Sunday 18th February 1990
After years of trying to win it, Dale Earnhardt appeared to be heading for certain victory in the 1990 Daytona 500 until a series of events in the closing laps. On lap 193 Geoff Bodine spun in the first turn, causing the third and final caution of the race. Everyone pitted except Derrike Cope, who stayed out. On the lap 195 restart, Earnhardt retook and held the lead, only to puncture a tire when he drove over a piece of metal bell housing from the failed engine of Rick Wilson’s car on Lap 199. As Earnhardt’s damaged car slowed, Cope drove past and earned his first Winston Cup (now NEXTEL Cup) victory. It was the first of two victories for the relatively unknown Cope in the 1990 season. In an ironic twist, the local CBS affiliate of Cope, who at the time was a resident of the Seattle suburb of Spanaway, opted to pre-empt the race to telecast a Seattle Supersonics basketball game, and the race was delayed until 3 PM US PST because of the pre-emption, following a CBS NBA telecast.