This thread will explore an alternative NASCAR universe starting in 1985. This will explore multiple "what if" scenarios and if some drivers never drove in the sport. This thread will be based off of knowledge of NASCAR history and research on YouTube, Wikipedia, and racing-reference.info. This will start out by covering the Winston Cup. The Busch series will begin to be experimented with starting in 1990 and the Truck series as well. Enjoy! Inspired by One More Spark by Griffdawg and The Throwbacks by VACATETHE48. Both on YouTube using NR2003; something I don't have. PROLOGUE: Darrell Waltrip wins the 1981 NASCAR finale at Ontario Motor Speedway, the L.A. Times 500, thus winning his first Winston Cup championship. His move to Junior Johnson's #11 Mt. Dew Buick certainly paid off. Bobby Allison finishes second in the standings, fifty-three points behind in Harry Rainer's #28. The season was for the most part, Waltrip vs. Allison. In 1982, Allison moved to Waltrip's old ride, the #88 Gatorade Buick for the DiGard team. The rivalry between the two continued this year but it was a lot more competitive. It almost looked like Allison could pull it off and win his first championship. However, he choked at the end of the season and gave it away to Waltrip, who won it for a second consecutive year. 1983 was finally the breakthrough year for Allison. His team re-branded to become the #22 Miller High Life Buick while Waltrip became the Pepsi Challenger Chevrolet. Allison finished 47 points ahead of Waltrip. In 1984, neither were in contention for the championship. Terry Labonte won the championship, holding off a hard-charging Harry Gant. Labonte won two races, the Budweiser 400 at Riverside International Raceway, and the Busch 500 at Bristol. Gant won the Like Cola 500 at Pocono Raceway, the Lone Star 500 at Texas World Speedway, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, and the Delaware 500 at Dover. Dale Earnhardt led the point standings for most of the season until Labonte surpassed him in August. Bill Elliott had a breakout season winning the Michigan 400 and the Warner W. Hodgdon American 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway. The final point standings were: 44-Terry Labonte 4508 33-Harry Gant 4443 9-Bill Elliott 4377 3-Dale Earnhardt 4265 11-Darrell Waltrip 4230 22-Bobby Allison 4094 15-Ricky Rudd 3918 12-Neil Bonnett 3802 5-Geoff Bodine 3734 43-Richard Petty 3643 THE BEGINNING: From 1981-2008, the NASCAR awards banquet was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The 1984 banquet was the most significant. During the ceremony, NASCAR president Bill France Jr. and Edward A. Corrigan Jr. who was the CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, which was about to merge with Nabisco, announced three changes for the 1985 season. The first was the creation of the Winston Million. A million dollars would be awarded to a driver who won three of these four races: the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 at Talladega, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, and the Southern 500 at Darlington. The second announcement was the formation of an All-Star race. Similar to the Busch Clash at Daytona, this race focused on winners between one All-Star race and another rather than who won pole positions between the clashes. Each year, it would be held at a different track. Charlotte got the honours of hosting the inaugural race. Third (and biggest) was the first "playoff" system in NASCAR. Inspired by other American sports, Bill France Jr. finally decided it was time for NASCAR to have one. Here's how it works: the playoffs start after the Southern 500. The top twelve drivers in points make it in. After every other race, two drivers are eliminated. By the finale at Ontario, there would be a final four. In the final four, any of the four drivers who wins or finishes ahead of the others is the champion. Wins don't count towards making the chase since some top drivers compete part-time like Cale Yarborough and Benny Parsons. 1985 in next post.