad trouble, bad trouble before he knew they were back on live. I remember vividly as an 8 year old kid I had went outside to play when I got bored with the race. My dad came flying out there saying I think Richard Petty just got killed. I ran in the house very upset and saw the horrific crash myself. The crash and flip was bad enough but then Brett Bodine t-boning a stopped Petty was almost sickening. You just knew the King was hurt bad but as we know he was pretty much fine after the crash just a few scrapes. They interview Kulwicki who got caught up in it and he gives his account of what happened. AJ Foyt interviewed who also crashed and says Petty is ok as he just saw him in the care center. Fence repair taking place and more interviews......

    Caution happend on lap 106 they had a red for fence repair but ran MANY laps under caution too. They go green on lap 130 - today that would send people into some kind of mutiny and melt the message boards. Phil Parsons in the lead on the restart and Squier calls Big E Darth Vader and seems to have amused himself with that analogy. Gant to the lead by Parsons and Bonnett and Allison to 2nd and 3rd. Plenty of action up front with Bonnett to the lead and Bodine into second. Derrike Cope wrecks on the backstretch by himself and we have caution. After some pit stops during the caution we go back green with Neil Bonnett and Geoff Bodine now pacing the field. Ned corrects Ken again - about the 5th time today. Maybe Ken was already starting to slip some actually. Good racing up front as you can tell they are picking up the intensity. Bonnett still leads but Allison moves to second with Earnhardt in 3rd. Schrader and DW mired in the pack after pitstops. Allison to the lead with Earnhardt coming with him. Wow 3 wide for the lead with Earnhardt, Bonnett, and Allison. They are getting real dicey really close together. DW all of a sudden in the mix up to 3rd from nowhere. 3 wide and DW to the lead. At this point in the race you have to think it's DW's 500. Buddy Baker in the Red Baron car came up with DW and into 2nd making his first notable run of the day. DW, Baker, Earnhardt, Bonnett, and Bodine the top 5 now. To commercial...

    Back with the same order but DW and Baker pulling away just a bit. Davey has now got to 4th with Bobby in 5th. The top 5 all close up together. A couple of laps later Earnhardt challenges Baker for second and they nearly crash. The Allisons make a good move and pick off a side by side Earnhardt and Baker to move into 2nd and 3rd. 2 laps later and Bobby by DW for the lead. DW now in an Allison sandwich. A few laps later DW challenges Bobby for the lead but Davey drafts with dad. They switch views to a race for 4th a few seconds behind with Baker and Earnhardt still fighting hard. To commercial......

    Back and Bobby Allison in the pits for a scheduled stop. 162 laps in the book. Davey leads with DW in second as others come in for green flag stops. Benny Parsons in the Bulls Eye 90 car retires to the garage. More stops and to commercial.

    Back and DW still in the lead still yet to pit. Others into the pit - Rusty Wallace pits from 2nd and Ricky Rudd also in while running 5th. DW finally into the pits to take on gas and a 10 second stop. Harry Gant has a bad crash as DW comes out of the pits. Gant head on into the wall right in the middle of the backstretch on lap 176. They are all coming back into the pits on the caution flag. Davey takes 2 tires and gets the lead and DW and Bobby both take 4 to get 2nd and 3rd. Restart with 17 cars on the lead lap 18 laps to go Phil Parsons in the lead as he did not stop. DW and Bobby Allison makes a move for the lead and get it. Bobby left Davey out to dry so then Davey drafts with DW instead of dad. Then he decides he better draft dad and jumps down there pushing them into the first two spots. Earnhardt in the pits with a tire puncture - he was running around 5th at the time. Baker jumps beside of DW for 3rd and now DW freightrained and falls back to 7th. DW drops like a rock and now the second pack overtakes him. Top 5 right together with the Allisons, Baker, Parsons, and Terry Labonte in the top 5. 13 laps to go and caution for debris.

    11 laps to go green flag out. Phil Parsons bump drafts Baker into second by Davey - yes, BUMP DRAFTS - in 1988. Davey back to the outside of Baker and they race side by side and now Parsons bumping Davey by Baker. This puts Parsons to 3rd and Labonte to 4th and Baker got clotheslined to around 8th. Phil done everything he could to get by Davey but Labonte wasn't much help. 5 to go 12 cars in the draft but Bobby in control. Great quote by Squier as they debate on when Davey makes a move "WHO CARES ABOUT SECOND!" Baker and Earnhardt into each other again for about 10th - 2 laps to go. Davey and Bobby pulling away just a bit with Bobby holding strong. Davey does make a run as he goes low but it's all for not as Bobby holds him off at the line for the win of the 1988 Daytona 500.

    Overall thoughts.......

    Who says "old school" racing was bad. This was the first ever plate race and it still had a horrible flip - signs that plates didn't fix flips or bad crashes. There was a ton of strategy taking place in this one with cars really having to pick their spots. The packs could spread out and the drivers could maneuver around well without being in a 42 car wad waiting on the big one. For 1988 good TV coverage. There was plenty of stout cars in this race but it was clear that Bobby Allison and DW had the two dominant cars. I don't know what happened to DW at the end there and they didn't interview anyone but Bobby because they had to get to that important Lakers/Celtics game. On a scale of 1-10 I'd give this Daytona 500 a solid 7. Good racing for the most part with only a couple of lulls.
  3. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    That's awesome. I grew up listening to most of the races on the radio.

    My first real plate race memory that I watched was Rusty Wallace's car cartwheeling down the stretch at Daytona.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  4. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    Good stuff. Welcome to the forum. It's time to get out racing forum really going.
  5. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    welcome DnD. glad we got you here.
  6. IP

    IP Super Moderator

    Welcome, Dirty. Glad to see you around.

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