One year after missing out on a Martinsville win by one spot thanks to a dominating performance by Jeff Gordon, Bobby Hamilton turned the tables on the Cup Series field on April 20, 1998.
The 40-year-old Hamilton started from the pole, the fifth and final of his Cup career, and proceeded to lead 378 of 500 laps.
Hamilton led eight times, taking the top spot from John Andretti for good with 63 laps to go. He went on to win over Ted Musgrave.
The win turned out to be the 14th and final trip to a Cup Victory Lane for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, which competed from 1983-2009.
“I’m tired … But I stayed up in that seat all day long though,” Hamilton told ESPN. “They built a brand new car a week-and-a-half ago. It was a wreck from here two years ago.”
Also on this date:
1958: After starting 20th in a field of 47 cars, Bob Welborn won at Martinsville for his third of nine career Cup Series wins. He won despite losing a tire with 30 laps to go when he had a four-lap lead, according to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: The Beginning.” Welborn stopped for new tires and returned to the track still the leader over Rex White. Welborn won by 12 car lengths.
1961: Cotton Owens won a 200-lap race at Greenville (S.C) Speedway by one lap over Ned Jarrett. Jarrett led the first 196 laps from the pole until he ran out of gas. “From now on whenever I come into the pits at any race, someone’s going to be there pouring gas into the tank (even) if it runs over every time,” Jarrett said according to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: The Superspeedway Boom.”
1980: Richard Petty led 327 laps, including the final 27, to win at North Wilkesboro Speedway for the 14th time in his career.
1997: Jeff Gordon led 431 of 500 laps to win at Martinsville over Bobby Hamilton for his second straight Martinsville victory.