Reduced penalty for Earnhardt

Mon., March 3, 1986 – NASCAR officials reduced a penalty and fine levied against driver Dale Earnhardt for his actions in the final laps of the Feb. 23 Miller High Life 400 at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. The Richard Childress Racing driver had initially been placed on probation for one year under a $10,000 bond and fined $5,000 for contact with Darrell Waltrip. Following a meeting of the NASCAR appeals committee held at Charlotte Douglas Airport, Earnhardt’s penalty was reduced to a $3,000 fine.

At the time, Earnhardt’s $5,000 fine and $10,000 bond (required to pay before he could resume competition) was the harshest penalty levied against a driver since Curtis Turner and Tim Flock were banned from the sport in 1961.

Waltrip passed Earnhardt with three laps remaining but contact from Earnhardt sent both cars into the guardrail in Turn 3 before the lap was completed.

Kyle Petty slipped through the wreckage to score the win, his first in NASCAR’s premier series.

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