#21 -Oakwood Homes 500 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – 10/11/87

NASCAR Winston Cup race number 26 of 29

Sunday, October 11, 1987 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, NC
334 laps on a 1.500 mile paved track (501.0 miles)

Time of race: 3:54:02
Average Speed: 128.443 mph
Pole Speed: 171.636 mph
Cautions: 7 for 59 laps
Margin of Victory: 2.22 sec
Attendance: 112,000
Lead changes: 29


Bill Elliott arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway a distant second in the points to Dale Earnhardt in the 1987 season. Elliott qualified 7th for the Oakwood Homes 500 in his Coors-Melling Ford Thunderbird, while Bobby Allison won the pole position with a speed of 171.636 mph, a new track record. The race had 7 cautions, including a six car pile-up in turns 1 & 2. Neil Bonnett also had a bad wreck on lap 56 in turn 4 in which he broke his hip. He was taken to Cabarus Memorial Hospital where he had surgery on his hip the following day. Elliott ran in the top 5 most of the day until he took the lead after a caution on lap 270 when Larry Pearson spun his car in turn 4. Elliott was 1st out of the pits and took the green flag on lap 273. Elliott kept the lead the final 62 laps to take the checkered flag, his 4th win of the season. Elliott finished ahead of second place finisher Bobby Allison by a margin of 2.22 seconds. Finishing out the top five positions were Sterlin Marlin, Terry Labonte and Richard Petty. Harry Melling, the team owner collected $74,040 for the event with Elliott receiving 180 championship points for the win. Elliott gained points on Earnhardt who finished 12th place with brake problems, 5 laps down to the leader Elliott. There were only 3 cars running on the lead lap at the end of the race, with only 19 out of the 42 cars that started finishing the event. After winning the race Elliott still holds second place in points, yet still trails Earnhardt by 525 championship points with only three races left in the season.

Elliott enjoyed racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway thru the years, but it was not one of his most dominating tracks. Elliott ran 62 races at Charlotte with 2 wins, 11 top 5’s, 22 top 10’s, and 4 pole positions. Elliott led 1,337 laps of the 19,539 laps he completed on the 1 1/2 mile track earning $2,466,275 in total earnings to date. Elliott drove a total of 29,308.5 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway with an average starting position of 16th, with an average finish of 17.9.

(Article by Dale Brown)

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