"Hello folks, and welcome to Gates of Pearl Speedway as we get set for the first ever "Heaven 500" around this magnificent two and a half mile, high banked speedway. We'll go 33 degrees in the corners at speeds well over 200 miles per hour. After all, in heaven there are no resitrictor plates on these machines! I'm Dick Brooks and will be calling today's race on the After-life Racing Network. The weather is perfect, track conditions are perfect, hey, it's heaven, EVERYTHING is perfect as we get set for driver introductions. We will see drivers from all eras of NCSCC and NASCAR in ALL makes of automobiles. Here is your starting field for today's event: (all introductions followed by cheering applause)
Rolling off 30th, taking a provisional to get into today's race, still looking for his first victory but has a super cool name driving a Chevy Impala is Columbia, Tennessee's Coo Coo Marlin!
Starting 29th, a contender for the first "Heaven's Rookie of the Year" award, driving the #45 Sprint/Spree Pontiac, fourth generation driver, Adam Petty!
In a strange coincidence, starting next to Adam with two truck series victories before coming to the cup ranks driving the #92, Bellsouth Chevrolet is Kenny Irwin, Jr!
Sitting 27th on the grid, he was known as "King of the Beach" in Daytona, winning on the beach/road course in 1951 and 1952, Marshall Teague!
...and in 26th position, he set out to break the racial barriers of NASCAR, and became the first African American to gain a victory on the cup circuit in the process is Danville, Viriginia's Wenell Scott!
Known as the "Pinch Hitter" on the circuit, starting 25th, is Watertown, New York's Dick May!
Admitting he's a better business man than he is a driver, starting 24th driving the #10 coupe is none other than NASCAR founder and first CEO, Big Bill France!
Starting 23rd, you know him as "Hollywood", he's the first driver to come from open wheel racing to race strictly in NASCAR. Please welcome the 1980 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year who also had 13 cup wins, Tim Richmond!
A modest man from Springfield, Ohio, he has five ARCA Champioinships to his credit, three as a driver! He is noted for giving Benny Parsons and AJ Foyt their first tastes of stock car racing, please welcome, starting 22nd, Jack Bowsher!
With 20 wins in only 198 career starts, driving the M-5 Chrysler, please give a warm welcome for Union County, North Carolina's Alfred "Speedy" Thompson who will roll off 21st today.
Driving a 1950 Plymouth and starting 20th, he's your inaugural Southern 500 winner, from Long Beach, California, Johnny Mantz!
In at 19th, this next driver holds two distinct titles, he's the only driver to win a NASCAR Cup event in a Nash, and only driver to win 25 races in a season among various NASCAR series', with 17 career CUP wins, he's listed as one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers please welcome Curtis Turner accompanied by crew chief Smokey Yunick!
Starting 18th, he's one of few drivers who lay claim to winning back-to-back World 600's. Doing so in 1982 and 1983, with 18 career wins, driving the #75 RahMoc Chevrolet, Neil Bonnett!
The ONLY driver to bag two super speedway victories in his rookie season in 1987 to go on and win Rookie of the Year, he is also your 1992 Daytona 500 Champion, say hello to your 17th place starter, Daveyyyyyy Allison!
Before there was NASCAR there was the National Championship Stock Car Circuit. Though he went on to have a successful NASCAR career, he is the 1947 NCSCC champion. Rolling off 16th and ready to bang fenders, Fonty Flock!
Long before he was in the broadcast booth, he was the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion and two time ARCA Champion in 1968 AND '69. Starting 15th, Benny Parsons!
He was a promising young racer who won the Busch Chammpionship in 1989. In 1990, he won the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year driving the Old Wilwaukee Rick Hendrick Chevrolet and starting 14th, please welcome Madison, Connecticut' s Rob Moroso!
Gaining racing fame from being a stunt driver in the racing film "Days of Thunder", he not only had a successful cup career, but is your 2004 Craftsman Truck Series Champion, starting 13th, give a round of applause for Bobby Hamilton!
In 12th, from Conowango, New York, please welcome your 1950 cup champion, Bill Rexford!
Joining his brother in the starting field from Fort Payne, Alabama, he's the 1952 cup champion, your 11th place starter Julius Tim Flock!
***and now, for your top ten starters in today's field***
Starting 10th,after having a Rookie of the Year run in 1986, this next driver topped it off with an unbelievably close championship run in 1992. Driving the #7 Hooters Thunderbird, get on your feet for Allen Kulwicki!
In 9th, with two championships in 1951 and 1955 to go along with his 48 career wins, he's also the first owner/driver champion. Driving the legendary "Hudson Hornet", Herb Thomas!
Capturing the 1956 Sprotsman Championship and starting 8th, from Kannapolis, North Carolina, Ralph Earnhardt!
Not only is this next driver also listed as one of NASCAR's 50 greatest, he is also the first driver to win back-to-back cup championships in 1956 and 1957! Starting 7th, Buck Baker!
This next driver never saw the likes of NASCAR, yet Bill France swore he was "the best driver who ever lived". Winning in his first start, the only driver to flip his car twice and still finish fourth. Driving a Raymond Parks-owned car wrenched by Red Vogt, please give a scream for Dawsonville, Georgia's Lloyd, "Lightnin'" Seay who will roll off 6th!
At 5th, known for his size more than his driving, but indeed is your 1963 Daytona 500 Champioin, please welcome larger than life, Tiny Lund!
Getting his nickname from his awesome pitching, but equally applied to his driving, ANOTHER one of NASCAR's 50 greatest credited with 33 victories, but nailed 36, three of which coming in the convertible series, starting 4th, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts driving the #22.
Starting 3rd, he is the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR championships. Bringing home the bacon in the Modified division in 1948 and the Strictly Stock in 1949...he's battered and bruised from doing bomber duties in World War II, NASCAR's FIRST champion, Robert "Red" Byron!
Outside the pole, not only is he the first Daytona Champion of 1959, he is also a three time cup champion, the patriarch of NASCAR's most famous family, driving the #42, Lee Petty!
...and on the pole for today's event, with 76 career victories and seven cup championships, driving the black, Goodwrench #3 Chevy Monte Carlo, from Kannapolis, North Carolina, the man in black, the Intimidator, Dale Earnhahrdt!
Now that driver introductions are done, we'll be goin down trackside for today's command from Grand Marshal, Bill France Jr. We'll be right back after these messages from Gates of Pearl Speedway here on ARN!"
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