Top-10 Tuesday: Most Shocking Wins
There have been too many memorable moments to count over the years at the Magic Mile. And while everyone's list might be different, here is a top-10 list of what we came up with in regards to some of the most unlikely and unexpected wins in speedway history:
- Chuck Hossfeld, June 28, 2008 - A native of Ransomville, N.Y., Hossfeld has seven wins in his Whelen Modified Tour career. But the last might be the most memorable. After a dominant run by Ted Christopher, who had led 93 of the 99 laps, thus far, Hossfeld dive-bombed Christopher off of Turn 4 and went on to win the drag race to the finish line. Hossfeld won by just .001 seconds, the closest, most exciting finish in the speedway's history.
- Robby Gordon, Nov. 23, 2001 - A fill-in/part-time driver for Richard Childress Racing at the time, Gordon picked up the win - in controversial fashion, mind you - in the final race of the Sprint Cup Series season at the Magic Mile. Gordon bumped leader Jeff Gordon in the closing stages of the race, resulting in a black flag for Jeff, who sped up and drilled him during the caution flag, all but clinching the win for Robby. The race, which had originally been scheduled for September, was postponed after the 9/11 attacks.
- Ricky Craven, July 8, 1995 - In his first full season driving the No. 41 for Larry Hedrick Motorsports, Craven dropped down to make his only K&N Pro Series East (then Busch North) start of the season at his home track. But it wasn't an easy afternoon for Craven, who needed a late-race pass to sneak by Kelly Moore on the final lap for his third and final win in that series at the Magic Mile.
- Brian Vickers, July 14, 2013 - No one saw this one coming. Like Gordon (above), Vickers was running a part-time schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing. And while Vickers had always been solid at New Hampshire, a win wasn't on anyone's radar. The win in the Camping World RV Sales 301 was an emotional one for Vickers and fans alike, as it was his first win since being diagnosed with blood clots in his legs and lungs.
- Jeff Burton, Sept. 17, 2000 - It certainly wasn't the most exciting win in Sprint Cup Series history, but the way in which Burton won was certainly memorable, and borderline improbable. Starting on the outside of the front row, Burton grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Bobby Labonte and wasn't passed again for the rest of the day. Burton led all 300 laps for his fourth win in 12 starts at the Magic Mile.
- Derrike Cope, May 7, 1994 - A Daytona 500 champion, Cope finished a career that spanned 29 years in the Sprint Cup Series with just two wins on his resume. He had only one win in a Nationwide career that's spanned from 1990 to current, and it came at the Magic Mile. Driving the No. 82 for Ron Zock, Cope took the lead from Hermie Sadler with seven laps to go and went out to take the checkers in a win that becomes more surprising with every passing year.
- Jimmy Spencer, Sept. 13, 2003 - While not a dominant driver over a NASCAR career that began in 1985, Spencer was still one of the most respected in the garage. But maybe one of his most impressive performances came late in his career as a part-time pilot in the Camping World Truck Series. In only his second Truck start, Spencer started on the pole and led 124 of 200 laps, beating Carl Edwards to the finish line by a little more than a half-second. It would be the 15th and final win as a driver in NASCAR.
- Denny Hamlin, Sept. 23, 2012 - Like Burton, Hamlin's win at New Hampshire wasn't a surprise given his strong resume at the 1.058-mile oval. But considering he started 32nd and guaranteed a win on Twitter prior to the race, that made it all that much more impressive to see him in Sunoco Victory Lane.
- Ward Burton, July 21, 2002 - He didn't finish on top of the podium very often in his career, and that's a big reason why his win at New Hampshire ranks inside the top-10. Burton started the race 31st and worked his way through the field to give himself a chance over the final 25 laps. And he did just that, taking the lead with 10 laps to go and holding off Jeff Green and Dale Jarrett for his first and only win at the Magic Mile.
- Tony Stewart, Sept. 25, 2011 - Had Clint Bowyer not run out of gas with two laps to go, it might have been Carl Edwards holding up the championship trophy in Miami eight weeks later. Instead, it was Stewart, who led just two laps to win at New Hampshire - his second win in as many weeks - and would go on to win three more times to capture his third title.
10A. Clint Bowyer, Sept. 19, 2010 - Hard to believe, but one year prior it was Bowyer taking advantage of Stewart to win at the Magic Mile. After a dominant effort went awry due to ill-timed cautions, Bowyer was still in position to take advantage of a dry gas tank of Stewart's, zipping by on the final lap.