1986 Winston 500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1986 Winston 500
Race details
Race 9 of 29 in the 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Map of the Talladega Superspeedway
Map of the Talladega Superspeedway
Date May 4, 1986; 28 years ago (1986-05-04)
Location Alabama International Motor Speedway (Talladega, Alabama)
Course Permanent racing facility
2.660 mi (4.280 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500.1 mi (804.8 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 81 °F (27 °C); average wind speed of 6.7 miles per hour (10.8 km/h)[1]
Average speed 212.229 miles per hour (341.549 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Bill Elliott Melling Racing
Most laps led
Driver Bill Elliott Melling Racing
Laps 116
No. 9
Bobby Allison
Stavola Brothers Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins
Larry Nuber

The 1986 Winston 500 is a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on May 4, 1986, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama, U.S.. As the traditionalist era of NASCAR slowly approached its end, the rest of mainstream society would be fascinated by the new wave and punk music that dominated the late 1970s and most of the 1980s. NASCAR fans were consummate country music fans at that time, and didn't consider any form of "rock and roll music" to be appropriate for NASCAR. There was an invocation service and the singing of the American national anthem prior to the gentlemen starting their engines.

Total earnings for each driver ranged from the winner's share of $77,905 ($167,611.64 when inflation is taken into effect) to the last-place finisher's share of $5,135 ($11,047.89 when inflation is taken into effect). NASCAR officials were authorized to hand out a grand total of $499,905 to all the drivers who qualified for this race ($1,075,539.39 when inflation is taken into effect).[2]


Seven drivers failed to qualify for the race including: Mark Martin, J. D. McDuffie, Davey Allison, and Alan Kulwicki.[3] Mark Martin would never fail to qualify for a NASCAR Cup Series race ever again after this one. Bill Elliott would receive the pole position with a heart-pounding top speed of 212.229 miles per hour (341.549 km/h) thanks to the extremely aerodynamic design of the 1986 Ford vehicles.[3][4] All the cars would qualify with speeds greater than 200 miles per hour (320 km/h); regardless of their make or model.[5] Ford vehicles, however, were proven to have an advantage in aerodynamics from 1986 to 1991. The addition of restrictor plates starting in the 1990s would eventually make all-200 MPH grids tricky if not impossible. Nine cautions were given for laps; while 24 different lead changes were made on the track.[3][4] The entire race took more than three hours to resolve itself.[3][4]

The Waltrip siblings (Darrell Waltrip and his younger brother Michael) both appeared in this race along with veteran drivers Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace.[3][4] Even the father-son duo (consisting of Richard and Kyle Petty) appeared in this race.[3][4] Bobby Allison (driving a 1986 Buick LeSabre) would defeat Earnhardt by almost 0.2 seconds in front of a live audience of 133,000 people.[3][4] Richard Childress had employed his famous "Flying Aces" pit crew at the time; it was made of the best maintenance people in the business and were constantly assigned to Earnhardt's vehicle. Allison was 48 years old during the day of the race; making him one of the oldest drivers to ever win a NASCAR Cup Series racing event.

Allison's win would be the first one in his column since the 1984 World 600. Tommy Gale would finish his NASCAR career during this race.[4] Jody Ridley received credit for the last-place finish due to an engine problem on the fourth lap of this 188-lap event.[3][4] Ron Bouchard would lead his final lap in his Cup Series career; after winning the 1981 Talladega 500 as a rookie on the same track. Trevor Boys was the only foreigner in the entire race; he was born in Canada.[3] A drunken, 20-year-old fan, Darren Charles Crowder stole the pace car of the race for a joyride but was apprehended before completing two laps.

Finishing order[edit]

† signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[3]
1 Dale Earnhardt 1417
2 Darrell Waltrip 1308
3 Rusty Wallace 1216
4 Bobby Allison 1198
5 Terry Labonte 1189


  1. ^ "1986 Winston 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  2. ^ "1986 Winston 500 prize winnings information". Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1986 Winston 500 racing information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "1986 Winston 500 racing information". Race Database. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  5. ^ "A Look Back in Talladega History: The 200 MPH Field". Talladega Speedway. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
Preceded by
1986 Sovran Bank 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
Succeeded by
1986 Budweiser 500
Preceded by
Winston 500 races
Succeeded by