It wasn’t the race that put NASCAR on the map, but the 1992 NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE was the one that truly put it under the lights and in the history books.
With pressure mounting on Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler to maintain the non-points race’s relevance, the innovative promoter pulled off what many said couldn’t be done -- lighting a 1.5-mile track for a night race. The spectacle that unfolded in front of 130,000 fans, the largest ever to see a primetime sporting event, became one for the ages on May 16, 1992, when young guns Davey Allison and Kyle Petty crashed after crossing the finish line side-by-side, sending Allison to the hospital while his crew headed to Victory Lane to celebrate their gargantuan $300,000 purse.
Wheeler’s enormous gamble, coupled with a unique field inversion format and riveting finish, catapulted the 1992 race into NASCAR history and validated the “One Hot Night” moniker given the race in the weeks preceding it. The race also paved the way for thousands of similar action-packed evenings, not only in NASCAR but in other series around the world.
On Thursday May 21 at 8:30 PM ET as part of FOX Sports 1’s 10 Days of Thunder programming block, the network and NASCAR Productions flash back to the revolutionary race in ONE HOT NIGHT: 1992 NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE, a one-hour documentary incorporating a compilation of newly discovered images and behind-the-scenes recollections from the drivers, key players and witnesses to the night NASCAR went primetime.
“Seeing so large a speedway dazzle in the glow of all those lights made the '92 Winston a ‘first-time’ event that would never be forgotten,” said FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, who called the 1992 race. “An hour after it was over, the lights were still blazing, and the grandstand still held a large crowd. Richard Petty looked up at the crowd from the garage area and said to TNN's Glenn Jarrett, ‘Why are all these folks still here? Do they think we are going to go back out there and do this again?’”
When the lights came on, so did the intensity, as Petty spun out Dale Earnhardt to take the lead on the last lap. Then, on the final turn, Petty and Allison collided multiple times and hit again as they crossed the finish line side-by-side. Allison, who had won the race the previous year, edged Petty briefly before smacking the outside wall and sliding into the infield. Knocked unconscious, Allison was airlifted to a local hospital while Petty faced the post-race wrath of Earnhardt, who put him in a headlock. Allison’s team celebrated in Victory Lane without the driver, who recovered and was released from the hospital a couple of days later. While Allison’s bruises healed in a few weeks, the 1992 NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE, one of the most memorable moments in the event’s history, solidified the race’s home at Charlotte Motor Speedway and set the mark for years to come.Interviews featured in the special include: Petty, Wheeler, Robin Pemberton, Felix Sabates, Larry McReynolds, Robert Yates, Doug Yates, Ken Schrader, Rusty Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Bruton Smith, Eddie Gossage, Ty Norris, Gary Nelson, Jim Crookham (MUSCO), Mike Joy, Buddy Baker, Deb Williams and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Fox Sports PR