2002 The Winston

2002 The Winston
Location Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
Date May 18, 2002
Laps 90
(Segment #1: 40 Laps, Segment #2: 30 Laps, Segment #3: 20 Laps)
Winner Ryan Newman
Segment #1 Winner Jimmie Johnson
Segment #2 Winner Jimmie Johnson
The Winston Open Winner Jeremy Mayfield
No Bull 5 Sprint Winner Ryan Newman
Average speed 110.005 MPH
Most Laps Led Jimmie Johnson
Network FX
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 2002 edition of The Winston was held on May 18, 2002 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (then known as Lowe's Motor Speedway) in Concord, North Carolina. It featured the last No Bull 5 Sprint ever and had a 27-car field, the largest in All-Star race history. Ryan Newman won the race and became the second driver since Michael Waltrip to win the event after coming out from the Open and the only driver out of the No Bull 5 Sprint. Newman (No Bull 5 Sprint) and Jeremy Mayfield (Winston Open) advance to The Winston after winning the Openings.

It was the first of two editions of the all-star event to feature eliminations. Temperatures hovered around the 66.5 °F (19.2 °C) mark throughout the event while winds were gusting in at up to 15.9 miles per hour (25.6 km/h).[1]


2002 The Winston drivers and eligibility

The Winston Open/No Bull 5 Sprint

Jeremy Mayfield won the pole for the event and won the race, thus advancing to The Winston. Jeff Green started the race on the pole but finished in 7th. Ryan Newman who almost made the race in 2001 until losing an engine with just two laps to go during the Open advanced with the win. This was the last No Bull 5 Sprint race as it discontinued in 2003.

The Winston Open Top Five Results:

No Bull 5 Sprint Top Five Results:

Race recap

During the first segment of the race they ran the first 40 laps. On the 14th lap, Sterling Marlin, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace and Bobby Hamilton were all caught up in a four car crash as the wreck happened in turn two. Jeff Burton had to make a mandatory pit stop and with the strategy of crew chief Frank Stoddard, he made the pit stop on the last lap and their stall was just near the start/finish line and finished 2nd. Jimmie Johnson won the first segment, while the 27-car field would be cut to 20 cars under the first of two eliminations in this format. In addition to the four eliminated in the Lap 14 crash, Mike Wallace, Steve Park, and Ward Burton were eliminated on track.

Ryan Newman was the last driver to transfer in segment two, but during that segment, he spun out Elliott Sadler and sent him towards the wall. After the accident, Sadler throw his helmet towards Newman's car, then later apologized to his sponsor about his behavior during an interview with Dick Berggren. Later, Jeff Burton also was withdrawn with a clutch problem in this segment.

Johnson would win the second segment. The format called for elimination of ten cars at the end of this segment, leaving Jeremy Mayfield, Bobby and Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon and Michael Waltrip eliminated in segment two on the track.

In the last segment, only ten cars were left and late in the segment, Kurt Busch spun out Robby Gordon, driving for RCR's #31 chevy. Robby Gordon would finish in 7th place, but was visibly furious with Kurt who later admitted that he intentionally spun Gordon to make the race "more competitive." Busch was later fined $25,000 for his actions.

The caution led to a final 5 lap shootout, and Ryan Newman held off a hard fought Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wins the Winston of 2002 and wins a total of $750,000 and the second driver (Michael Waltrip in 1996) to win The Winston after coming from the Opener and the only driver from the No Bull 5 Sprint.

The Winston results


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