MRN Flashback: 1995 All-Star Race

J.Gordon

With no points on the line, just prestige and a lot of money, Jeff Gordon drove to victory in the 1995 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: ISC Archives)

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In May 1995, Jeff Gordon and his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitors celebrated NASCAR’s version of the "All-Star Break."

But that doesn’t mean Gordon took his foot off the gas as he chased what would turn out to be the first of his four championships.  With no points on the line, just prestige and a lot of money, Gordon drove to victory in the 11th running of the Winston Select, known today as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Gordon became the eighth different driver to claim victory in the non-points special event open only to Cup Series race winners from the previous year.  Gordon, who finished 14th in his first All-Star Race the year before, quickly established himself as one of the favorites in the ’95 running.

After starting seventh, he passed Dale Earnhardt to win the first 30-lap segment and led the way at the conclusion of Segment No. 2 … setting the stage for the final 10-lap dash to the finish.

Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip, both former Cup Series champions, were among those eliminated in crashes.  Gordon beat Sterling Marlin to the checkered flag by 1.07 seconds and took home the $300,000 winner’s check.  Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace (another former champion) and Geoff Bodine completed the top five.

Gordon finished that year with a total of eight victories and won the championship by 34 points over Earnhardt.  He became the fourth driver to win both the All-Star Race and the Cup Series championship in the same season … joining future Hall of Famers Earnhardt, Waltrip and Wallace.

NASCAR returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week for Saturday night’s 29th running of the Sprint All-Star Race.

Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1995 Winston Select, anchored by Barney Hall and Eli Gold.  Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will feature a classic race broadcast each week on “Throwback Thursday” throughout the 2013 season at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

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