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Dale Earnhardt Jr. on why his dad’s infamous ‘pass in the grass’ All-Star Race was so incredible

For The Win logo For The Win 2017-05-18 Michelle R. Martinelli
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The NASCAR All-Star Race is a special day on the season schedule, and it's a race unlike any other.

Since the first one in 1985 - although then it was simply known as The Winston - perhaps no year stands out more to NASCAR fans than the 1987 race when Dale Earnhardt outlasted Bill Elliott for the win - and the $200,000 prize. (It's now $1 million.)

What better time to relive it than for a Throwback Thursday days before the 2017 race?

At the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would have been 12, and looking back, he said he didn't really appreciate the amazing race at the time - now describing it as the most memorable All-Star Race. Particularly, he didn't quite understand the single most ridiculous moment of this race om the final 10 laps: His dad's infamous "pass in the grass," although it wasn't really a pass - something Elliott's son, Chase, happily reminded people.

On his Dale Jr. Download podcast this week, Junior described his reaction at the time:

As a kid, I didn't really understand - I was scared. I thought dad was in trouble, and they were all fighting. I guess through all the back and forth between him, Bill, Geoff Bodine, the beatin' and bangin' and all that, the roughing each other up after the race - I didn't realize what an awesome thing I saw until later. …

"I was like, 'Oh man! Dad's in trouble, NASCAR's mad, drivers are mad, fans are mad, fans are happy.' It was so much emotion going on and energy in that one event right there in that moment."

Even now, Elliott is still irked by the way that race ended, telling NASCAR.com last year: "That was probably the maddest I've ever been, but you just have to deal with it and go on."

Dale Jr. credited Elliott for having a great car, which helped make the race truly exceptional.

More via the Dale Jr. Download:

"Now, I regard that as one of the most incredible races I've ever watched, and when I go back and watch that final segment, Bill's car was incredibly fast. My dad did everything he could in his power to keep Bill from passing him - no matter what. Was some of it a little aggressive? Absolutely."

Related slideshow: 2017 NASCAR race winners (Provided by USA Today Sports)

Weekly race winners from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 2017 NASCAR Cup Series race winners
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