‘One Hot Night’ sparks trip down the ol’ rabbit hole – Nascar

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Those in the biz call it a second-screen experience, but I refer to it as going down a rabbit hole. And since the Easter Bunny is just around the corner, I think it’s highly appropriate for you to join me on this journey.

Google “One Hot Night” and you’ll find a reference to NASCAR’s All-Star Race that took place 25 years ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Go a little deeper and you’ll read about how it was the first night All-Star Race in NASCAR history, taking place on a 1.5-mile track at a time (1992) when short tracks (and mostly local ones at that) were the only ones doing prime-time shows.

Read about the finish, which involved Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison and Kyle Petty battling on the final lap when The “Intimidator” spun and Allison wrecked. In a dramatic twist, it was Allison who was declared the winner after Petty’s number briefly resided atop the scoring pylon.

Find out how fans voted to invert the order for the second segment of the race, sending Allison to the back of the field after he had won the first segment. What? Fan interaction before the smartphone era? Way before #Vote on The Voice? Amazing.

The race, called The Winston, carried with it the moniker “One Hot Night,” and as you can see from down here in the rabbit hole it had a little bit of everything.

In a nod to “One Hot Night” NASCAR unveiled the format for this year’s Monster Energy Series’ All-Star Race, which will have four segments totaling 70 laps, the same number of laps in the 1992 event. You can read more about the newly released All-Star format in our FAQ piece.

MORE: All-time All-Star Race winners

Or you can continue down the hole, which I know you will, because we do have smartphones now and we do like to look smart. Plus, how many times do you find yourself yearning to know more about the events you love to watch.

For example, what were some of NASCAR’s other firsts under the lights?

According to Bristol Motor Speedway, the first night race at the “Last Great Colosseum” was in 1978 and was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough. Richard Childress finished seventh in that race. They both were driving Oldsmobiles.

Nearly 40 years later the Bristol Night Race in August is still one of the big highlights in the NASCAR schedule. “It’s Bristol, baby!” as they say and it’s definitely on a lot of fans’ bucket lists.

So, when was the first night race run by Cup regulars at NASCAR’s most iconic track, Daytona?

Try 1998, and that one has a story behind it, too. Wildfires in Florida postponed the race from its original date of July 3, 1998. Instead, the flashbulbs were popping on Oct. 17 in a race won by Jeff Gordon as he held off Bobby Labonte, among others.

MORE: All-Star team for All-Star Race

It was Gordon’s 40th win in his career, and he exclaimed, “This is October, baby!” long before he ever uttered, “We’re going to Homestead!” — or before Dane Cook ever uttered, “There’s only one October.” (Obscure MLB reference, look it up if you want to go farther down the hole.)

And when you get done doing that, curiosity will just be killing you about where Gordon got his first Cup win. Hint: It’s the same track that hosted “One Hot Night,” thus bringing us full circle on this victory lap.

Who were the other competitors in that race with Gordon? Glad you asked, and you can answer it by playing trivia right here: https://www.sporcle.com/games/2mbs/gordon_1994_charlotte

Why? Well, because it’s Easter week and we need something to do without NASCAR races to occupy our time. We need more rabbit holes.


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