| Slick 50 500|
| October 30, 1994 (1994-October-30)|
Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
312 laps, 312 mi (502 km)
Hot with temperatures approaching 88 °F (31 °C); wind speeds up to 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)
The 1994 Slick 50 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on October 30, 1994, at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. This race would be the final race in 1994 that Chevrolet would win; with the Chevrolet Lumina representing their manufacturing brand in the top-level professional stock car series at that time.
Never again would the aluminium chassis of the Chevrolet Lumina win another race in the NASCAR Cup Series; the Chevrolet Monte Carlo would take over in 1995 and would race until the beginning of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. With the winner's average speed being slightly below 108 miles per hour (174 km/h), stock car manufacturers realized that aluminium no longer made the fastest vehicles and started to research for lighter materials to use for the exterior of the NASCAR vehicles. In today's NASCAR, a simple steel tube frame with safety roll cage (serving as a space frame chassis) is used for the racing vehicles. A 24-gauge sheet metal body covers the body for safety reasons.
1994 Slick 50 500 Wikipedia
A lineup of 43 drivers made the starting grid for this 312-lap racing event; John Andretti finished in last-place on lap 31 due to a crash on lap 31. The yellow flag didn't come until lap 34 and lasted until lap 41. About 9% of the race was run under a caution flag while the green flag was maintained for an average of 57 laps. Individual winnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $67,885 ($109,692.04 when considering inflation) to the last-place finisher's share of $6,825 ($11,028.18 when considering inflation). The total prize purse for this racing event was $690,315 ($1,115,446.13 when considering inflation).
Eleven drivers failed to qualify for this event; including Jeff Purvis. There were four caution flags for this event; most of them were caused by in-race accidents. Sterling Marlin, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon and Ron Hornaday, Jr. would dominate the race during the first 100 laps while Terry Labonte and Sterling Marling would dominate the final 100 laps of this event. Terry Labonte would eventually defeat Mark Martin by slightly more than three seconds after two hours and fifty-four minutes of racing. All 43 of the drivers were born in the United States of America. Jeff Gordon was in the spotlight for the 1994 NASCAR Cup Series season with a pre-season engagement to his now ex-wife Brooke and 13 finishes in the "top ten" prior to this event. His fourth-place finish would add another "top ten" finish to Jeff Gordon's NASCAR racing résumé.
Rick Carelli would be the highest-finishing driver not to finish the race while Michael Waltrip would be the lowest-finishing driver to finish the race. Most of the drivers in this event would either be driving Ford or Chevrolet vehicles during the race. Dale Earnhardt would eventually go on to clinch the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship by more than 440 points after this event; although his day ended on lap 91 with engine problems.Start: Sterling Marlin had the pole position as the green flag was waved to officially begin the event
Lap 7: Ricky Rudd took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
Lap 34: Caution was given out due to a crash involving John Andretti and Jimmy Spencer, ended on lap 41
Lap 51: Caution was given out due to Greg Sacks' accident, ended on lap 59
Lap 67: Loy Allen, Jr.'s transmission suddenly stopped working properly
Lap 82: Jeff Gordon took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
Lap 83: Ricky Rudd took over the lead from Jeff Gordon
Lap 91: Dale Earnhardt's engine suddenly stopped working properly
Lap 96: Caution due Brett Bodine and Harry Gant spinning out on turn three, ended on lap 99
Lap 97: Ron Hornaday, Jr. took over the lead from Ricky Rudd; Dick Trickle's engine suddenly stopped working properly
Lap 98: Ricky Rudd took over the lead from Ron Hornaday, Jr.
Lap 108: Mark Martin took over the lead from Ricky Rudd
Lap 118: Caution due to an accident involving Jimmy Spencer and two other drivers, ended on lap 123
Lap 144: Rich Bickle's engine suddenly stopped working properly
Lap 192: Terry Labonte took over the lead from Mark Martin
Lap 200: Bill Elliott took over the lead from Terry Labonte
Lap 202: Bobby Labonte took over the lead from Bill Elliott
Lap 204: Dale Jarrett took over the lead from Bobby Labonte
Lap 208: Terry Labonte took over the lead from Dale Jarrett
Lap 275: The clutch on Bill Elliot's vehicle suddenly stopped working properly
Lap 283: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Terry Labonte
Lap 284: Terry Labonte took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
Lap 297: Rick Carelli's engine suddenly stopped working properly
Finish: Terry Labonte was officially declared the winner of the event
Carelli and Mike Chase would end their respective NASCAR Cup Series careers after this event.