Checkered Countdown: Top-Five Bristol Finishes

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No. 1 Dale Earnhardt spins Terry Labonte and wins the “rematch” of the 1995 race (1999).

The most famous and iconic moment in Bristol history probably took place in the night race in 1999 when Earnhardt got the chance to win the rematch of the 1995 duel against Labonte. In the closing laps the driver from Texas on fresh tires climbed from sixth to first by passing The Intimidator under the white flag with a move similar to the one that Earnhardt had tried on him in 1995. But in turns one and two Labonte was hit hard by The Intimidator and wrecked on the backstretch collecting many other cars. This allowed Earnhardt to cruise to victory unharmed. Earnhardt later stated that it was not his intention to wreck Labonte but he just wanted to “rattle his cage” instead. The crowd did not like his driving and the whole stadium booed him during the victory lane ceremonies.

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