Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1989 Autoworks 500

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Official name  Autoworks 500
1989 Autoworks 500
Date  November 5, 1989 (1989-November-05)
Location  Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Course  Permanent racing facility 1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance  312 laps, 312 mi (502 km)
Weather  Hot with temperatures reaching up to 90 °F (32 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)

The 1989 Autoworks 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 5, 1989, at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.


A scenic backdrop of mountains and cactuses along with the warm temperatures of the Sonoran Desert helped to provide a pleasant venue for a late-season NASCAR Cup Series event; combining the man-made elements of NASCAR with the elements naturally found in the rural parts of the Southwestern United States.


Bill Elliott defeated Terry Labonte by six car lengths in front of 63,000 spectators. Three hundred and twelve laps were run on a paved oval spanning 1 mile or 1.6 kilometres in two hours and fifty-seven minutes. Ken Schrader would qualify for the pole position with a speed of 124.645 miles per hour (200.597 km/h) while the average speed at the actual race was 105.683 miles per hour (170.080 km/h). Five cautions were handed out by NASCAR officials for 24 laps. Forty-three drivers competed in this race; the only foreign competitor was Canadian Roy Smith. Butch Miller would finish the race in last place due to an engine problem on lap 16.

An incident occurred during this race that sparked some controversy. Wallace was leading coming up on the lap car of #90 Stan Barrett while driving on lap 254. Barrett’s car came flying at Wallace on turn on, causing it to veer right and slam the leader into the outside wall. Wallace’s car was damaged but still in racing condition. He would lose a lap and the fans would consider this incident to be a controversy. Rusty Wallace fans would eventually calm down a week later when the Missouri native won his first and only championship over Dale Earnhardt. An incident involving Jimmie Johnson and Sam Hornish, Jr. at the 2009 Checker Auto Parts 500 would invoke nostalgic memories of the Wallace-Barrett incident.

Alan Kulwicki, one of the last great independent drivers in NASCAR history, led the most amount of laps in the race. Bobby Hamilton would make his Winston Cup debut in this race along with Bill Segdwick. Hamilton qualified in fifth place using a "movie car" from the 1990 American motion picture Days of Thunder, which was sponsored by Exxon and driven by the fictional driver Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker). Just 19 years before this race, Hamilton had quit school in the eighth grade in order to embark on a glorious career in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Finishing order

* Driver failed to finish race


1989 Autoworks 500 Wikipedia

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