Samiksha Jaiswal

1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

The 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series was the 48th season of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 25th modern era NASCAR Cup series. The season had been started on February 18 at Daytona International Speedway, and ended on November 10 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The season would be remembered as Terry Labonte pulling off a massive upset and winning his second championship.

Contents

Busch Clash

The Busch Clash is the exhibition race that honors the drivers who won a pole in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series that the driver won the previous year. Dale Jarrett won his first Busch Clash. Rick Mast won the random draw for the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 4-Sterling Marlin
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 5-Terry Labonte
  5. 25-Ken Schrader
  6. 10-Ricky Rudd
  7. 6-Mark Martin
  8. 94-Bill Elliott
  9. 24-Jeff Gordon
  10. 16-Ted Musgrave

Gatorade Twin 125s

The Gatorade Twin 125s, qualifying races for the Daytona 500, were held on February 15.

Race one top ten results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 4-Sterling Marlin
  3. 5-Terry Labonte
  4. 88-Dale Jarrett
  5. 15-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
  6. 21-Michael Waltrip
  7. 22-Ward Burton
  8. 6-Mark Martin
  9. 90-Mike Wallace
  10. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  • Marlin passed Earnhardt on the opening lap but Earnhardt repassed and led the last 22 laps.
  • Race two top ten results

    1. 28-Ernie Irvan
    2. 25-Ken Schrader
    3. 37-John Andretti
    4. 24-Jeff Gordon
    5. 10-Ricky Rudd
    6. 75-Morgan Shepherd
    7. 98-Jeremy Mayfield
    8. 99-Jeff Burton
    9. 27-Elton Sawyer
    10. 16-Ted Musgrave
  • Irvan led wire-to-wire but Scharder stormed alongside in the final lap.
  • Daytona 500

    Top ten results:

    1. 88-Dale Jarrett
    2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    3. 25-Ken Schrader
    4. 6-Mark Martin
    5. 99-Jeff Burton
    6. 15-Wally Dallenbach Jr.
    7. 16-Ted Musgrave
    8. 94-Bill Elliott
    9. 10-Ricky Rudd
    10. 21-Michael Waltrip
  • This was Dale Jarrett's second career Daytona 500 victory. He also won the 1996 Busch Clash (now the Advance Auto Parts Clash).
  • Goodwrench Service 400

    The Goodwrench Service 400 was held on February 25 on the North Carolina Speedway. The #5 of Terry Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 41-Ricky Craven
    4. 10-Ricky Rudd
    5. 29-Steve Grissom
    6. 4-Sterling Marlin
    7. 81-Kenny Wallace
    8. 12-Derrike Cope, 1 lap down
    9. 87-Joe Nemechek, 1 lap down
    10. 1-Rick Mast, 2 laps down
  • On Lap 343 Earnhardt and Bobby Hamilton had traded the lead three times in the previous three laps when Earnhardt punted Hamilton in Turn Four; Hamilton scraped the wall and later crashed because of damage from the earlier scrape.
  • Failed to qualify: 27-Elton Sawyer, 78-Randy MacDonald, 93-Gary Bradberry, 63-Dick Trickle
  • Pontiac Excitement 400

    The Pontiac Excitement 400 was run on March 3 on the Richmond International Raceway. Terry Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 16-Ted Musgrave
    4. 99-Jeff Burton
    5. 6-Mark Martin
    6. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    7. 2-Rusty Wallace
    8. 5-Terry Labonte
    9. 10-Ricky Rudd
    10. 94-Bill Elliott
  • Failed to qualify: 78-Randy MacDonald, 02-Robbie Faggart, 19-Dick Trickle
  • Coming into this race, Terry Labonte had led the most laps at Daytona and Rockingham but was 30th in the points standings, while Jeff Gordon was 43rd. After this race they were 17th and 27th, respectively.
  • Purolator 500

    The Purolator 500 was run on March 10 on the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 30 of Johnny Benson won the pole, but crashed in Happy Hour, forcing him to a backup car (and the back of the field for the start).

    Top ten results

    1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 24-Jeff Gordon
    4. 28-Ernie Irvan
    5. 98-Jeremy Mayfield
    6. 25-Ken Schrader
    7. 23-Jimmy Spencer, 1 lap down
    8. 10-Ricky Rudd, 1 lap down
    9. 21-Michael Waltrip, 1 lap down
    10. 94-Bill Elliott, 1 lap down
  • Failed to qualify: 65-Steve Seligman, 78-Randy MacDonald, 99-Jeff Burton
  • TranSouth Financial 400

    The TranSouth Financial 400 was run on March 24 on the Darlington Raceway. Ward Burton won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 18-Bobby Labonte
    3. 41-Ricky Craven
    4. 2-Rusty Wallace
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 6-Mark Martin
    7. 16-Ted Musgrave
    8. 75-Morgan Shepherd, 1 lap down
    9. 10-Ricky Rudd, 1 lap down
    10. 99-Jeff Burton, 1 lap down
  • Failed to qualify: 95-Chuck Bown, 78-Randy MacDonald, 02-Robbie Faggart, 32-Jimmy Hensley
  • Food City 500

    The Food City 500 was run on March 31 on the Bristol Motor Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was shortened to 342 laps due to rain.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 6-Mark Martin
    4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    5. 2-Rusty Wallace
    6. 88-Dale Jarrett
    7. 18-Bobby Labonte, 1 lap down
    8. 19-Dick Trickle, 1 lap down
    9. 41-Ricky Craven, 1 lap down
    10. 21-Michael Waltrip, 2 laps down
  • Failed to qualify: 90-Mike Wallace, 37-John Andretti, 30-Johnny Benson, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 95-Chuck Bown
  • Darrell Waltrip's crash led to a lengthy yellow before rains hit.
  • First Union 400

    The First Union 400 was run on April 14 on the North Wilkesboro Speedway. Terry Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 5-Terry Labonte
    2. 24-Jeff Gordon
    3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    4. 33-Robert Pressley
    5. 4-Sterling Marlin
    6. 28-Ernie Irvan, 1 lap down
    7. 41-Ricky Craven, 1 lap down
    8. 43-Bobby Hamilton, 2 laps down
    9. 25-Ken Schrader, 2 laps down
    10. 18-Bobby Labonte, 2 laps down
  • Failed to qualify: 71-Dave Marcis, 78-Randy MacDonald, 90-Mike Wallace, 22-Ward Burton, 77-Bobby Hillin Jr.
  • This was the first race run at North Wilkesboro following the passing of track president Enoch Staley, which threw the track's NASCAR future into doubt.
  • Goody's Headache Powder 500

    The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was run on April 21 on the Martinsville Speedway. The #41 of Ricky Craven won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 28-Ernie Irvan
    3. 24-Jeff Gordon
    4. 98-Jeremy Mayfield
    5. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    6. 43-Bobby Hamilton, 1 lap down
    7. 25-Ken Schrader, 2 laps down
    8. 18-Bobby Labonte, 2 laps down
    9. 16-Ted Musgrave, 2 laps down
    10. 4-Sterling Marlin, 2 laps down
  • Failed to qualify: 78-Randy MacDonald, 27-Elton Sawyer, 29-Steve Grissom, 19-Dick Trickle, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 15-Wally Dallenbach, Jr., 22-Ward Burton
  • Terry Labonte, by starting this race, broke the record for most consecutive starts with his 514th consecutive start. The previous record, 513, was held by Richard Petty. A special "Iron Man" paint scheme was used to commemorate this feat.
  • Winston Select 500

    The Winston Select 500 was run on April 28 on the Talladega Superspeedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole.

    Two major accidents marred the race: Bill Elliott suffered a broken femur after going airborne and landing driver side-first in a single-car crash on Lap 77. Then "The Big One" hit on lap 130, collecting 14 cars and sending the #41 of Ricky Craven flying into the catch fence and nearly over it. He was not seriously injured. The race was red-flagged for clean-up on Lap 131 because Craven's car had completely destroyed the catch fence in Turn Two. Bob Jenkins, ESPN's lap-by-lap announcer, was so shocked by the crash that he said "Oh shit!" over the raw feed when Craven's car was flipping. Sterling Marlin won by passing the entire field on three separate occasions after pit stops.

    Top ten results

    1. 4-Sterling Marlin
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    4. 5-Terry Labonte
    5. 21-Michael Waltrip
    6. 29-Steve Grissom
    7. 33-Robert Pressley
    8. 16-Ted Musgrave
    9. 37-John Andretti
    10. 30-Johnny Benson
  • Failed to qualify: 73-Phil Barkdoll, 65-Steve Seligman, 77-Bobby Hillin Jr., 0-Delma Cowart, 97-Chad Little
  • Controversy developed before the race; after winning the pole, Ernie Irvan's Ford was taken to a flatbed-mounted chassis dynamometer and "driven" by Gary Nelson to check horsepower; the engine was overrevved and subsequently damaged beyond repair. Sterling Marlin's Chevrolet was supposed to be tested as well but the chassis dyno failed to produce a horsepower figure and the test was scrapped. Several reporters in the garage area questioned Nelson on the test and crew chief Larry McReynolds got into a heated dispute with Nelson over the test. Irvan struggled in the race and reacted after the Ricky Craven crash where he was buried in midpack, "It's all a result of what happened on Friday when (NASCAR) blew our motor up."
  • Save Mart Supermarkets 300

    The Save Mart Supermarkets 300 was run on May 5 on the Sears Point Raceway. Terry Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 6-Mark Martin
    3. 15-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
    4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 24-Jeff Gordon
    7. 10-Ricky Rudd
    8. 25-Ken Schrader
    9. 18-Bobby Labonte
    10. 22-Ward Burton
  • Failed to qualify: 07-Geoffrey Bodine, 45-Chad Little, 20-Mark Krogh, 03-Joe Bean, 58-Wayne Jacks, 02-Bill McAnally, 07W-Lance Hooper (Note: Bodine replaced Dave Rezendes in the No. 7 in the race)
  • The Winston

    The Winston is the 2nd exhibition race run each year at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer won the Winston Open. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 21-Michael Waltrip
    2. 2-Rusty Wallace
    3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    4. 6-Mark Martin
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 10-Ricky Rudd
    7. 28-Ernie Irvan
    8. 24-Jeff Gordon
    9. 88-Dale Jarrett
    10. 4-Sterling Marlin
  • Harry Gant came out of retirement for this race to sub for Bill Elliott who was recovering from his injuries suffered at the Winston Select 500.
  • Coca-Cola 600

    The Coca-Cola 600 was run on May 26 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 88-Dale Jarrett
    2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    3. 5-Terry Labonte
    4. 24-Jeff Gordon
    5. 25-Ken Schrader, 1 lap down
    6. 4-Sterling Marlin, 1 lap down
    7. 6-Mark Martin, 1 lap down
    8. 21-Michael Waltrip, 1 lap down
    9. 28-Ernie Irvan, 2 laps down
    10. 7-Geoff Bodine, 2 laps down
  • Johnny Benson was knocked unconscious briefly when his Pontiac hit the Turn Two wall then slid into the path of Ricky Craven, who blasted through the rear deck of his car at full speed.
  • Failed to qualify: 78-Randy MacDonald, 63-Ed Berrier, 26-Hermie Sadler, 49-Mark Gibson, 02-Robbie Faggart, 0-Delma Cowart, 57-Steve Seligman

    Miller 500 (Dover)

    The Miller 500 was run on June 2 on the Dover Downs International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    4. 28-Ernie Irvan
    5. 18-Bobby Labonte, 1 lap down
    6. 23-Jimmy Spencer, 1 lap down
    7. 2-Rusty Wallace, 1 lap down
    8. 10-Ricky Rudd, 1 lap down
    9. 99-Jeff Burton, 1 lap down
    10. 25-Ken Schrader, 1 lap down
  • No DNQs
  • UAW-GM Teamwork 500

    The UAW-GM Teamwork 500 was run on June 16 on the Pocono Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 10-Ricky Rudd
    3. 7-Geoff Bodine
    4. 6-Mark Martin
    5. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    6. 75-Morgan Shepherd
    7. 5-Terry Labonte
    8. 23-Jimmy Spencer
    9. 99-Jeff Burton
    10. 94-Todd Bodine

    Failed to qualify: 71-Dave Marcis

  • Todd Bodine was subbing for Bill Elliott, who was still recovering from his broken femur at Talladega.
  • It was the first race at Pocono since the track was repaved; the lead changed two to three times a lap on some ten separate laps during the race's first half, primarily between Gordon, Hut Stricklin, and Derrike Cope.
  • Miller 400 (Michigan)

    The Miller 400 was run on June 23 on the Michigan Speedway. The #43 of Bobby Hamilton won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 4-Sterling Marlin
    4. 23-Jimmy Spencer
    5. 28-Ernie Irvan
    6. 24-Jeff Gordon
    7. 6-Mark Martin
    8. 16-Ted Musgrave
    9. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    10. 88-Dale Jarrett
  • No DNQs
  • Pepsi 400

    The Pepsi 400 was run on July 6 on the Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Gordon started on the pole. The race was shortened to 117 laps due to rain.

    Top ten results

    1. 4-Sterling Marlin
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 24-Jeff Gordon
    4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    5. 28-Ernie Irvan
    6. 88-Dale Jarrett
    7. 21-Michael Waltrip
    8. 25-Ken Schrader
    9. 11-Brett Bodine
    10. 23-Jimmy Spencer

    Failed to qualify: 57-Steve Seligman

  • Bill Elliott returned in this race from his broken femur suffered back at Talladega.
  • Morning rain delayed the start for 3 hours. After only 117 of 160 laps, the race was red flagged and ended for rain once again.
  • Jiffy Lube 300

    The Jiffy Lube 300 was run on July 14 on the New Hampshire International Speedway. The #41 of Ricky Craven won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 28-Ernie Irvan
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 10-Ricky Rudd
    4. 99-Jeff Burton
    5. 33-Robert Pressley
    6. 5-Terry Labonte
    7. 2-Rusty Wallace
    8. 25-Ken Schrader
    9. 30-Johnny Benson
    10. 21-Michael Waltrip
  • Failed to qualify: 19-Loy Allen Jr.
  • This was Ernie Irvan's 1st victory since his comeback from his near-fatal injuries at Michigan in 1994.
  • Miller 500 (Pocono)

    The Miller 500 was run on July 21 on the Pocono Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 10-Ricky Rudd
    3. 88-Dale Jarrett
    4. 28-Ernie Irvan
    5. 30-Johnny Benson
    6. 4-Sterling Marlin
    7. 24-Jeff Gordon
    8. 9-Lake Speed
    9. 6-Mark Martin
    10. 12-Derrike Cope
  • No DNQs
  • DieHard 500

    The DieHard 500 was run on July 28 on the Talladega Superspeedway. The #98 of Jeremy Mayfield won the pole. The race started late due to rain delays, and was marred by "The Big One" on lap 117 that injured Dale Earnhardt after he, Ernie Irvan and Sterling Marlin got together, sending Earnhardt and Marlin head-on into the tri-oval wall at approximately 200 miles per hour. Earnhardt flipped onto his roof and collected 11 other cars. Earnhardt took a hit to the roof from Robert Pressley's #33 and another big hit from Derrike Cope's #12. Earnhardt suffered a broken collarbone and sternum in the crash. Marlin suffered several contusions from the hard impact. Due to darkness caused by the rain delay and red flag, it was shortened to 129 laps.

    Top ten results

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

    Failed to qualify: 97-Chad Little

  • This is the last points race in NASCAR that was tape delayed. The rain delay made CBS transfer to golf. One week later, one day after the Brickyard 400, the race was finally televised.
  • Brickyard 400

    The Brickyard 400 was run on August 3 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The #24 of Jeff Gordon won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 88-Dale Jarrett
    2. 28-Ernie Irvan
    3. 5-Terry Labonte
    4. 6-Mark Martin
    5. 75-Morgan Shepherd
    6. 10-Ricky Rudd
    7. 2-Rusty Wallace
    8. 30-Johnny Benson
    9. 1-Rick Mast
    10. 94-Bill Elliott

    Failed to qualify: 91-Ron Barfield, 27-Jason Keller, 78-Randy MacDonald, 46-Stacy Compton, 02-Robbie Faggart, 50-A. J. Foyt, 57-Steve Seligman, 44-Jeff Purvis, 19-Loy Allen Jr., 49-Erik Smith, 63-Mike Wallace

  • Dale Earnhardt had to be relieved by Mike Skinner as a result of the injuries Earnhardt suffered the previous week at Talladega. Skinner took over the car during the first caution and drove the car to a 15th-place finish.
  • Kyle Petty & Sterling Marlin had a bad crash coming off Turn 4 when Petty's Right Front tire burst. The car was sent into the wall and then slid into Marlin; Marlin hit Petty in the driver side and Petty's car slid into the wall again with Mark Martin slipping by, and then into the inside wall
  • During the weekend a fight erupted in the garage area between Ernie Irvan and Sterling Marlin and some crewmen from Morgan-McClure Motorsports over the crash at Talladega the previous weekend. Some of Marlin's crew had posted signs in the garage area deriding Irvan and mocking his eyesight.
  • The Bud at the Glen

    The Bud at the Glen was run on August 11 at Watkins Glen International. Dale Earnhardt won the pole with a new track record of 120.733 mph while driving with the injuries suffered 2 weeks earlier. When asked what he thought of the lap, he was quoted as saying "It hurt so good." 1994 NASCAR Busch Series Champion David Green was standing by to relieve Earnhardt during the race, but Earnhardt decided to drive the full race. Geoff Bodine from nearby Chemung broke a 55-race winless streak, dating back to October 2 in the 1994 Tyson Holly Farms 400.

    Top ten results

    1. 7-Geoff Bodine
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 6-Mark Martin
    4. 24-Jeff Gordon
    5. 18-Bobby Labonte
    6. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    7. 21-Michael Waltrip
    8. 87-Joe Nemechek
    9. 75-Morgan Shepherd
    10. 15-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.

    Failed to qualify: 34-Mike McLaughlin

  • This was the last win for Geoff Bodine.
  • This was the last pole position for Dale Earnhardt.
  • Geoff Bodine had won by short pitting - stopping before he needed fuel and tires so that he could stay out and improve track position when everyone else went to the pits. This was the first time in a NASCAR that it was done, and it would set a new strategy for future NASCAR crew chiefs to use for races.
  • GM Goodwrench Dealer 400

    The GM Goodwrench Dealer 400 was run on August 18 at the Michigan Speedway. Jeff Burton won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 88-Dale Jarrett
    2. 6-Mark Martin
    3. 5-Terry Labonte
    4. 28-Ernie Irvan
    5. 24-Jeff Gordon
    6. 18-Bobby Labonte
    7. 30-Johnny Benson
    8. 10-Ricky Rudd
    9. 99-Jeff Burton
    10. 23-Jimmy Spencer

    Failed to qualify: 14-Ron Hornaday Jr., 27-Elton Sawyer

    Goody's Headache Powder 500 ((Bristol))

    The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was run on August 24 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 24-Jeff Gordon
    3. 6-Mark Martin
    4. 88-Dale Jarrett
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 21-Michael Waltrip
    7. 23-Jimmy Spencer
    8. 22-Ward Burton
    9. 10-Ricky Rudd
    10. 43-Bobby Hamilton

    Failed to qualify: 77-Bobby Hillin Jr.

    Mountain Dew Southern 500

    The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was run on September 1 at the Darlington Raceway. 88-Dale Jarrett won the pole and had the chance to win the Winston Million if he won the race. Jarrett lost his chance at the bonus after hitting oil early in the race.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 8-Hut Stricklin
    3. 6-Mark Martin
    4. 25-Ken Schrader, 1 lap down
    5. 37-John Andretti, 1 lap down
    6. 18-Bobby Labonte, 1 lap down
    7. 28-Ernie Irvan, 1 lap down
    8. 4-Sterling Marlin, 1 lap down
    9. 94-Bill Elliott, 1 lap down
    10. 9-Lake Speed, 1 lap down

    Failed to qualify: 78-Randy MacDonald, 87-Joe Nemechek, 40-Jay Sauter, 02-Robbie Faggart

    Miller 400 (Richmond)

    The Miller 400 was run on September 7 at the Richmond International Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 28-Ernie Irvan
    2. 24-Jeff Gordon
    3. 99-Jeff Burton
    4. 88-Dale Jarrett
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 2-Rusty Wallace
    7. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    8. 12-Derrike Cope
    9. 6-Mark Martin
    10. 30-Johnny Benson

    Failed to qualify: 46-Stacy Compton, 40-Jay Sauter, 95-Gary Bradberry

  • A driver change happened during the week after Darlington. Kranefuss-Haas Racing's No. 37 and Cale Yarborough Motorsports' No. 98 switched drivers. So John Andretti moved to the No. 98 and Jeremy Mayfield moved to the No. 37.
  • MBNA 500

    The MBNA 500 was run on the September 15 at the Dover Downs International Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. On lap 456, a wreck involving the #23 of Jimmy Spencer, the #16 of Ted Musgrave, the #11 of Brett Bodine and the #15 of Wally Dallenbach Jr. occurred on the front straight. Spencer blamed Dallenbach for the wreck, and after the cars rolled to a stop, Spencer got out of his car, ran over to Dallenbach's, and tried to punch Wally through the window net. Spencer had to be restrained by a Winston Cup official. Another fight occurred in the garage area when Derrike Cope crashed and was assaulted by crew chief Larry McReynolds over an earlier wreck that eliminated Ernie Irvan; as cars stopped on pit road after the race a third spat occurred as Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip got into an argument.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 2-Rusty Wallace
    3. 88-Dale Jarrett
    4. 18-Bobby Labonte
    5. 6-Mark Martin
    6. 1-Rick Mast
    7. 22-Ward Burton
    8. 42-Kyle Petty
    9. 21-Michael Waltrip
    10. 43-Bobby Hamilton

    Failed to qualify: 49-Eric Smith

    Hanes 500

    The Hanes 500 was run on September 22 at the Martinsville Speedway. Bobby Hamilton won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 5-Terry Labonte
    3. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    4. 1-Rick Mast
    5. 98-John Andretti
    6. 75-Morgan Shepherd
    7. 7-Geoff Bodine
    8. 42-Kyle Petty
    9. 6-Mark Martin, 1 lap down
    10. 81-Kenny Wallace, 1 lap down

    Failed to qualify: 12-Derrike Cope, 11-Brett Bodine, 29-Chad Little, 22-Ward Burton, 78-Billy Standridge, 95-Gary Bradberry

  • This is the fastest Martinsville race in NASCAR history, with an average speed of 82.223 mph.
  • Tyson Holly Farms 400

    The Tyson Holly Farms 400 was run on September 29 at the North Wilkesboro Speedway. Ted Musgrave won the pole. It was the final NASCAR race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, which closed down after the race. It was the only track other than Martinsville that NASCAR had been running at since NASCAR's first full season in 1949.

    Top ten results

    1. 24-Jeff Gordon
    2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    3. 88-Dale Jarrett
    4. 99-Jeff Burton
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 1-Rick Mast
    7. 10-Ricky Rudd
    8. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    9. 6-Mark Martin
    10. 2-Rusty Wallace

    Failed to qualify: 22-Ward Burton, 90-Dick Trickle, 95-Gary Bradberry

  • This was the final race until New Hampshire in September 2007 that had every car running at the finish.
  • Only 37 cars started this race. It was the last Cup Series race in which fewer than 40 cars started until the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, the second race after NASCAR reduced field sizes in the Cup Series from 43 to 40. A total of 39 cars entered that race.
  • UAW-GM Quality 500

    The UAW-GM Quality 500 was run on October 6 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #18 of Bobby Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 5-Terry Labonte
    2. 6-Mark Martin
    3. 88-Dale Jarrett
    4. 4-Sterling Marlin
    5. 41-Ricky Craven
    6. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    7. 22-Ward Burton
    8. 2-Rusty Wallace
    9. 21-Michael Waltrip
    10. 94-Bill Elliott
  • Ernie Irvan escaped serious injury in a savage melee when he spun in Turn Two, clipped Robby Gordon, then slid into the path of John Andretti, who annihilated the nose of Irvan's Ford while Gordon hit the inside concrete wall and dislodged it.
  • Failed to qualify: 87-Joe Nemechek, 95-Gary Bradberry, 71-Dave Marcis, 02-Robbie Faggart, 0-Delma Cowart

    AC Delco 400

    The AC Delco 400 was run on October 20 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 10-Ricky Rudd
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 5-Terry Labonte
    4. 28-Ernie Irvan
    5. 99-Jeff Burton
    6. 18-Bobby Labonte
    7. 6-Mark Martin
    8. 2-Rusty Wallace
    9. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    10. 23-Jimmy Spencer

    Failed to qualify: 60-Ed Berrier, 79-Norm Benning, 82-Terry Byers

    Dura Lube 500

    The Dura Lube 500 was run on October 27 at the Phoenix International Raceway. Bobby Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    2. 6-Mark Martin
    3. 5-Terry Labonte
    4. 16-Ted Musgrave
    5. 24-Jeff Gordon
    6. 7-Geoff Bodine
    7. 28-Ernie Irvan
    8. 88-Dale Jarrett
    9. 18-Bobby Labonte
    10. 17-Darrell Waltrip

    Failed to qualify: 20-Mark Krogh, 00-Scott Gaylord, 35-Larry Gunselman, 38-Rich Woodland, 03-Joe Bean, 02-Bill McAnnally

  • This was Bobby Hamilton's first career Winston Cup Series win, and the first for the Petty Enterprises team since 1983 (it was the first for the No. 43 car since 1984, when Richard Petty won driving for Mike Curb).
  • NAPA 500

    The NAPA 500 was run on November 10 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole.

    Top ten results

    1. 18-Bobby Labonte
    2. 88-Dale Jarrett
    3. 24-Jeff Gordon
    4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    5. 5-Terry Labonte
    6. 43-Bobby Hamilton
    7. 6-Mark Martin
    8. 10-Ricky Rudd
    9. 99-Jeff Burton
    10. 2-Rusty Wallace

    Failed to qualify: 12-Derrike Cope, 37-Jeremy Mayfield, 90-Dick Trickle, 81-Kenny Wallace, 27-Ron Barfield, 42-Kyle Petty

  • Ross Perot, Jr. was the grand marshal for this race.
  • NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100

    The NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 was a non-points exhibition race ran on November 23 at the Suzuka Circuit – East Circuit. Rusty Wallace won the pole. This was the first ever NASCAR race in Japan.

    Top ten results

    1. 2-Rusty Wallace
    2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
    3. 24-Jeff Gordon
    4. 5-Terry Labonte
    5. 15-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
    6. 30-Johnny Benson
    7. 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
    8. 31-Mike Skinner
    9. 61-Rick Carelli
    10. 38-Butch Gilliland
  • NASCAR legend Elmo Langley was intended to drive the pace car for this race, but suffered a massive heart attack in the pace car when trying to get familiar with the course. Langley was 68 when died in a nearby hospital.
  • Drivers' championship

    (key) Bold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position set by owner's points standings. * – Most laps led.

    Owners' championship

    (key) Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position set by owner's points standings. * – Most laps led.

    Rookie of the Year

    Johnny Benson was the only rookie to make a full-time run in the 1996 season, making him the 1996 Rookie of the Year. Benson ended the year with one top-5, six top 10's, and one pole. Randy MacDonald and Stacy Compton made attempts at the award as well, but did not run enough times to catch Benson.

    References

    1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Wikipedia


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