Some of the best finishes at Bristol in the 1990s involved Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
Each driver came out ahead in two of the most famous of these.
In the 1995 night race, Earnhardt caught Labonte in heavy traffic on the final lap. He gave Labonte a shot in the back exiting Turn 4. Labonte nosed into the wall on the frontstretch but had enough momentum to carry his car across the finish line.
Labonte won; Earnhardt finished second.
Labonte’s mood would be substantially different four years later.
In 1999, Earnhardt demonstrated he learned his lesson from the earlier exploit.
Labonte tapped Earnhardt coming to the white flag lap and got around him. He didn’t get far enough ahead, however, and Earnhardt spun Labonte on the backstretch.
Earnhardt won; Labonte finished eighth – the first driver one lap down.
“I was sitting there wrecked on the back straightaway and my car was nosed in the wall … so I put it in reverse,” Labonte said. “I had it running and I seen him coming down the back straightaway here and I thought, ‘That No. 3 is going to victory lane, but this No. 5 is going to be stuck in the side of it’. “
Labonte’s plan to piggy back was foiled, however.
“I had it timed perfect,” Labonte continued. “And I sat there, and I popped the clutch and that car moved about a half inch and tore reverse gear out.
“It kind of let all the wind out of my sails, so I just got out and walked to my transporter.”
For more, watch the video above.