Rewatch 1999 Bristol Race: Earnhardt more than rattles Labonte's cage

Jonathan Merryman
NASCAR.com

It may be the most famous sentence Dale Earnhardt ever said: “I didn‘t mean to really turn him around, I meant to rattle his cage though.”

That sentence was uttered in Victory Lane after the 1999 Bristol Night Race, a race that saw Terry Labonte spin off of the bumper of Earnhardt‘s infamous black No. 3.

Labonte, who was known to be cool under pressure, earned the name “Iceman” and was yet again cool in his post-race interview, telling ESPN‘s Bill Weber with a half grin on his face, “It just wasn‘t my night.”

RELATED: Race results | Labonte recalls moment | More Classic Races

On the 20th anniversary of this race last year, Labonte told a different story. He said he was planning to wait on Earnhardt to come by him on the cool-down lap and that he was going to “T-Bone” him. His wrecked car had other plans. The crash had broken his reverse gear and his car was dead on the track.

The rest of the night played out like this: Earnhardt was virtually booed out of Victory Lane and legend has it the entire GM Goodwrench team changed uniforms before the walked out of track.

Whether you loved them or hated them, the moment created by “The Intimidator” and the “Iceman” is easily the most talked about moment in Bristol Motor Speedway‘s history and we can relive that in this Classic NASCAR Full Race Replay.

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