1991 Budweiser At the Glen
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1991 Budweiser At the Glen
1991 Budweiser at the Glen
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 18 of 29 in the 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Watkins Glen short course from 1971-1991, before the Inner Loop was added.
Watkins Glen short course from 1971-1991, before the Inner Loop was added.
Date August 11, 1991 (1991-August-11)
Official name Budweiser at the Glen
Location Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York
Course Permanent racing facility
2.428 mi (3.909 km)
Distance 90 laps, 218.52 mi (351.81 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures approaching 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)
Average speed 98.997 miles per hour (159.320 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hagan Enterprises
Most laps led
Driver Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Laps 39
No. 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins
Ned Jarrett
Benny Parsons

The 1991 Budweiser at The Glen racing event was officially sanctioned as part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Taking place on August 11, 1991, at Watkins Glen International, this race was the 18th race completed out of the 29 attempted during the 1991 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.[2][3] The race was won by Ernie Irvan driving the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet Lumina for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, but was marred by an early crash that claimed the life of veteran driver J. D. McDuffie. It also marked the final top-ten finish for seven-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty.


The entire race took approximately two hours and twelve minutes to complete.[2][3]

Terry Labonte, driving the No. 94 Sunoco-sponsored Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme for Billy Hagan, qualified on pole for the race. Irvan, who won the race, qualified third.[4] Five cautions slowed the race for 11 laps.[2][3] Ricky Rudd finished second behind Irvan in the No. 5 Tide-sponsored Chevrolet Lumina for Hendrick Motorsports, and Richard Petty recorded his final career Top 10 finish in the No. 43 STP-sponsored Pontiac Grand Prix by finishing ninth.[2][3]

ESPN carried the race as part of its coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Bob Jenkins was the lead broadcaster, stationed in the broadcasters' stand on the front straightaway. Analysts Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett were stationed at different spots on the course, with Parsons reporting from the first turn and Jarrett from The Loop, the course's fifth turn. The broadcast crew was rounded out by Jerry Punch and John Kernan on pit road.

Lap 5 crash

The fatal crash that marred the race occurred involved two of the six owner-drivers in the race. J.D. McDuffie, as he had done for years, was driving his #70 Pontiac Grand Prix, for which he had obtained sponsorship from a local Watkins Glen-area construction company. The other car involved belonged to Jimmy Means, who also fielded his own Pontiacs at the time; this particular race saw his #52 carry sponsorship from Alka-Seltzer. (The other four owner-drivers in the race were the aforementioned Richard Petty in the #43 STP Pontiac, Darrell Waltrip in the #17 Western Auto Chevrolet, Dave Marcis in the #71 Chevrolet, and Alan Kulwicki in the #7 Hooters Ford.)

The #70 and the #52 made contact with each other entering the Loop turn. McDuffie's car lost one of its wheels due to an axle breaking and at the same time also suffered total brake failure. This left McDuffie with no way to stop the car manually, and there was no gravel trap in the runoff area to scrub off speed. Thus, the #70 rolled through the grass at its full race speed and plowed into the tire barrier protecting the guardrail outside the turn with such force that the car was lifted off the ground, rotated in mid--air, and came to rear upside down. Means was able to get the #52 slowed enough to where he did not make as hard a hit as McDuffie did; in fact, he actually went underneath the #70 as it was in the air before he came to rest just alongside the tires. The impact McDuffie made with the tire barrier killed him instantly.[2][3]

As Means emerged from his race car, he went over to the wrecked Pontiac to try to assist McDuffie. A few seconds after looking inside the cockpit of the #70, Means began frantically waving for track safety officials to come to the scene. Means then spoke to Ned Jarrett, who as mentioned before was stationed on the track just behind where the accident occurred, on the ESPN broadcast moments later that he hoped his fellow driver was okay but conceded the situation did not look good.[5]

Just as the drivers completed the fifth lap, NASCAR threw the red flag and stopped the drivers on the front stretch. The race was red-flagged for one hour and 48 minutes, first to extract McDuffie from his vehicle, and then to allow time for track workers to repair the guardrail in that location.[6] Later, as the race was restarting, Jerry Punch of ESPN and Bill Bowser of MRN were both present for the official statement from Winston Cup Media Director Chip Williams that McDuffie had died from his injuries sustained in the crash. On ESPN, Bob Jenkins then eulogized McDuffie before Benny Parsons spoke directly to McDuffie's widow, Ima Jean.[7]

"Jean, I know exactly what you're going through, sweetheart. And you fans out there - you wonder - how these guys can get in these cars and go back out and restart this race. Hey, it's their job. It's what they do - there's a hundred thousand people here this afternoon to watch them do that job. There's not a one of these drivers that wants to be in that race car right now, they want to be in the garage area hugging their wife, their girlfriend, their mom, their crew members, whoever. I don't want to be here now. I want to be over there looking at Ned, and looking at Bob and just not saying anything. But we've got a job to do, and that's report to you who wins, who loses, and what happens during the day. Jean, we all love you and we're sorry."

Benny Parsons, addressing J.D. McDuffie's death on ESPN.[7]

As he had mentioned, Parsons had his own experience in having to deal with a spousal death. Earlier that season, during the Winston Cup's June race weekend at Michigan, he had stayed behind at his North Carolina home to be with his wife Connie as she battled a terminal illness. On the day of the race, which Jenkins and Jarrett called without him, Connie Parsons died.[8]

McDuffie was credited with a last-place finish of 40th, while Means was credited with a 39th place finish.[9] A brief ceremony honoring McDuffie was held during the 1992 Coca-Cola 600 race held the following year.

This incident was the second serious accident at Turn 5 that year. During June's Camel Continental sports car race, Tommy Kendall crashed in the same area after losing control of his vehicle — he, like McDuffie, lost a wheel before crashing — and broke both of his legs. Coincidentally, Kendall was scheduled to take part in this particular race prior to his accident driving the No. 42 Mello Yello Pontiac for Felix Sabates in place of an injured Kyle Petty, but his injuries allowed Bobby Hillin Jr. to take over the ride for the Budweiser at the Glen. (Hillin finished 18th.)

In the wake of both serious incidents, Watkins Glen International track officials decided to reconfigure the Loop and added a chicane to the entrance of the turn which was dubbed the Inner Loop. They did not, however, make this a permanent change and left the Loop turn as a whole in place, choosing to leave it to the sanctioning bodies of the racing series as to whether or not they wanted to use the chicane. Races using the short course, like the still-running NASCAR events, use the Inner Loop chicane. Races using the full course, like those run by sports car racing series and the IndyCar Series, usually use the original Loop configuration (not all do, however).


When the race restarted, Terry Labonte maintained the lead. On lap 20, Labonte cut a left-rear tire and spun entering turn one, bringing out the caution to retrieve his tire. Ernie Irvan ran up front until he spun out of the lead in turn six on lap 48. Irvan re-entered the track in fifth place. A caution for rain came out on lap 59. The shower was brief and Ken Schrader emerged in the lead after pitting shortly before the caution. Schrader led until lap 68 when he broke a camshaft in turn five and coasted back to the pits. Later that lap, Kim Campbell spun in turn five, hitting the wall with the back of his Oldsmobile and bringing out the fifth and final caution of the day. The race came down to a three car battle between Irvan, Mark Martin, and Davey Allison for the victory. On the final lap, Martin attempted a pass for the lead entering turn one. Irvan blocked the attempt forcing Martin to slam on the brakes. This disrupted the balance of Martin's Thunderbird causing him to spin and Davey Allison to spin in avoidance. Irvan drove to a seven-second victory. Martin finished third while Allison had trouble restarting his car, finishing tenth. Coming out of the final turn, Bill Elliott and Hut Stricklin spun across the finish line, finishing seventh and eight respectively.


Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 3 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 90 185
2 22 5 Ricky Rudd Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90 175
3 2 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 90 165
4 21 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing South Ford 90 160
5 14 21 Dale Jarrett Wood Brothers Racing Ford 90 155
6 7 17 Darrell Waltrip DarWal Inc. Chevrolet 90 150
7 19 9 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 90 146
8 30 12 Hut Stricklin Bobby Allison Motorsports Buick 90 142
9 31 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Pontiac 90 138
10 9 28 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 90 139
11 23 19 Chad Little Little Racing Ford 90 130
12 28 22 Sterling Marlin Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 90 127
13 26 10 Derrike Cope Whitcomb Racing Chevrolet 90 124
14 29 75 Joe Ruttman RahMoc Enterprises Oldsmobile 90 121
15 8 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 90 123
16 27 53 John Paul Jr. Team Ireland Chevrolet 90 115
17 11 24 Dorsey Schroeder Team III Racing Pontiac 90 117
18 16 42 Bobby Hillin Jr. Team Sabco Pontiac 89 109
19 17 8 Rick Wilson Stavola Brothers Racing Buick 89 106
20 38 54 Jim Derhaag Hakes-Welliver Racing Oldsmobile 88 103
21 40 30 Michael Waltrip Bahari Racing Pontiac 88 100
22 4 11 Geoff Bodine Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 86 102
23 12 7 Alan Kulwicki AK Racing Ford 82 94
24 39 13 Oma Kimbrough Linro Motorsports Buick 80 91
25 18 26 Brett Bodine King Racing Buick 77 88
26 34 55 Ted Musgrave # U.S. Racing Pontiac 76 90
27 33 98 Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter Enterprises Chevrolet 72 82
28 15 33 Harry Gant Precision Products Racing Oldsmobile 71 79
29 32 68 Bobby Hamilton # TriStar Motorsports Oldsmobile 70 76
30 6 25 Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 68 78
31 37 20 Kim Campbell Moroso Racing Oldsmobile 64 70
32 5 90 Wally Dallenbach Jr. # Donlavey Racing Ford 58 67
33 10 66 Lake Speed Cale Yarborough Motorsports Pontiac 55 64
34 1 94 Terry Labonte Hagan Racing Oldsmobile 47 66
35 24 1 Rick Mast Leo Jackson Motorsports Oldsmobile 41 58
36 25 15 Morgan Shepherd Bud Moore Engineering Ford 33 55
37 20 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 11 52
38 13 44 Irv Hoerr Labonte Motorsports Oldsmobile 8 49
39 36 52 Jimmy Means Means Racing Pontiac 4 46
40 35 70 J. D. McDuffie McDuffie Racing Pontiac 4 43


  1. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d e f "1991 Budweiser At The Glen racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c d e f "1991 Budweiser At The Glen racing results (second reference)". Driver Averages. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen winner's prize money". Everything Stock Car. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "1991 Budweiser At The Glen death scene". Legends of NASCAR. Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "12 Aug 1991, Page 11 - The Anniston Star at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b 1991 Budweiser At The Glen (RAW SATELLITE FEED). SMIFF TV. YouTube. October 22, 2016. Retrieved 2021.
  8. ^ 1991 Champion Spark Plug 500 - Sad News. battalionfan888. YouTube. March 18, 2008. Retrieved 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Budweiser at The Glen Race Results". Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on 2013-09-13. Retrieved .
Preceded by NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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