Why the Texas Cup Series race was like Rockingham in 1998

Some interesting similarities occurred at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday that mimicked the AC Delco 400 at Rockingham in 1998.

The starting lineup served as the first similarity between the two events. For the first time since that race at The Rock, Ford qualified in the top five positions.

Ford actually held the first seven spots in that November race at Rockingham, pure dominance by the Blue Oval Boys that day.

There are a few more coincidences than which manufacturer held the top starting spots, too.

In the closing laps of the race, it was a Team Penske Ford holding the top spot. At Rockingham, it was Rusty Wallace and on Sunday it was Joey Logano.

Both drivers ended up finishing third.

Which team beat them? Hendrick Motorsports, of course.

In 1998, Jeff Gordon clinched the championship by winning the AC Delco 400 with his pass on Wallace with 9 laps to go.

On Sunday, Jimmie Johnson won his first race of the season by passing Logano with 16 laps to go.

Don’t worry, there are more humorous similarities.

The highest finishing Joe Gibbs Racing car in both events? The No. 18 sponsored by Interstate Batteries.

It even finished in the same spot both races. Bobby Labonte came home in 15th at The Rock while Kyle Busch brought home the same result on Sunday with a 65th-anniversary Interstate Batteries scheme on his Toyota.

Derrike Cope raced in both races, the only driver still in the series nearly 20 years later. He finished 25th at Rockingham in 1998 and 37th on Sunday at Texas.

NASCAR won’t be heading back to Rockingham anytime soon but race fans got a trip down memory lane on Sunday, even though they probably didn’t realize it.

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