1986 Delaware 500

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1986 Delaware 500
Race details[1]
Race 23 of 29 in the 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Dover's then-current asphalt surface
Dover's then-current asphalt surface
Date September 14, 1986 (1986-September-14)
Official name Delaware 500
Location Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 500 laps, 500.0 mi (804.6 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching of 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds of 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)
Average speed 114.329 miles per hour (183.995 km/h)
Attendance 44,000
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 24.623 seconds
Most laps led
Driver Ricky Rudd Bud Moore Engineering
Laps 141
Winner
No. 15 Ricky Rudd Bud Moore Engineering
Television in the United States
Network untelevised
Announcers none

The 1986 Delaware 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that was held on September 14, 1986, at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Delaware.

The most dominant drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series during the 1980s were Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip, Terry Labonte, Bobby Allison, and Dale Earnhardt.

Background[edit]

Dover Downs International Speedway, now called Dover International Speedway, is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway.[2] The NASCAR race makes use of the track's standard configuration, a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[3] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, and both the front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the backstretch are banked at nine degrees.[3]

Race report[edit]

There were 41 drivers who originally qualified for this race; only George Wiltshire failed to make the final 40-car starting grid. All but one of the drivers were born in the United States of America; Cliff Hucul was born in Canada.

This race lasted 500-laps or four hours and twenty-two minutes. Mike Potter received the last-place finish of this race due to problems with his engine on lap 22. Ricky Rudd would end up defeating Neil Bonnet by slightly more than five seconds; marking his first NASCAR victory at one of the larger speedways.[4] His one-lap penalty for driving past the pace car was eventually relegated to a "slap on the wrist" for Rudd; as his Ford Thunderbird performed like a flawless machine from lap 200 to the checkered flag.[5] Out of the 56 racing events that Ricky Rudd did at Dover International Speedway, his average start was 13th place while his average finish was 14th-place with four confirmed victories.[6]

The pole position of the race would end up going to Geoffrey Bodine for travelling up to 146.205 miles per hour (235.294 km/h) during his solo qualifying runs. Tim Richmond ended up being the lowest-placed driver to actually make it through the race. Only Ricky Rudd, Neil Bonnett, and Kyle Petty would finish the race in the lead lap. Tommy Ellis turned in a solid run and finishes eighth, the second-best finish of his Cup career. This was his best run during his tenure in Eric Freedlander's #18 Freedlander Financial Chevrolet. ASA ace Mark Martin pauses from his championship run in that series to cross over to Winston Cup, making one of just five Cup starts for him in 1986. His 11th-place run here would be his best of the year.[4]

Notable crew chiefs who actively participated in the race included Junie Donlavey, Robin Pemberton, Joey Arrington, Dale Inman, Larry McReynolds, Harry Hyde, Bud Moore, Kirk Shelmerdine among others.[7]

Terry Labonte's engine problem would eliminate him from the race on lap 461 but would guarantee him a finish in the "top twenty.[4]" However, Labonte would have to earn this middle-of-the-road finish by dueling against Ricky Rudd for 138 laps.[8] Bryan Baker, Roy Lee Hendrick, and Howard Rose would make their only appearances during this event while Cliff Hucul would retire from NASCAR Cup Series racing competition after the end of the racing event.[9]

Winnings for this racing event varied from a then-awesome $51,500 ($117,712 when adjusted for inflation) to a humble $850 ($1,943 when adjusted for inflation).[4] The total prize purse for this racing event totalled at exactly $314,000 ($717,701 when adjusted for inflation).[10]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Speed[11] Qualifying time[11] Owner
1 5 Geoffrey Bodine Chevrolet 146.205 24.623 Rick Hendrick
2 25 Tim Richmond Chevrolet 144.904 24.844 Rick Hendrick
3 3 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 144.075 24.987 Richard Childress
4 33 Harry Gant Chevrolet 143.615 25.067 Hal Needham
5 4 Rick Wilson Oldsmobile 143.192 25.141 Larry McClure
6 44 Terry Labonte Oldsmobile 142.999 25.175 Billy Hagan
7 9 Bill Elliott Ford 142.337 25.292 Harry Melling
8 27 Rusty Wallace Pontiac 142.270 25.304 Raymond Beadle
9 75 Morgan Shepherd Pontiac 142.225 25.312 RayMoc Enterprises
10 22 Bobby Allison Buick 142.141 25.327 Stavola Brothers

Top twenty finishers[edit]

Pos[4] No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps led Time/Status
1 15 Ricky Rudd Ford 500 141 4:22:24
2 12 Neil Bonnett Chevrolet 500 12 +5.08 seconds
3 7 Kyle Petty Ford 500 4 Lead lap under green flag
4 88 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile 499 0 +1 laps
5 71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet 498 9 +2 laps
6 26 Joe Ruttman Buick 498 0 +2 laps
7 7 Alan Kulwicki Ford 497 0 +3 laps
8 18 Tommy Ellis Chevrolet 496 0 +4 laps
9 8 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Buick 495 0 +5 laps
10 75 Morgan Shepherd Pontiac 493 36 +8 laps
11 02 Mark Martin Ford 493 0 +8 laps
12 43 Richard Petty Pontiac 493 0 +8 laps
13 27 Rusty Wallace Pontiac 491 39 +9 laps
14 11 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 490 0 +10 laps
15 67 Buddy Arrington Ford 484 0 +16 laps
16 23 Michael Waltrip Pontiac 471 0 +29 laps
17 48 Johnny Coy, Jr. Chevrolet 469 0 +31 laps
18 6 Joe Booher Chevrolet 465 0 +35 laps
19 44 Terry Labonte Oldsmobile 461 85 Engine failure
20 22 Bobby Allison Buick 461 0 +39 laps

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[4] Differential
1 1rightarrow.png Dale Earnhardt 3498 0
2 1rightarrow.png Tim Richmond 3360 -138
3 1rightarrow.png Darrell Waltrip 3306 -192
4 1rightarrow.png Bobby Allison 3112 -386
5 Increase Ricky Rudd 3069 -429
6 Decrease Bill Elliott 3033 -465
7 Increase Rusty Wallace 2903 -595
8 Decrease Geoffrey Bodine 2867 -631
9 1rightarrow.png Bobby Hillin, Jr. 2823 -675
10 1rightarrow.png Terry Labonte 2757 -741

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1986 Delaware 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Dover International Speedway". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Racing Reference
  5. ^ Auto Racing Roundup: Rudd Overcomes Penalty to Win the Delaware 500 at Los Angeles Times
  6. ^ NASCAR Statistics on Ricky Rudd Archived 2012-11-04 at the Wayback Machine at Driver Averages
  7. ^ 1986 Delaware 500 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
  8. ^ Rudd Avoids An Epidemic Of Trouble To Win Delaware 500 at Philly.com
  9. ^ 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Race Database
  10. ^ 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  11. ^ a b Additional qualifying information at Racing Reference
Preceded by
1986 Wrangler Jeans Indigo 400
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1986
Succeeded by
1986 Goody's 500