Retro Race Recap 1991 Daytona 500 Presented by STP - the first time the race was presented by anyone. Dale Earnhardt isn’t on the grid yet - still in inspection. Dave Despain comments the rest of the field hopes he don’t make the grid as he’s already won 3 races this week. Sweeping pit stop changes came about after the 1990 season after the death of crew member Mich Richt at Atlanta. This is the craziest idea I’ve ever heard. It’s been 21 years and I still think many people can’t explain how the rules were laid out. Basically, you couldn’t change tires during caution flags at all - just fuel the car. Some drivers had even stickers and other drivers had odd stickers dictating when they could pit. Wow, can’t believe CBS showed the highlight of Richt being killed - that wouldn’t be shown in 2012 that’s for sure. Top 20 starters: 1. Davey Allison 2. Ernie Irvan 3. Richard Petty 4. Dale Earnhardt 5. Hut Stricklin 6. Kyle Petty 7. Rick Mast 8. Rusty Wallace 9. Ricky Rudd 10. Darrell Waltrip 11. Harry Gant 12. Sterling Marlin 13. Michael Waltrip 14. Joe Ruttman 15. Bill Elliott 16. Buddy Baker 17. Dale Jarrett 18. Mark Martin 19. Geoff Bodine 20. Bobby Hamilton Watching the “raw feed” which is always excellent. Many gems can be heard in raw feeds and this is the first time I’ve watched the raw feed of the 91 Daytona 500. 5 of the cars were sporting special schemes (something not seen much back then) with drivers representing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard - this was during the original Gulf conflict. Hey, you didn’t know you’d get a history lesson in a NASCAR broadcast did ya? LOVE this on board helmet camera - much better than any incar in today’s broadcasts. Perfect example of exactly what the driver is seeing and how much movement actually happens inside of the car. They’re off and Allison immediately to the lead in turn one. Earnhardt ducks under Irvan going into 3 and passes him. In car shot of Earnhardt and he gets sideways out of 3 due to a pop from Hut Stricklin and he shakes his fist at him. Earnhardt blows by Allison in turn one of lap 2. He had led 400 of 475 miles that he ran during that week at Daytona - a very impressive statistic. David Hobbs dubs Allison and Earnhardt the Dymanic Duo - and the DD starts stretching themselves from the rest of the field. Earnhardt has hit a seagull........and we get the awesome graphic replay of a seagull being slammed into by a car traveling 200 MPH down the backstretch. I would hate to have been a fan in the Superstretch that may have caught some of the splatter from that messy accident. Actually, there were no stands there yet so no worries. Rusty Wallace, Irvan, Rudd, and Stricklin close in on the leaders and we have about a 10 car lead pack now. Richard Petty has dropped like a rock early and, according to Economaki, he waved bye-bye at the King as he went by. What, are we two now? Bye-bye? Maybe later Chris can tell us about the King poopying and needing a nappy. First status report by Ned Jarrett on Dale Jarett’s ride - he’s confident in the new Wood Brothers ride for today. RAW FEED during the commercial (Ken Squier stepped on something or somebody. He’s apologizing. Hobbs saying you don’t want to say, “OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT” and they all share a laugh. Earnhardt still pacing the pack. Squier wants a shot of Mark Martin when they come back from break - he’s really impressed he went from 18th to 9th early. Top 5 still together separating themselves from the pack - Earnhardt, Allison, Irvan, Rudd, and Kyle Petty. Back to regular TV and Squier taling about Martin and, on cue, they cut to the Folgers car as he runs behind Rusty Wallace. A very young Robbie Loomis is now Richard Petty’s crew chief and as they go to talk to him the first caution waves as Sammy Swindell takes a spin down the backstretch. Not many decide to pit this early in the race. Back to green and Allison powers by Earnhardt for the lead. Close, hard racing right behind them. Kyle Petty gets clotheslined and the pack goes by him and he loses about 5 spots. Brett Bodine has hit the wall and he’s into the pits - he killed the car in the 125 race on Thursday and it was a vicious crash. I don’t think many had Brett as the driver to win the 500 in 91 anyway. Smashing crash with the Snickers car of Rick Wilson, and according to Squier, Eddie Sachs. Well, that would have been a he*& of a feat to pull off considering he had been killed at the Indy 500 in 1964. He quickly corrects himself and we learn that it’s Greg Sacks in the 18 Navy ride. Anyway, Wilson and Sacks having a verbal exchange in the infield about what happened, or how absurd Jimmy Spencer’s weave was, could have been either. To commercial and raw feed time - we get an overhead view of Daytona from the blimp. Squier wants to know about Earnhardt’s temperatures - he thinks he’s running hot and has slowed down some. Back to the live broadcast - after 21 laps: Allison, Earnhardt, Irvan, Hut Stricklin, and Joe Ruttman. Rudd, Marlin, Martin, Mast, and Kyle Petty round out the top 10. We get back and Mike Joy does indeed ask Childress about the temps and Childress thinks everything is fine. Despain with Bobby Allison, owner of the Hut Stricklin car, and it’s so painful to watch Bobby back then because he was still not completely back to normal from that horrific crash in Pocono in 88. Economaki relays a story that Joe Ruttman was out of work last year and moonlighted as a waiter - never knew that. Green waves and the “Dynamic Duo” takes off once again. Earnhardt powers around Allison for the lead going into turn 1 a couple of laps after the restart. Elliott has a flat tire and they are figuring out if he can pit this lap due to being on red or blue - my God what a trainwreck that idea was. Irvan and Allison racing side by side for second with Stricklin right behind them. Elliott in the pits and losing a lap early. Wreck on the track - Jimmy Spencer, Jeff Purvis, Jimmy Means, Phil Barkdoll, and others are crashing. Spencer falls down out of his Banquet Frozen Foods car to the ground. It’s very funny watching this 140 pound worker try to drag the 220+ Spencer back to the pits. The worker basically gives up and just puts his arm around him and points Jimmy towards the right direction. Hope Spence didn’t burn his toupee in that crash. David Hobbs says there’s a partiner of oil on the track - no idea what partiner translates to in the Queen’s English. Shelmerdine on seagull duty, sh*$$y job, and Earnhardt back out after his pitstop. Michael Waltrip having engine trouble in the Pennzoil 30 car. He has cooked the engine. Mark Martin also to the garage with problems. To raw feed and Squier wants to shout out to Dave Marcis who started last and is up in the top 5. Back to green and right on cue they talk about Marcis - but he’s running very slow on the bottom of the track and is now coasting - DOH. Kyle Petty with the lead now and Sterling Marlin in the Maxwell House Junior Johnson car is flexing his muscles and blows by Petty. Irvan and Mast side by side for 3rd. Buddy Baker in the Marines car to the garage and right back to the track and Phil Barkdoll nearly flips over as he spins through the tri oval. He comes back on all fours and only has a windshield blown out. Replay shows he slides up into Mickey Gibbs and causes him to spin out. Back to commercial and raw feed once again - this race is plodding. Hobbs mocking the horrible pit rules. Green again and now we’ve got the Dynamic Duo back out front. Ernie Irvan had to drop back and he’s ½ lap down with no drafting help. Top 10 cars or so running in the lead pack. Early surprise Joe Ruttman running really well in the lead pack near the front of the field. The STP cam on Petty’s helmet is awesome at speed. You can even see him look up into the mirror. Petty running around 15th behind Dale Jarrett. The full faced helmets a newer trend and Petty is wearing one. And tire changing pit stops begin with Kyle Petty into the pits and he stalls the car and loses several seconds. After 48 laps: The Dynamic Duo, Mast, Kyle Petty, and Morgan Shepherd were the top 5. On lap 55 cycling through green flag pit stops. Kyle Petty was running ½ a second a lap faster than the pack with the new tires. Finally a small lull in the cautions and Petty still mowing down the field with the new tires and has ran down the leaders and passing them with ease. Ruttman has broken up the Dynamic Duo, running in second behind Earnhardt. Joe Ruttman to the lead by Earnhardt - wow. That beautiful Dinner Bell colors passes the Man in Black with ease. Kyle Petty goes by Earnhardt and works on Ruttman trying to get his lap back. Got to remember this was before Lucky Dogs/Free Passes. Earnhardt fades a bit as a few others drive by him including Allison and Hut Stricklin. Earnhardt bumps into Stricklin out of turn 4 and Hut spinning through the tri-oval and he’s missing a windshield but otherwise unharmed bodywise. Kyle Petty had unlapped himself and back to the lead lap. Under the caution pitting for fuel - Stricklin cannot pit for tires and then, lo and behold, he blows a right front under caution and rips the right side of his car up pretty bad. Stricklin honestly had one of the top 3-4 cars in this 500 and had a legitimate chance to win with that car. Still under caution Stricklin going to lose 2 laps. Newcomers in the top 10 include Darrell Waltrip and the Skoal Bandit Harry Gant.