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12 Great NASCAR Moments at Dover


12. 2010: Kurt Is Effin’ Mad

It’s been a while since we’ve heard Kurt Busch go bat guano over the radio, and we’re all a little worse off for it. Here’s some classic Kurt commentary after he gets hit with a pit road speeding violation. Ear muffs! NSFW.

by Vito Pugliese

11. 2012: Trouble Off of Two

A theme you’ll notice in many of these is early-race wrecks. As in, the first 20 laps. Interesting, considering that Dover is often cited as one of the most grueling and physically demanding tracks on the schedule. So much so, they shortened it from 500 laps to 400 in 1997.

by Vito Pugliese

10. 1997: Racing Before the "Bump 'N' Run

With eight laps to go, Mark Martin is tracking down Ricky Rudd, who was working on extending his streak of winning at least one race a year to 15. Rudd was also one of the few owner/drivers in the sport at this time. Dale Jarrett and teammate Ernie Irvan had dominated the event, leading a combined 406 of 500 laps. It would be the final 500-lap race at Dover, and one of the closest finishes ever at the track between two veterans, who show us how to race with respect.

by Vito Pugliese

9. 1996: Spencer Loses It. Literally.

NASCAR always asks the drivers to drop their window nets after an accident to alert the safety crews that they’re OK. They do not, however, ask that you bound from your wrecked rig, in your Extra-Medium purple firesuit, and go after Wally Dallenbach. With cars still speeding by, Jimmy Spencer comes unglued. Dallenbach, in turn, offers a crying towel and a different version of the incident. Of note, Spencer – finely tuned athlete that he has always been – had sponsors McDonald’s, Smokin’ Joes, and Winston over the course of a five-year period.

by Vito Pugliese

8. 1995: You Big Dummy!

Talladega and Daytona aren’t the only tracks to offer “The Big One.” Fred Sanford’s moniker for his chest-grabbers was joined by another of his famous lines by Mark Martin after the entire field was involved in a first-lap pile up in 1995. (You know he’s really mad when he gets all squeaky and goes up an octave.) The “Big Dummy” in question was Rusty Wallace, after Ricky Craven and John Andretti conspired to eliminate the competition one lap into it. The race would eventually be won by Kyle Petty – his eighth and final win in NASCAR competition.

by Vito Pugliese

7. 2004: "There Goes Everybody!"

Another race, another track blocker — this time with 44 laps to go, as cars were fighting to keep from going to go a lap down after a restart. With absolutely nowhere to go to escape the carnage, DW sums up the situation perfectly.

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by Vito Pugliese

6. 2011: Video Game Wreck

The old adage in NASCAR is to aim for where the wreck starts because it should be gone by the time you get there. That doesn’t work when Joey Logano comes ricocheting off the wall at 150 mph into your path, as Clint Bowyer found out as he gets launched airborne and into the inside retaining wall. At least this track blocker occurs at the end of the race and more importantly, nobody was injured. Coincidence or irony: race sponsor would become Clint Bowyer’s Cup sponsor a year later.

by Vito Pugliese

5. 2008: Guess What? The Track’s Blocked. Again.

Sixteen laps into this one from 2008 and they’re at it already. Elliott Sadler comes down and into the path of David Gilliland – who had a few yards to lift – and the exit of Turn 2 with zero visibility is blocked once again. The result…yeah, you guessed it: carnage.

by Vito Pugliese

4. 2001: Junior's Patriotic Win

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 suspended everything in our country, with attention turned to more pressing matters in New York City, Washington D.C. and a field in Pennsylvania. The next race on the schedule would be Dover, held by Dover Air Force Base, which always provides a strong military presence on race weekends. What could be more American than Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning a race in the iconic Budweiser No. 8, doing donuts with American flag in hand?

by Vito Pugliese

3. 1984: Petty Wins No. 199

That storybook 200th win at Daytona in July with Ronald Reagan on hand would never have happened if not for Dover serving up No. 199 for The King. This was back when the race was 500 laps, rather than today’s fan- and driver-friendly 400. This was also back before any sort of meaningful driver cooling aids, hydration systems or reliable power steering – and Petty looks none the worse for wear. Check out the names of the guys he beat that day as well: Tim Richmond, Terry Labonte, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip; 12 titles among those guys, in the prime of their careers.

by Vito Pugliese

2. 2007: Tony Tangles with Kurt

What happens when you mix the two most volatile personalities in NASCAR in a claustrophobic one-mile concrete bowl after a weekend rainout? You get Tony Stewart clipping Kurt Busch, pushing him a half-mile down the frontstretch and Busch going Cole Trickle on pit lane. NASCAR parked Busch and fined 100 points for his actions (about 20 under today’s points system).

by Vito Pugliese

1. 2009: Logano Kept A-Rollin'

Joey Logano’s first year in the Cup Series was a rocky one. Coincidentally, the rolling stone gathered momentum as it tumbled down the concrete cliffs of Turn 3 at Dover. Logano was unharmed, but the top-heavy CoT showed one of its weaknesses: a tendency to get upside down and roll over on command like a yellow lab.

by Vito Pugliese