The 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series stock car race held at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 13. Qualifying was canceled because of rain showers, so points leader Tony Stewart started on the pole position. Jamie McMurray, subbing for an injured Sterling Marlin, nearly won his first race in his second career start, but was overtaken by Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the last lap in turn 3. This was Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s big 100th win.
Rain caused the start of the race to be delayed over 3 hours. After the rain stopped, NASCAR decided to start the race under yellow for the first 5 laps as the track continued to dry. The race began at 3:45 pm Charlotte time (Eastern). Sunset time was 6:51 pm, the race was completed at 7:17, The late finish contributed to a large jump in ratings for the NBC telecast. NASCAR decided to move the fall race at Charlotte from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night for 2003.
Tony Stewart started on the pole, and lead the first 16 laps of the race, but let a charging Jimmie Johnson go by on the front stretch of lap 17. Throughout the day Dale Jr. ran in the top 10, well his father Dale Sr. stayed around the 20th position, saving up his stuff for the end of the race.
With 27 to go Dale Sr. started making big moves towards the front of that pack, gaining 4 spots by the 25 to go mark. With 13 to go Dale Sr. passed his son, Dale Jr., who was running 8th at the time. Dale Sr. gained the lead from second-time driver Jamie McMurray after a light tap coming into turn 3 on the final lap and held it down off of turn 4 to collect his career 100th win. Dale Jr. would move up to 6th by the end of the race, but more emphasis was placed on his father's win.
As Dale Earnhardt stepped out of his special "Oreo" sponsored blue-and-white Monte Carlo he knew what it felt like to achieve all there was to achieve in NASCAR; 8 championships, 100 wins and surviving numerous nasty wrecks. His son, Dale Jr., came down to victory lane as well as Michael Waltrip, and the 3 men all held up a 3 on each of their hands in celebration, followed by Dale Sr. giving Dale Jr. an arm hug in celebration. When interviewed, Earnhardt said "If it weren't for all these fine folks in the grand stands this would have never happened. Thank ya, each and ever'y one of ya."