A Brickyard Victory That Was Within Reach - New York News

A Brickyard Victory That Was Within Reach

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Concord, NC -

In 1994, NASCAR ran the first Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That race is remembered for its significance and Jeff Gordon is known for capturing the victory.

However, there is a chance another person’s name could be etched in history as the winner. The No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Ford was one of the cars to beat that weekend. However, a late race blown tire ended driver Ernie Irvan’s day.

"It came down to the end and Jeff and Ernie kept kind of swapping the lead,” said Larry McReynolds, Irvan’s former crew chief. “Unfortunately, our right front tire with 20 laps to go didn't want us to be there."

Barring that flat tire, Irvan could have been the first person to take a victory in Indy.

"It's the one win that basically I fell short of, had every opportunity to win it," said Irvan. “That was the one thing that I would like to be able to go back and conquer."

McReynolds still remembers that race as one of his hardest losses.

"The 447 races that I lost, I promise you, the one probably sticks in my mind the most would be that 1994 Brickyard 400,” said McReynolds. “Simply because it was Indianapolis. It was the first trip there for NASCAR and that's something no one can ever take away from you when you win the first something."

While the No. 28 never made it into the Brickyard victory lane, car owner Robert Yates did make it with another car and driver. Dale Jarrett won the race two different times, in 1996 and 1999, piloting the No. 88.

"Win that race, it's huge,” said Robert Yates. “You know in your heart, we've got some horse power. It takes that to win there."

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