Earnhardt 2003 Talladega
Photo: ISC Archives

This Day in NASCAR History: April 6

April 6, 2019 – Christopher Bell won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway to take home the first Dash 4 Cash bonus of the season. Bell scored his second win of the season and collected the additional $100,000 payday as part of the program. He got by Brandon Jones for the lead in the late going and held on the final 18 laps to score the win.

April 6, 2013 – Johnny Sauter remained perfect for the 2013 season as he drove to his second win in as many races in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Sauter passed pole sitter Jeb Burton on a restart from the outside lane with 17 laps to go and went on to become only the second driver in series history to open the season with back-to-back wins. Mark Martin in 2006 was the first.

April 6, 2008 – Carl Edwards outran Jimmie Johnson to the checkered flag in a green-white-checkered finish to score his third of nine NASCAR Cup Series wins that season in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The overtime finish was set-up when Martin Truex Jr. blew an engine on Lap 331. That pushed the race past its scheduled 334-lap distance and on the subsequent green flag on the 337th circuit, Edwards was able to get the jump on Johnson to go on to the win.

April 6, 2003 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. made NASCAR Cup Series history by becoming the first driver to win four straight races at Talladega Superspeedway with a thrilling victory in the Aaron’s 499. Earnhardt had to start last after changing an engine after Saturday’s Happy Hour practice and was also part of a massive 27 car accident on Lap 4. After multiple pit stops for repairs, Earnhardt’s Budweiser Chevrolet was its usual dominant self when it needed to be and he held off Kevin Harvick and the rest of the field for the win. Earnhardt led nine times for 34 laps in a race in which there was a total of 43 lead changes among 16 drivers.

April 6, 2002 – A two-tire pit stop call by crew chief Terry Shirley got Jeff Purvis the lead under a caution on Lap 110 in the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, and the rain did the rest. NASCAR displayed the red flag on Lap 116, 16 laps past the halfway mark that made the race official giving Purvis the win. While Purvis was thrilled, Jack Sprague had reason to be dejected. He dominated the race, leading 67 of the 116 laps, but lost it when Purvis beat him out of the pits. Sprague ended up second.

April 6, 1997 – Jeff Burton captured his first NASCAR Cup Series win in the inaugural Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway when he took the checkered flag in the Interstate Batteries 500. Burton won the race over Dale Jarrett to give Roush Racing its first win since 1995. The race saw two large multi-car crashes, including one in the first turn on the first lap.

April 6, 1996 – David Green won the NASCAR Xfinity (Busch Grand National) Series Sundrop 400 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Green led 116 laps from the pole and passed Hermie Sadler in Turn 2 with 29 to go en route to his fourth of nine series wins.

April 6, 1991 – Dale Jarrett won the NASCAR Xfinity (Busch Grand National) Series 1991 Pontiac Pacesetters 200 at Darlington Raceway. Jarrett passed Bobby Labonte on a restart with 14 laps to go and was out front when a Lap 145 caution ended the race. It was Jarrett’s seventh of 11 series wins.

April 6, 1986 – Rusty Wallace captured his first career NASCAR Cup Series win, and first of nine at Bristol Motor Speedway, in the Valleydale 500. Wallace led 174 laps and had a commanding victory over Ricky Rudd and Darrell Waltrip the only other drivers on the lead lap. Dale Earnhardt led 106 laps early and was running second, but finished 10th after he had an engine issue with three laps to go.

April 6, 1985 – Dale Earnhardt won the Valleydale 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway after leading 214 laps. Earnhardt, who went on to complete the season sweep at the .533-mile track, took the victory over Ricky Rudd, who led 163 laps.

April 6, 1975 – Richard Petty dominated the Gwyn Staley 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway after leading 311 laps. Petty took the win by over three laps to second-place Cale Yarborough.