Race 2: Save Mart Supermarkets 300 at Sears Point - June 7, 1992
We were also excited to witness one of Richard Petty’s last Winston Cup races; "The King’s" retirement after more than thirty years in racing, called the "1992 Fan Appreciation Tour," was almost impossible to avoid in the news throughout the season. During driver introductions, I booed rising superstar driver Davey Allison as I was frustrated that previous race coverages usually revolved around him. Although I was relieved to see Allison damage his car in the Esses early in the race, his remarkable decision to race at the July Talladega race while recovering from injuries received at Pocono just the week before made me admire him. But that’s a different story.
At the time, I did not know that second place starter Ernie Irvan had jumped the start when the race began, causing his Kodak-sponsored Chevrolet to be penalized and restart in the last position. I did, however, learn this when Irvan unexpectedly came charging back to the front. As the laps wound down, Dad told me about the penalty Irvan had sustained as, by now, the Kodak car was right on the rear bumper of the leader, Terry Labonte. Then, as I looked to the final hairpin turn before the flagstand, Irvan dove to the inside of Labonte and flew into the lead! The crowd cheered as Irvan made the pass; increasing even more when he took the checkered flag moments later.