MRN Flashback: 1987 Valleydale 500

D.Earnhardt

Earnhardt pushed his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to victory at Bristol in April 1987 en route to his third Cup Series championship. (Photo: ISC Archives)

Heading into the 1987 spring stop at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt had won four of the season’s first six races.

And no one was able to slow “The Intimidator” down in Thunder Valley, either … as he won again, claiming victory in the Valleydale Meats 500.  On April 12, 1987, Earnhardt led all but one of the final 122 laps and held off Richard Petty by a little less than one second at the finish.

Earnhardt started third and led only briefly during the first half of the race.  But just past the mid-point of the 500-lap event, Earnhardt bulled his way into first place by tapping race leader Sterling Marlin and sending him into the outside wall.  Rain settled in over the Tennessee half-mile a short time later.

During the red-flag period, NASCAR warned Earnhardt that any more rough stuff would result in a black flag for the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“Hey,” Earnhardt snapped.  “This is Bristol.  You’ve got to be aggressive to race here.”

Earnhardt behaved himself once the skies cleared and racing resumed, swapping the lead with Morgan Shepherd down the stretch before prevailing for the fifth of his nine Cup Series wins at BMS – a total second only to Darrell Waltrip’s 12.

Ricky Rudd finished third, Bill Elliott fourth and Alan Kulwicki was fifth.  Pole sitter Harry Gant led just one lap, early in the second half of the race, and finished sixth.  Shepherd ended the day in eighth place.

Earnhardt would also win the track’s late-summer night race in August en route to the 1987 Winston Cup Series championship.

Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com on Thursday at 1 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1987 Valleydale Meats 500, anchored by Barney Hall and Eli Gold.  Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will feature a classic race broadcast each week on “Throwback Thursday” throughout the 2013 season at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

Photos

  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • AAA 400 at Dover
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • SYLVANIA 300
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites