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.

NASCAR Image Gallery

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.
See more pictures of NASCAR.

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.

For more information on all things NASCAR, see:



The 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway became an instant classic. Driver Davey Allison needed only to finish fifth to wrap up the NASCAR Winston Cup champion­ship. Things fell apart when Ernie Irvan spun out on lap 254, blocking Allison's path. Extensive repairs relegated Allison to a 27th-place finish.

1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki
1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki

That left Bill Elliott and Alan Kulwicki to duel for top honors in both the race and the champion­ship chase. Elliott drove his #11 Budweiser Ford to victory as Kulwicki finished second in the #7 Ford "Underbird." Kulwicki and crew chief Paul Andrews calculated the laps led during the race for both ­warriors, and Kulwicki grabbed the five-point lap-leader bonus when he led the 310th lap.

Kulwicki edged Elliott by 10 points to win the title, but the outcome would have been reversed if Elliott had led one more lap. Both drivers led the same number of green-flag laps, but Kulwicki led one more lap under caution. Allison settled for third in the final standings. Get the full picture of the final NASCAR 1992 Winston Cup standings in the chart below.

1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Standings

Rank DriverPoints
1Alan Kulwicki
4,078 2$2,322,561
2Bill Elliott
4,068 51,692,381
3Davey Allison
4,015 51,955,628
4Harry Gant
3,955 21,122,776
5Kyle Petty
3,945 21,107,063
6Mark Martin
3,887 21,000,571
7Ricky Rudd
3,735 1793,903
8Terry Labonte
3,674 0600,381
9Darrell Waltrip
3,659 3876,492
10Sterling Marlin
3,603 0649,048
11Ernie Irvan
3,580 3996,885
12Dale Earnhardt
3,574 1915,463
13Rusty Wallace
3,556 1657,925
14Morgan Shepherd
3,549 0634,222
Brett Bodine
16Geoff Bodine
3,437 2716,583
17Ken Schrader
3,404 0639,679
18Ted Musgrave
3,315 0449,121
19Dale Jarrett
3,251 0418,648
20Dick Trickle
3,097 0429,521
21Derrike Cope
3,033 0277,215
22Rick Mast
2,830 0350,740
23Michael Waltrip
2,825 0410,545
24Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
2,799 0220,245
25Bobby Hamilton
2,787 0367,065
26Richard Petty
2,731 0348,870
27Hut Stricklin
2,689 0336,965
28Jimmy Hensley
2,410 0247,660
29Dave Marcis
2,348 0218,045
30Greg Sacks
1,759 0178,120
31Chad Little
1,669 0145,805
32Jimmy Means 1,531 0133,160
33Jimmy Spencer
1,284 0183,585
34Bobby Hillin, Jr.
1,135 0102,160
35Stanley Smith
959 089,650
36Mike Potter
806 074,710
37Jim Sauter
729 056,045
38Lake Speed
726 049,545
39Jimmy Horton
660 050,125
40Bob Schacht
611 058,815
41Charlie Glotzbach
592 048,060
42James Hylton
476 037,910
43Andy Belmont
467 039,820
Jeff Purvis
45Dave Mader III
436 069,635
46Jerry O'Neil
429 032,370
47Eddie Bierschwale
277 025,995
48Buddy Baker
255 049,500
49Rich Bickle
252 013,370
50Mike Wallace
249 017,415

For more information on all things NASCAR, see: