TDIH: February 19, 1989


Darrell Waltrip, in his seventeenth attempt, finally wins the Daytona 500. The third year Rick Hendrick driver would lead the way, as teammates Ken Schrader and Geoff Bodine finished second and fourth respectively. The trio would combine for 148 laps led, after starting the day with Schrader on pole, and Waltrip alongside. Then leader Alan Kulwicki and Waltrip did not pit, picking up a half-lap advantage on the field, in an attempt to finish the race on fuel mileage. When Kulwicki ran dry, Waltrip would inherit the lead with 4 to go, all but out of fuel and coasting to victory. He would last 56 laps on a tank of fuel, using the draft extensively in the bid to make the distance. Overcome with disbelief, Waltrip would perform a ‘Ickey Shuffle’ in Victory Lane, still to date one of the most memorable moments in Daytona 500 history. Taking the flag in third, Dale Earnhardt completed the sweep for Chevrolet, with a bowtie claiming the top four spots in the event. This would be the first of six victories in 1989 for Waltrip, tying him with Rusty Wallace for most among all drivers, with the latter claiming his only Winston Cup championship that year.


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