by Phil Allaway
April 22 Q: In February, 1988, Neil Bonnett won the Pontiac Excitement 400. This event was the final race run on the old Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway before the current D-shaped oval was built. However, there was some controversy regarding the result. Why?
April 22 A: Ricky Rudd, who finished second, protested the finish, claiming that there was a scoring error and that he was the rightful winner. Rudd believed that Bonnett was actually on the tail end of the lead lap rather than the winner of the race. NASCAR denied the protest.
April 23 Q: In 1994, TNN and TBS had a revolving door of analysts on their race broadcasts after Neil Bonnett was killed during Speedweeks. Who did TBS tap to help out in the booth for their telecast of the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond?
April 23 A: _TBS tapped Dave Marcis, who had failed to qualify for the race in his own No. 71 Chevrolet, to serve as an expert analyst in the broadcast booth. Marcis was joined by Busch Grand National regular Kenny Wallace, who was not one of the 46 drivers who attempted to qualify for the race. Here’s Ken Squier introducing Marcis and Wallace as his boothmates for the race
April 24 Q: The 1998 Pontiac Excitement 400 is best known as the race in which NASCAR intentionally threw a late race red flag in order to prevent the race from finishing under caution. However, it ended under caution anyway. Why?
April 24 A: Johnny Benson hit the wall in Turn 1 with a couple of laps to go to bring out the yellow. In an attempt to keep himself on the lead lap, Benson stayed out and rode the wall. Benson ended up finishing one lap down in 18th while Terry Labonte won the race.
April 25 Q: In 1989, Phoenix Racing earned their best-ever start in the Cup Series when Butch Miller qualified their No. 51 Chevrolet on the outside pole at Richmond. However, the day ended terribly. What happened?
April 25 A: _Miller was still running a respectible tenth when he spun in Turn 4 and came to rest in the middle of the track. Rick Wilson, driving the No. 4 Kodak Oldsmobile for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, ran square in the back of Miller essentially at speed after getting blocked out by Darrell Waltrip. The result was a big fireball. The crash can be seen here.
Both Miller and Wilson exited their cars under their own power. However, Wilson appeared to suffer a lower extremity injury in the crash. He limped away from the car before members of his pit crew carried him over the pit wall. Wilson still raced the next week at Dover, though._
April 26 Q: The 1986 Miller High Life 400 at Richmond is best known for the infamous crash involving Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip that gifted Kyle Petty his first career victory. While Kyle might have been the only guy to walk out of Richmond happy on February 23, 1986, Ricky Rudd was not so happy, having lasted only 17 laps. What happened to him in those 17 laps?