Checkered flag a first in Cup for Waltrip

Saturday, May 18, 1996 – Michael Waltrip, winless in 309 NASCAR premier series points races, finally made it to victory lane – in a race that paid no points. Waltrip motored past a tangling Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte eight laps from the finish of the Winston Select All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to score the surprising victory.

Waltrip, driving the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, was the final driver to advance out of the Winston Open, a 50-lap qualifier that saw the top five finishers advance to the Winston Select. He became the first driver to win the All-Star race after advancing out of the qualifying race.

Waltrip wasn’t exactly a stranger to the winner’s circle in NASCAR – he had seven Busch (now XFINITY) Series wins prior to his win in the All-Star race.

Rusty Wallace, Earnhardt, Mark Martin and Labonte rounded out the top five.

Waltrip earned $211,200 for the victory.

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