MRN Flashback: 1992 Pyroil 500
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on February 26, 2014 | 1:45 P.M. EST
Davey Allison left Phoenix with a 30-point advantage in the standings over Alan Kulwicki. (Photo: ISC Archives)
After leading the NASCAR Cup Series point standings for the first half of the 1992 season, Davey Allison and his No. 28 Texaco/Havoline team turned to a new car and used a little bit of luck to get back on track in their quest for the championship.
Heading to Phoenix International Raceway, which was the 28th of 29 races that season, Allison trailed Bill Elliott by 70 points for the championship lead. He struggled in some of the races leading up to Phoenix and fell as far back as 154 points in that span.
Many of the championship contenders had previous success in the past at PIR, but the 1992 Pyroil 500 saw Allison come out on top for the second consecutive season along with the series points lead.
He started 12th in the 312-lap race but didn't take the lead until Lap 283. Engine woes for Elliott boosted Allison to the championship lead. A combination of good pit stops, a good car and misfortune for Mark Martin helped give Allison his fifth win of the season and the 18th of his career.
"When Bill had a problem, I just told myself to play it cool and stay out of trouble," Allison told MRN in Victory Lane.
Allison and the team opted not to bring back the same car that won at PIR the previous season after the team tested a new car at Richmond.
"This car is similar to what's been beating us the second half of the season," Allison said. "It was one of those things that we did not know what to do. We went and tested this car a week ago. It really drove well. It responded to everything we did to it."
Mark Martin had the dominant car in the last half of the race and surrendered the lead to Allison when he came in for his last pit stop. Martin had built up a comfortable margin before the stop, but the last of seven cautions brought out by Jeff Davis' spin erased that.
Martin was fourth on the final restart.
"We just lost a race," Martin said. "We pulled out a six-and-a-half-, seven-second lead or something on Davey so that we could make our pit stop comfortably, come back out on the racetrack, go on and win the race. We had a car spin out and we just lost the race."
Allison beat eventual series champion Alan Kulwicki out of the pits on the last stop and went on to a 3.2-second margin of victory over Martin. Darrell Waltrip, who started running his own engines to gear up for the 1993 season, finished third with Kulwicki and Jimmy Spencer rounding out the top five.
Ken Schrader, Derrike Cope and Bobby Hamilton finished sixth through eighth, respectively, and were the last cars on the lead lap. Pole sitter Rusty Wallace led the most laps, 161, but a battery problem took him out of contention. He finished 28th.
Allison left Phoenix with a 30-point advantage in the standings over Kulwicki. Elliott, who finished 31st, fell to third, 40 back.
Visit MRN.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1992 Pyroil 500, anchored by Eli Gold and Barney Hall. Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – features a classic race each week on "Throwback Thursday" only at MRN.com.