The 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Season: 20 Years On

Chris Lail@chrislailContributor ISeptember 23, 2008

Nascar's 1988 season proved to be one of heartache and triumph. Several of Nascar's greats made their last runs (Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Benny Parsons, and Bobby Allison) and a few legends (Ken Schrader and Allen Kulwicki) got their first wins.

The season started with one of the most exciting Daytona 500 races in history. On the 106th lap of the race, Richard Petty's No. 43 lifts off the track and begins one of the most horrific wrecks in Nascar history.

The race ends in with father and son, Bobby and Davey Allison, taking first and second.

Lake Speed wins his first Nascar Winston Cup Race at Darlington's TranSouth 500 on March 20th. Phil Parsons gets his first career Winston Cup win later in the year at the Winston 500 at Talladega Speedway.

"Awesome" Bill "From Dawsonville" Elliott comes back to win his first short track race at Bristol Motor Speedway after spinning out late in the Valleydale 500. 

The Nascar circuit bids farewell to Riverside International Raceway and Rusty Wallace claims victory.

Then heartache hits. Bobby Allison spins after cutting a tire in the "tunnel turn" and gets nailed by Jocko Maggiacomo in the driver side door. Allison was airlifted to the hospital and later lapsed into a coma for a few weeks. Allison would recover, but he would never race again.

Here is a great account of the day and the other Allison tragedies by ESPN.

Talledega proves to be lucky for another first time winner when Ken Schrader wins a pass on the final lap. Here is a look at the last three exciting laps of the Diehard 500. This was Buddy Baker's final race.

Another first time winner came at Phoenix International Raceway on November 6, 1988.  It would be the first of many for driver Alan Kulwicki. He would later win his first championship by the closest margin of victory in the history of Nascar, only 10 points.

Who did Kulwicki beat that year? The winner of the 1988 Nascar Winston Cup Championship, Bill Elliott. Bill finished 24 points ahead of Rusty Wallace in the final standings. Dale Earnhardt finished third. Bill ended up with 6 wins. Here is a look at his championship run.