1986 Delaware 500
|Race 23 of 29 in the 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Dover's then-current asphalt surface
|Date||September 14, 1986|
|Official name||Delaware 500|
|Location||Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware|
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)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Ricky Rudd||Bud Moore Engineering|
|No. 15||Ricky Rudd||Bud Moore Engineering|
|Television in the United States|
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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
Terry Labonte's engine problem would eliminate him from the race on lap 461 but would guarantee him a finish in the "top twenty." However, Labonte would have to earn this middle-of-the-road finish by dueling against Ricky Rudd for 138 laps. 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.
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). The total prize purse for this racing event totalled at exactly $314,000 ($717,701 when adjusted for inflation).
|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
|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
|9||Bobby Hillin, Jr.||2823||-675|
- Weather information for the 1986 Delaware 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "NASCAR Tracks—The Dover International Speedway". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Racing Reference
- Auto Racing Roundup: Rudd Overcomes Penalty to Win the Delaware 500 at Los Angeles Times
- NASCAR Statistics on Ricky Rudd Archived 2012-11-04 at the Wayback Machine at Driver Averages
- 1986 Delaware 500 crew chiefs at Racing Reference
- Rudd Avoids An Epidemic Of Trouble To Win Delaware 500 at Philly.com
- 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Race Database
- 1986 Delaware 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
- Additional qualifying information at Racing Reference
1986 Wrangler Jeans Indigo 400
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1986 Goody's 500