A Look Back In Talladega History: The Bandit Steals A Victory


Chalk Harry Gant’s victory in the 1991 Winston 500 up to his considerable experience.  At 51 years of age and driving the Skoal Bandit car, Harry Gant became, and remains today, Talladega Superspeedway’s oldest winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

By 1991, Gant had made 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway.  Though he had come close to victory in 1984, scoring a second-place finish, he had failed to score a top-five at Talladega in the seven years since that time.  However, the wily veteran still had a few tricks up his sleeve.
Showing a mixture of cunning and guile learned through the ages, Gant used conservative driving and fuel-saving drafting techniques to conserve fuel throughout the 1991 Winston 500.  In doing so, Gant methodically wore out his opponents to take a 14 second victory over second-place finisher Darrell Waltrip. 
Following his win, Gant’s career at Talladega Superspeedway was short-lived.  Competing in only six more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Talladega Superspeedway after his win, Gant never again recorded a top-five finish and called it quits after the 1994 season.   
In all, Harry Gant made 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway with an average finish of 19th.
While he recorded only six top-five finishes throughout his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career at Talladega Superspeedway, on May 6, 1991, Harry Gant showed the world that the “bandit” still had a few tricks up his sleeve. 
In 2009, Talladega Superspeedway proudly celebrates forty years of the most competitive racing in NASCAR.  While the track has seen changes made to the cars that circle its high-banks, the surface that they race on and the grandstands that thousands of fans fill twice a year, one constant remains; Talladega Superspeedway is authentic NASCAR racing at its finest. 
Race fans should make plans now to experience part of Talladega’s history in 2009 during the triple-header, Aaron’s Dream Weekend, April 24-26, featuring the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  For tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.

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