WATCH: Geoff Bodine Wins at North Wilkesboro as Dale Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd Spin

Published 10/16/2021, 10:08 AM EDT


Back in 1989, Geoff Bodine snatched his seven career win at the North Wilkesboro Speedway. However, he did get a little lucky, as the lead battle was between Dale Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd. Earnhardt and Rudd duelled for a while, until the former drove around the outside of the #26 car on the final lap.

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On entering the corner, they collided and spun in synchronicity. This allowed a gleeful Bodine to inherit the race lead and take the win. Truthfully speaking, Dale Sr could have settled for second place, but Ricky Rudd made his life difficult. Then came Rudd’s desperate lunge, and both their chances of victory evaporated. Meanwhile, Bodine wasn’t about to decline an open invitation to win the race.

How did the race pan out for Dale Earnhardt and his rivals?

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Initially, the race was scheduled for October 1, but inclement weather forced a two-week postponement. The bad news was that it persisted and qualifying was washed out. Owing to that, the field lined up as per the Winston Cup Series owners’ points standings.

Dale Earnhardt, driver of the the #3 Richard Childress Racing Goodwrench Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Monte Carlo spinning out of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series The Winston race on 24 May 1998 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina, United States. (Photo by Craig Jones/Allsport/Getty Images)

Over the course of 400 laps, there were several cautions. Luckily, all those accidents were relatively minor, though Richard Petty briefly got his right-side wheels in the air. Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt dominated the proceedings, with Ricky Rudd hunting him down. On the final restart, Earnhardt led Rudd, Bodine, Terry Labonte, and Mark Martin.

The #26 driver continued to pester the #3 driver and pressured him into a mistake at Turn 4 at the white flag. Smelling blood, the King Racing driver snuck alongside the Richard Childress driver. Though Earnhardt kept a tighter line, he and Ricky Rudd collided, and the Hendrick Motorsports car of Bodine was only too happy to take the win. That would be Bodine’s only win of the 1989 season, but he took 10 more wins over the course of his Cup Series career.

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Dhruv George

12328 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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