1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Recap

The 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup season was touched by sadness, as 82-year-old NASCAR founder Bill France passed away in June, but this loss was counterbalanced by the excitement of one of the closest races for the Winston Cup in years. 1992 was also distinctive in that Dale Earnhardt was not a contender -- plagued with a car that couldn't quite keep up and just some plain bad luck.

Learn more about the stars of this NASCAR Winston Cup season -- and see photos from several of 1992's top events -- as you explore the chronology that follows.

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Davey Allison barely beats Morgan Shepherd to win the 1992 Daytona 500, part of the NASCAR Winston Cup series.
Davey Allison noses out Morgan Shep­herd to win the Daytona 500. After a 92nd-lap crash eliminated or crippled nine of the 16 cars that were on the lead lap, Allison and Shepherd emerged as prime contenders for the most sought after prize in NASCAR. Allison kept the #28 Robert Yates Racing.
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February 16, 1992: Daytona 500

Davey Allison dodges several wrecks and finishes a car length ahead of Morgan Shepherd to win the Daytona 500. A 14-car crash cripples or takes out nine of the 16 cars running on the lead lap.

March 29, 1992: TranSouth 500

Bill Elliott breezes to his fourth consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup triumph with a big win in Darlington's TranSouth 500. Elliott has now won four of the first five NASCAR Winston Cup races, but doesn't lead the points standings.

April 5, 1992: Food City 500

Alan Kulwicki hustles past Dale Jarrett with 27 laps remaining and scores a narrow victory in the Food City 500 at Bristol International Race­way. It is the fourth win of Kulwicki's NASCAR Winston Cup career.

Alan Kulwicki on his way to a fourth-place finish in the 1992 Pyroil 500, a NASCAR Winston Cup series event.
Alan Kulwicki scampers past Darrell Waltrip during the Nov. 1 Pyroil 500 at Phoenix Inter­national Raceway along the way to a fourth-place finish. Kulwicki made a major comeback in the season's final weeks, rallying from a 278-point deficit in mid September to challenge for the NASCAR Winston Cup title. Following the Phoenix event, Kulwicki trailed points leader Davey Allison by 30 points heading into the season finale at Atlanta.

May 3, 1992: Winston 500

Davey Allison keeps a firm grip on the championship points lead with a victory in the Winston 500 at Talladega. Allison nips Bill Elliott at the finish line to give Ford a victory in all nine races thus far in the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup season.

May 24, 1992: Coca-Cola 600

Dale Earnhardt avoids the watchful eye of NASCAR officials as he exceeds the 55-mph speed limit down pit road for his final stop, then outruns Ernie Irvan to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Earnhardt trails by more than three seconds entering the pit stop, but returns to the track 1.27 seconds ahead of his closest rival. Other contenders howl in protest after the race.

June 7, 1992

NASCAR founder William Henry Getty France passes away in an Ormond Beach, Fla., hospital at the age of 82. Ernie Irvan wins the race at Sears Point as flags fly at half-staff.

Rusty Wallace leads at the start of the 1992 Pyroil 500, a NASCAR Winston Cup series event.
Pole-sitter Rusty Wallace gets a jump on the field at the start of the Nov. 1 Pyroil 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Wallace led 161 of the first 203 laps, but then his battery soured. "There was no way anybody could touch us," Wallace said. "That's the third time this has happened to me this year. This year is just trash. Really frustrating." Wallace logged only five top-five finishes in 1992 and finished 13th in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings.

July 4, 1992: Pepsi 400

Ernie Irvan squeezes past Sterling Marlin to register a two car-length victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. President George Bush accompanies Richard Petty in prerace ceremonies, commemorating The King's final race at Daytona International Speedway.

July 19, 1992: Miller Genuine Draft 500

Darrell Waltrip outruns the field to win the Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Pocono as Davey Allison survives a scary tumble with 50 laps to go.

Driver Richard Petty's car is engulfed in flames during the 1992 Hooters 500, a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event.
Richard Petty's #43 Pontiac erupts in flames following a crash on the 95th lap of the Hooters 500. The King of NASCAR was competing in his 1184th and final NASCAR Winston Cup event. He got mixed up in the accident while trying to miss several spinning cars. "It broke the oil line and oil got on the headers," said Petty. "I figured I'd better find a fire truck, so I drove down the track until I found one." Petty got back into the race and finished 35th in the field of 41.

August 16, 1992: Champion Spark Plug 400

Harry Gant bags Michigan's Champion Spark Plug 400 with a perfectly planned fuel-economy run to score his 18th career victory. Clifford Allison, younger brother of Davey, loses his life in a practice crash for the NASCAR Busch Series event three days before the race.

August 29, 1992: Bud 500

Darrell Waltrip scampers to victory in the Bud 500 at Bristol, the first race at the facility since the track was resurfaced with concrete.

September 20, 1992: Peak AntiFreeze 500

Ricky Rudd holds off Bill Elliott to win the Peak AntiFreeze 500 at Dover Downs International Speed­way. Alan Kulwicki is eliminated in an early crash, leaving him 278 points behind in the title chase. Kulwicki says, "This probably finishes us off in the championship deal."

October 11, 1992: Mello Yello 500

Mark Martin edges Alan Kulwicki to win Charlotte's Mello Yello 500 for his second win of the season. Points leader Bill Elliott departs with mechanical problems, leaving six ­drivers within 114 points in what has suddenly become a wide-open championship race.

Davey Allison, in the #28 Havoline Ford, competes in the 1992 Mello Yello 500, a NASCAR Winston Cup series event.
Davey Allison's #28 Havoline Ford runs a length ahead of #83 Lake Speed in the Oct. 11 Mello Yello 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Speed competed in a few NASCAR Winston Cup races in 1992 in his own Purex Detergent-sponsored Ford. Allison led the points standings most of the season, but then slipped. He was lapped five times in the Mello Yello 500 and finished a disappointing 19th. Speed fell victim to clutch trouble in the closing laps and placed 26th.

November 1, 1992: Pyroil 500

Davey Allison snatches the lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup title chase with a win in the Pyroil 500 at Phoenix. Allison leads Alan Kulwicki by 30 points and Elliott by 40 points heading into the finale at Atlanta.

November 15, 1992: Hooters 500

Bill Elliott and Alan Kulwicki engage in an epic struggle, with Elliott scoring a narrow victory in the season-ending Hooters 500 at Atlanta. Points leader Davey Allison is knocked out of the title hunt by an early crash. Elliott wins the race, but fails to pick up points on Kulwicki, who clings to a narrow 10-point margin in the final standings. It is the closest title race in NASCAR history. Jeff Gordon makes his first NASCAR Winston Cup start as Richard Petty competes in his final event.

See how the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup standings aligned at the end of this hotly contested season when you continue to the next page.

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