Sunday, Dec 04

Commemorative LiftMaster Pole Night Tickets Honor 20th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s May Sweep at Charlotte

Saturday, May 18 1528

Twenty years after NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove into the record books with an exhilarating sweep of both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway is honoring the legendary driver’s accomplishment with a limited edition LiftMaster Pole Night commemorative ticket.

For just $20, Earnhardt fans and enthusiastic race historians can get their hands on this unique keepsake, which marks Earnhardt’s memorable back-to-back wins at his hometown track. The tickets feature photos of Earnhardt with the trophies he earned at the 1993 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.

Earnhardt entered the 1993 All-Star race with two victories in the special event already in his possession. Danny Lawrence, who was then the team’s assistant engine builder and second gasman, noted the environment created by the All-Star race was electrifying.

“When (we pushed the car) around the corner (onto the frontstretch), it sounded like an earthquake (the way) people were roaring. It sent chills through your bones,” Lawrence said.

Earnhardt struggled with his car during the race’s first two segments. However, when it came time for the race’s 10-lap shootout, Earnhardt once again reigned supreme.

After Earnhardt jumped the restart, NASCAR threw the yellow flag, lined up the cars again with Earnhardt still in second, and then threw the green flag. Earnhardt didn’t jump the second restart. This time he passed Martin with slightly more than a lap remaining for the victory.

“That was all him. Our car really wasn’t that good,” Lawrence said.

When it came time for the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt once again produced a phenomenal performance to win stock car racing’s longest event for the third and final time. He shook off two penalties and came from a lap down on two occasions to become the first driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 at night.

“What Dale Earnhardt was able to do was damn near impossible,” said Danny “Chocolate” Myers, Earnhardt’s long-time gasman who now co-hosts a show on XM-SIRIUS Satellite Radio. “It was through sheer dedication and determination that he was able to pull it off.”

Earnhardt’s victory made him the first driver to claim two consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories since Darrell Waltrip in 1988-89. And Earnhardt accomplished the feat with an event record of 145.504 mph, breaking the old one of 145.327 mph set by Richard Petty in a Dodge in May 1975.

“Dale would tell us all the time, ‘Boys, we’re making history’, but we never thought about it,Lawrence said. “It was neat to be able to go to any race you wanted to and you felt like you had a chance to win. When we had a bad day it was when we finished 12th. If we had a 12th-place car, he somehow would finish fifth. It was awfully neat to be working on that deal back then when he was so good. He wasn’t happy unless he was winning.

“He was cool under pressure. He always thought if the race was still running he still had a chance of winning it. He never overdrove it; he never got in trouble. That’s why he was the best.”



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