| Coca-Cola 600|
| May 24, 1992 (1992-May-24)|
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina
Permanent racing facility
1.500 mi (2.414 km)
400 laps, 600 mi (965 km)
Hot with temperatures approaching 90 °F (32 °C); wind speeds up to 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)
The 1992 Coca-Cola 600, the 33rd running of the event, was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on May 24, 1992, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the American community of Concord, North Carolina.
For the first time in NASCAR history, the Stonewall Jackson Award was offered to the United States Army veteran who demonstrated patriotism and sacrifice above the typical expectations of a soldier or commissioned officer. This award was named after Confederate general Stonewall Jackson for his meritorious devotion to service during the American Civil War.
1992 Coca-Cola 600 Wikipedia
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina, United States 13 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina. The complex features a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Bank of America 500. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area. The track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) with Marcus G. Smith (son of Bruton Smith) as track president.
There were 42 drivers on the starting grid; almost half of them failed to finish the race. It took four and a half hours to resolve 400 laps. Dale Earnhardt defeated Ernie Irvan by nearly half a second. There were several crashes, some engine problems, and Stanley Smith's vehicle managed to lose all of its tires by lap 248. Last-place finisher Jimmy Means would develop trouble with his engine on the eight lap. There were 12 caution flags handed out by NASCAR officials throughout 62 laps of the race. Kyle Petty managed to develop a lengthy lead late in the race but couldn't prevent Dale Earnhardt from winning it. Had Earnhardt had a state-of-the art engine builder, he might have won more races earlier in his career.
Bill Elliott qualified for the pole position with speeds reaching up to 175.479 miles per hour (282.406 km/h) in the solo qualifying session. Actual racing speeds would be 132.98 miles per hour (214.01 km/h); more than 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) slower than qualifying. Rusty Wallace, Bobby Hamilton, and Randy Porter would accomplish individually solid finishes despite not being able to finish the race. The total prize purse for this racing event was $859,485 ($1,466,851.68 when adjusted for inflation). While the winner of the race received $125,100 of this total figure ($213,503.60 when adjusted for inflation), the last place finisher only received a meager $5,100 ($8,703.98 when adjusted for inflation).
Gary Balough would make his final start in the NASCAR Cup Series before he was sentenced to jail and could never race in NASCAR again. Being sentenced to 45½ months in jail for drug trafficking ruined Balough's professional career along with his marriage.