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Best NASCAR Moments at the Milwaukee Mile

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Joshua Lipowski

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While the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series return to Daytona this weekend, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to the Milwaukee Mile for the first time since 2009. It is one of the most historic race tracks in the country, with it being opened in 1903 before being paved in 1954. While the Cup Series has never run here, it still has hosted some incredible NASCAR moments throughout the years.

5. 2008 Camping World RV Sales 200: Johnny Benson Jr. Goes 3 in a row

From 2006 through 2008, Johnny Benson Jr. had a grip on the Milwaukee Mile that no one could loosen. The 2008 win was his most dominant as he started from the pole and led 130 laps for his third consecutive victory at the track. This was a big win en route to the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship.

4. 2006 AT&T 250: Paul Menard’s 1st Career Xfinity Series Win

In the mid-2000s, an Xfinity Series regular winning a race was rarer than a hen’s teeth. Paul Menard, however, had a great car. He started on the pole after polesitter Denny Hamlin was pushed to the back after Aric Almirola qualified the car (We will get to his story later).

Menard took the lead on lap 205 of 250, and he went on to survive a wreckfest of a finish. Seven cautions over the final 53 laps of the race caused Menard to have to handle several late-race restarts. In the end, it was Menard who took home his first Xfinity Series win over Denny Hamlin.

3. 1993 Havoline 250: Steve Grissom’s Late Pass for the Win

After an eight-year hiatus, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returned to the Milwaukee Mile in 1993, and did it ever deliver. Jeff Burton dominated early leading 90 of the first 103 laps, but it was Larry Pearson and David Green who dominated in the later stages. A nine-lap shootout decided the race as Pearson took the lead from Green with five laps to go.

Steve Grissom had not led a single lap all day, but he was fast at the right time. Grissom took the lead with two laps to go, and he pulled away from Pearson to take home the win. Grissom would go on to win the 1993 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship.

2. 2007 AT&T 250: Aric Almirola Wins at Milwaukee, but Denny Hamlin was in Victory Lane?

For the second season in a row, Denny Hamlin was in Sonoma, California trying to qualify his Cup Series car, and Aric Almirola was tabbed to qualify the 20 car. Again, Almirola qualified on the pole, but Hamlin was late allowing Almirola to start the race. As Almirola was running away with the lead, Hamlin arrived and replaced Almirola under a caution flag.

After falling behind a lap, Hamlin took the lead back on lap 173, and he would go on to win the race. Almirola officially is recorded as the race winner, but he did not even stay until the finish of the race. Truly one of the strangest wins in NASCAR history.

1. 1996 Sears Auto Center 250: Photo Finish

The 2003 Darlington spring race was not the first NASCAR National Touring Series race to be decided by 0.002 seconds, that honor goes to the 1996 Sears Auto Center 250 at Milwaukee. Todd Bodine dominated early leading 125 of the first 172 laps, but an accident forced him to finish 32 laps down.

It came down to Buckshot Jones, Mike McLaughlin, and Dick Trickle at the end of the race. Jones passed Trickle with only four laps to go after Trickle’s pun off of turn four, but McLaughlin hounded him late. Jones would barely hang on to win by 0.002 seconds.

Maybe the Truck Series will add another great chapter to the Milwaukee Mile’s history this weekend. The Playoff implications mean that driver aggression will be high. Who will win this weekend at Milwaukee?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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