November 1, 1987 Winston Classic at Martinsville

TMC Chase
5 years ago
3,994 posts

Martinsville's fall pair of races for late models and modifieds was once known as the Cardinal 500. By 1987, the event was renamed the Winston Classic and expanded to 3 events - a 100-lap race for late models, a200 lap race for NASCAR's modifieds and a 200-lapper as the Busch Grand National series season-ending race. -Motor Racing Programme Covers

NASCAR, the Martinsville staff and the teams hoped to avoid a tragedy like the one suffered in the spring Miller 500 classic trio of races. In the modified portion of that event, Charlie Jarzombek was killed in a multi-car accident after hitting the wall with a hung throttle.

Virginian Jimmy Hensley set a track record for the Busch race by breaking the previous record set seven years earlier. Brian Ross (not the NBC news correspondent) won the pole for the Modified race, and Mark Martin won the top spot for the late model opener. -Rome News Tribune

Dennis Beck has shared several photos from the late model race on RacersReunion. Some of the starters included...

Barry Beggarly - started 2nd, finished 3rd -Dennis Beck

Phil Warren -started 4th, finished 28th -Dennis Beck

Some future stars of Cup racing participated in the late model race including...

Ward Burton - started 6th, finished 4th -Dennis Beck

Jeff Burton - started 5th, finished 2nd -Dennis Beck

Mark Martin - future teammate of Jeff Burton - ended the race where he began it: P1 -Dennis Beck

Promoters often book some odd and unique grand marshals for their races. Such was the case at the Winston Classic when McGruff the "take a bite outta crime" dog rode about in the pre-race ceremonies. -Dennis Beck

During the late model race, Ricky Dennis in car number 3 spun and nearly collected Wayne Patterson in the Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsored #14. -Dennis Beck

Coincidentally, Dale Earnhardt in his #3 Cup car also created a bit of white tire smoke about a month earlier when he got the chrome horn from a beer-sponsored Terry Labonte on the final lap of the Goodys' 500.

Martin started from the pole but didn't lead the early laps. He finally went to the point on lap 23 and stayed there for the duration of the race.

In the modified race, George Kent did things the hard way. He started 31st in the 32-car field. He managed through traffic during the race, eased into the lead with about 40 to go and led the rest of the way to win the Classic's second feature.

In the Busch race, Hensley dominated to claim the win. Starting from his record-setting pole spot, he led 192 of the race's 200 laps. The victory was also worth more than the purse winnings. Hensley moved to 2nd place in the points standings behind Larry Pearson who had already clinched the championship.

Harry Gant scarfed up the 8 laps on point that Hensley didn't lead - yet he finished 31st in the 32-car field. Mike Alexander, who seemed to really know how to hustle a car around Martinsville, finished second to Hensley.

Race report -Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Late Model Results (top 16 is all I have)

Fin Driver Car
1 Mark Martin Chevrolet
2 Jeff Burton Pontiac
3 Barry Beggarly Chevrolet
4 Ward Burton Chevrolet
5 Maurice Hill Ford
6 David Blankenship Pontiac
7 Roy Hendrick Pontiac
8 Wayne Patterson Pontiac
9 Ray Kirby Chevrolet
10 Eddie Johnson Ford
11 Bugs Hairfield Chevrolet
12 Butch Zervakis Pontiac
13 Danny Edwards Pontiac
14 Jerry Sheppard Chevrolet
15 Jim Dottellis Pontiac
16 Roger Sawyer Pontiac

Modified Results

Fin Driver Car
1 George Kent Pontiac
2 Jamie Tomaino Pontiac
3 Mike McLaughlin Pontiac
4 Satch Worley Pontiac
5 Brian Ross Chevrolet
6 Mike Stefanik Chevrolet
7 Tony Hirschman Chevrolet
8 Jan Leaty Chevrolet
9 Jimmy Spencer Oldsmobile
10 Reggie Ruggiero Pontiac
11 Jeff Fuller Chevrolet
12 Bugs Stevens Buick
13 Carl Pasteryak Pontiac
14 Bob Park Pontiac
15 Charlie Pasteryak Pontiac
16 Rod Spalding Chevrolet
17 Wayne Dion Oldsmobile
18 Bruce D'Alessandro Pontiac
19 Doug Heveron Chevrolet
20 Dave Rezendes Chevrolet
21 Tom Baldwin Pontiac
22 Barney Truex Chevrolet
23 Jay Hedgecock Pontiac
24 Jerry Cranmer Chevrolet
25 Joe Mammolito Chevrolet
26 Tim Arre Chevrolet
27 Ken Bouchard Chevrolet
28 Don Pratt Oldsmobile
29 Wayne Edwards Chevrolet
30 Johnny Bryant Chevrolet
31 Jeff Spraker Oldsmobile
32 Sege Fidanza Chevrolet

Busch Grand National results

Fin Driver Car
1 Jimmy Hensley Buick
2 Mike Alexander Buick
3 Brett Bodine Oldsmobile
4 Larry Pollard Chevrolet
5 Larry Pearson Chevrolet
6 Dale Jarrett Chevrolet
7 Rusty Wallace Chevrolet
8 Elton Sawyer Chevrolet
9 Brad Teague Pontiac
10 Pete Silva Pontiac
11 Rick Mast Pontiac
12 Max Prestwood Oldsmobile
13 Joe Harrison Pontiac
14 Tommy Sigmon Pontiac
15 Joe Thurman Pontiac
16 Billy Hicks Oldsmobile
17 Robert Ingram Buick
18 Kenny Burks Chevrolet
19 Geoffrey Bodine Chevrolet
20 Jack Ingram Chevrolet
21 Mike Porter Pontiac
22 L.D. Ottinger Buick
23 Tommy Houston Buick
24 Rob Moroso Oldsmobile
25 Tommy Ellis Pontiac
26 Mark Martin Ford
27 Ed Berrier Oldsmobile
28 Bob Shreeves Pontiac
29 Ronnie Silver Pontiac
30 Patty Moise Buick
31 Harry Gant Buick
32 Paul Radford Chevrolet

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,126 posts

Every time I read through these results I remember so many different things. Modified winner, George Kent sat on the pole when we brought the mods back to Richmond after a many years absence. The Pontiac folks called 2nd finishing mod driver, Jamie Tomaino "Tomato Head" and the name really stuck. I remember pole sitter Brian Ross always being fast when he drove the "Mystic Missile" for Bob Garbarino out of Mystic, CT - but looks like Bugs Stevens was in the car that day.

Interestingly, the #5 Advance Auto Parts Busch race ride for winner, Jimmy Hensley was not the familiar #63 Hubert Hensley mount. He was driving for Sam Ard, now out of the driver's seat and on the sidelines. In the Hubert Hensley #63 was nice guy Petty Enterprises employee, Larry Pollard, Harry Gant's son-in-law. Larry stopped driving after a horrible crash at Dover, but beat his father-in-law this day by many positions.

The Late Model Stock Car results (except for Mark Martin) read almost like a typical South Boston Speedway Saturday night LMSC rundown.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
bill mcpeek
5 years ago
820 posts

Great report Chase. I hadn't heard the name Harry Beggarly in a few years... He was a heck of a driver to win 27 races in 1993 which I believe was his championship year....Loved the pics also esp. Terry giving the Intimidator a bit of the chrome horn....

Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,126 posts

RR member, Dr. Jan Woodberry has many photos posted on our site from the personal collection of Sam Ard and wife, Jo. The two below show the collaboration between car owner, Sam and Martinsville race winner, Jimmy Hensley:

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,126 posts

The usually reliable for its race coverage Fredericksburg, Va. newspaper totally ignored the 1987 Winston Classic at Martinsville. Instead, the Free Lance Star on October 28, 1987 ran a news story detailing efforts of school and church groups to keep a quarter-mile asphalt stock car track from being built near their tiny Hartwood, Va. community north of Fredericksbiurg, citing the demons of noise, debris, and vandalism from race folk as reasons to fight the proposal.

The proponent of the new speedway was none other than the ever affable, late Al Grinnan, former track champion at Fredericksburg Speedway, Virginia Raceway, Old Dominion, Southside and Wilson County Speedway in North Carolina. Grinnan was a former Virginia State NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division champion (who, ironically had in an earlier year sat on the Martinsville LMS pole), as well as having been voted by his peers as Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Modified division.

Some of the opposers were probably the relatives of the folk who went to such great lengths to oppose the new Dominion Speedway facility set to open next year.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,126 posts

Worst news of the weekend was reported on Saturday, October 31, 1987 when the U.S. Department of Transportation ok'd the merger of perennially poor performing U.S. Air with Piedmont - the "Official Airline of NASCAR" and sponsor of Terry Labonte's 1984 Winston Cup championship run for Billy Hagan. Piedmont had earlier turned down a lucrative proposal to be be acquired by Norfolk Southern Railway to align with the Pittsburgh air carrier.

Free Lance Star

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,126 posts

Bill, Barry Beggarly became the first driver to win 2 NASCAR Late Model Stock Car races at Martinsville in the same season, a feat he accomplished in 1994. 65 year old Beggarly, of Pelham, NC, turned 45 in September of his first two-win Martinsville season.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
6 months ago
3,994 posts

Busch, Bill, and Beggarly Bump

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.