MRN Flashback: 1988 Holly Farms 400

Rusty Wallace

As Wallace blazed a path toward what would be a second-place finish in the championship standings, one of his late-season victories came in the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. (Photo: ISC Archives)

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As temperatures cooled in October 1988, Rusty Wallace was heating up the season’s stretch run with a streak of four wins over the last five races on the schedule.

As Wallace blazed a path toward what would be a second-place finish in the championship standings, one of his late-season victories came in the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Wallace and Geoff Bodine took turns bumping each other on the final lap, with Wallace moving Bodine out of the way for good in Turn 3.

As Bodine’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet wiggled, Wallace steered his Blue Max Racing Pontiac straight toward the checkered flag and his fourth victory of the season.

“He gave me a shot and I gave him one back,” Wallace said. “It was nothing deliberate. They were just aggressive moves.”

For his part, Bodine was OK with the late-race contact.

“It’s amazing how Winston Cup races always come down to the last lap,” he said. “Rusty protected his lane. We bumped and bumped again in the third turn, just about the time I was thinking I would win.”

Bodine slipped to third place at the finish, with Phil Parsons grabbing second. Terry Labonte and pole sitter Bill Elliott completed the top five.

Ricky Rudd led a race-high 154 laps but only had a seventh-place finish to show for it. While running second to Dale Earnhardt with 41 laps remaining, he tapped “The Intimidator’s” rear bumper and moved alongside down the backstretch of the five-eighths-mile oval.

Earnhardt retaliated by delivering a solid shot to Rudd’s rear bumper, sending him into a spin. NASCAR ordered both drivers to the back of the pack, removing them from contention for the win. Earnhardt finished one spot ahead of Rudd.

Wallace closed the season by winning two of the last three races, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Elliott – who won the championship by 24 points.

Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1988 Holly Farms 400, 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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