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1996 DieHard 500

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1996 DieHard 500
Date  July 28, 1996 (1996-July-28)
Location  Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course  Permanent racing facility 2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance  129 laps, 343.14 mi (552.23 km)
Weather  Mild with temperatures reaching up to 77.0 °F (25.0 °C); average wind speeds of 15.00 miles per hour (24.14 km/h)
Average speed  133.387 miles per hour (214.666 km/h)

The 1996 DieHard 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that ran on July 28, 1996. Consisted over 129 of the scheduled 188 laps at the 2.6 mile Talladega Superspeedway, it was the 18th race of the 1996 Winston Cup Season. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports won the race. The race however was primarily known for Dale Earnhardt Sr. crashing into the wall hard on Lap 118, after Ernie Irvan clipped Sterling Marlin into Earnhardt sending both cars into the wall resulting in a major pileup. Earnhardt ended up flipping on his side before being hit in the roof. Miraculously, Earnhardt walked away despite having a broken sternum and was able to start the Brickyard 400 the following week. CBS was to have aired the race live, but due to a weather delay, the race was shown on tape delay (see below).


As a result, people found out about Earnhardt's crash from other sources. This race to date was the last Cup race on tape delay.

  • Due to a weather delay, the race was not aired live due to CBS deciding to air golf. The race was rebroadcast on tape delay one week after the Brickyard 400.
  • Background

    Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators.

    Top Ten Results

    1. Jeff Gordon (#24)
    2. Dale Jarrett (#88)
    3. Mark Martin (#6)
    4. Ernie Irvan (#28)
    5. Jimmy Spencer (#23)
    6. Geoffrey Bodine (#7)
    7. Jeff Burton (#99)
    8. Bobby Labonte (#18)
    9. Darrell Waltrip (#17)
    10. Rusty Wallace (#2)

    Failed to Qualify: Chad Little (#97)


    1996 DieHard 500 Wikipedia

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