2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race Facts WHAT: Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race ...
2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race Facts
Pontiac Excitement 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race #11 of 36
Richmond International Raceway
3/4-Mile Paved Oval
Saturday, May 4, 2002
400 Laps/300 Miles
Field consists of the fastest 36 cars through time trials. Also, seven provisional starting positions based on 2002 owner points, for maximum 43-car field. The 43rd position is reserved for a past NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, if needed. If unused, it will go to the next eligible owner.
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
Richmond International Raceway Inc.
TV: FX (Live)
Pre-Race Show: 6:30 p.m. ET
Race Coverage: 7 p.m. ET
RADIO: MRN Radio (Live)
Airtime: 6:30 p.m. ET
SCHEDULE (All Times Local):
Friday, May 3:
11:20 a.m.-1:20 p.m. - Practice
3:05 p.m. - Qualifying All Positions, 2 laps
4:45-5:30 p.m. - Practice
5:15-7 p.m. - Final Practice
Saturday, May 4:
6:30 p.m. - Introduction of Drivers
7 p.m. - Start of the PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400
Qualifying: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 5/13/99, 126.499 mph (21.344 seconds)
Race: Rusty Wallace, 3/2/97, 108.499 mph (2 hrs., 45 mins., 54 seconds)
THE TRACK: Richmond International Raceway is a 3/4-mile, D-shaped oval with 14-degree banking in the turns. The length of the front straightaway measures 1,290 feet with an 8-degree banking and the back straightaway measures 860 feet with a 2-degree banking.
2001 REVIEW: Mark Martin led the 43-car field to the green flag and led the first three laps of the event. Going into Lap 3 Rusty Wallace passed Martin going into Turn 1 with Ricky Rudd in tow. Wallace led until Lap 109 when a series of green flag pit stops saw Rudd and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead. Wallace moved back into the lead on Lap 113. Tony Stewart passed Wallace on Lap 147. Stewart led until the third caution of the day. The caution produced Rudd as the leader. Wallace and Rudd battled at the front for most of the middle portion of the race, swapping the lead between themselves for just over 150 laps. When the third caution flag was thrown Wallace led Rudd off pit road followed closely by Stewart and Jeff Gordon. Stewart took the lead on Lap 362. Gordon passed Wallace for second place on Lap 387 just before the final caution of the day was displayed on Lap 395. A red-flag condition was displayed to allow for the track to be cleaned up with the race going to green on Lap 399 for a two-lap dash. Wallace and Gordon made contact with each other to allow Stewart to win the Pontiac Excitement 400 by .372 second over Gordon. It was Stewart's 10th NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory.
2001 TOP 3 OF THE PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400:
1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Rusty Wallace
2001 PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400 STATS:
Bud Pole: Mark Martin, 124.613 mph, 21.667 secs
Time of Race: 3 hours, 7 minutes, 45 seconds
Average Speed: 95.872 mph
Margin of Victory: .372 second
Caution Flags: 8 for 58 laps.
12 Lead Changes Among 5 Drivers.
PARTICIPATING AWARD SPONSORS:
Winston, Anheuser-Busch, Auto Meter Products, Bowman Distribution, Clevite Engine Parts, Competition Cams, EA Sports, Edelbrock Manifolds, Gatorade Sports Beverage, Goodyear Belts & Hoses, Goodyear Tires, Holley Carburetors, Infogrames, JE Pistons, Jesel Rocker Arms, MAC Tools, Mechanix Wear, Moog Chassis Parts, Outback Steakhouse, Raybestos Brakes, 76 Gasoline, 76/NASCAR High Performance Motor Oil, Simpson Firesuits, 3M Automotive Products, True Value Hardware, Waste Management, Wix Air Filters.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
* The posted awards for the Pontiac Excitement 400 are $3,678,625.
* The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader bonus is worth $60,000 for the Pontiac Excitement 400.
* There has been a different Bud Pole winner in the each of the past five races at Richmond.
* There have been seven different race winners in the last eight races at Richmond International Raceway. Only Tony Stewart has repeated since 1998.
* Rusty Wallace has the best overall performance at Richmond posting three Bud Poles in 27 NASCAR Winston Cup races there. His six victories, 19 top-fives and 23 top-10 finishes in those races, are the most of all drivers.
* Tony Stewart scored his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory at Richmond in his 25th career NASCAR Winston Cup start, winning the 1999 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400. He has a 6.33 average finish in the six races at Richmond, the best of drivers with more than five starts on the current configuration. Stewart won this race in 1999 and in May 2001.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr., posted his career-first top-10 finish when he finished 10th in the 1999 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, his fourth career race. On his next visit to the Virginia track, he scored a victory, winning the 2000 Pontiac Excitement 400 in his 32nd career start. He has finished 13th or better, including a victory in the 2000 Pontiac Excitement 400, in all five of his NASCAR Winston Cup races at Richmond.
* In the modern era of NASCAR Winston Cup racing at Richmond (1972 to 2000), a sweep has occurred five times. Rusty Wallace (1989) was the most recent driver to win both Richmond races in the same year.