MRN Flashback: 1995 Save Mart 300

D.Earnhardt

Dale Earnhardt led only two laps of the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 350 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt led only two laps of the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

But they were the two laps that counted most. On May 7, 1995 – just eight days after celebrating his 44th birthday, “The Intimidator” made a late-race pass of leader Mark Martin to claim his second victory of the season.

Martin, who had led 66 of the first 72 laps, was forced to settle for second place on the Northern California road course. He finished .32 seconds behind Earnhardt’s Richard Childress-owned Chevrolet with Jeff Gordon, pole sitter Ricky Rudd and Terry Labonte completing the top five.

Martin dominated the race after starting fourth in the 43-car field. He grabbed the lead from Rudd on Lap 5 and led all but two of the next 68 trips around the 2.52-mile, 12-turn circuit before Earnhardt’s dramatic pass near the finish.

There were 28 drivers running on the lead lap with Earnhardt at the checkered flag including Ricky Craven, who was the highest-placed rookie – finishing 25th. The race included five cautions for 14 laps.

Earnhardt went on to win three more times that season and finished second in the final Cup Series standings, 34 points behind Gordon.

Sears Point is now known as Sonoma Raceway, the site for Sunday’s 25th running of NASCAR’s annual road race there – known today as the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300, 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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