Rusty Wallace is trying to make the Winston Cup overall points championship a dramatic race with three events left this season.
Wallace trimmed 20 points off Bill Elliott’s lead Sunday by winning the Holly Farms 400 NASCAR stock-car race at North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Wallace survived some late-race bumps to win the 400-lap race at North Wilkesboro Speedway by one car length over Phil Parsons. Elliott, who finished fifth Sunday, has an 89-point led over Wallace.
“I know Bill wants to win it and I want to win it, so we’ll both just drive hard through the last race and may the best man win,” said Wallace after winning his second consecutive race. He captured last week’s Oakwood Homes 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Wallace took advantage of two caution flags in the final nine laps, taking the lead on lap 392, and winning the duel for position with Parsons and Geoff Bodine.
The race was restarted with nine laps left after Dale Jarrett spun out, and Wallace took the lead. Another caution flag was raised three laps later when Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt tangled, sending Earnhardt spinning and taking two other cars with him in turn four.
After the restart, Wallace and Bodine fought for position in the final five laps, and Bodine tapped Wallace as the drivers headed into the backstretch on the last lap. But Wallace recovered, banging into Bodine in the third turn, and he managed to squeeze by as Bodine fought to control his car.
“On the white-flag lap, he (Bodine) got into me and tapped me and got me sideways,” Wallace said. “Then I tapped him and he got sideways. And that’s the way the race went. He gave me one and I gave him one back.
"(After the race) he just looked at me and waved and that was it. I didn’t know how to take it, he just waved at me.”
Parsons slipped by to take second and Bodine was third.
“Phil beat me by about an inch, I think,” Bodine said. “I’d sure like to see a replay of it. I really don’t remember much about that last lap it was so exciting.”
Terry Labonte finished fourth, and Elliott, who started on the pole, finished fifth in a race that had been scheduled for Oct. 2 but was postponed because of rain. Earnhardt, who is in third place in the point standings, wound up sixth and is 188 points behind Elliott.
Gary Manlow of El Cajon was the surprise winner of NASCAR October Classic 200 stock car race held late Saturday night at Bakersfield as part of the Southwest tour. He beat veteran Dan Press of Frazier Park, Calif. by a second.
Manlow, who started fifth in the 31-car field, took the lead on the 145th of 200 laps but never led by more than a second.