Dale Earnhardt Sr. had some solid moments at Richmond Raceway, winning there five times during his Cup Series career. While he'd come close to winning at "America's premier short track" in 1986 (finishing third at the February outing and second in September), Dale's most iconic Richmond moment during his second title season came when he leaned out of his stock car WHILE HE WAS STILL RACING and wiped mud off of his windshield. That's right, rather than pull in for a pit stop and lose track position, The Intimidator opted to be the ultimate badass instead.
File this under "things you'll never in NASCAR again."
In the clip above, Danny "Chocolate" Myers, who was the fueler for Richard Childress Racing at the time, recalls the pretty wild conversation that Dale Sr. had with team owner Richard Childress over the radio before cleaning off the windshield of his No. 3 Chevrolet race car.
"We're racing at Richmond, and he's got the car -- it's totally covered in mud -- and he hollers on the radio, 'Richard, I need to pit.' And Richard says, 'Dale, I'd hate to come in and pit, lose all that track position.' And Dale comes on the radio and says, 'I'm gonna be off the radio for a few minutes.' And then you see Dale driving with his knee and got one head and he's cleaning the windshield off."
Earnhardt's gutsy move went down during the 1986 Miller High Life 400, which was almost historic for another reason entirely. While Earnhardt ended up leading the race for about 128 laps, his crash with Darrell Waltrip's No. 11 Chevy during the race's final laps effectively took him out of contention. As a result of the collision, Earnhardt had to pay a $3,000 fine as well as a $10,000 security bond. Initially, Earnhardt was also placed on probation for the remainder of the season, which would've been the longest probation period ever given in NASCAR. It was later overturned.
Kyle Petty would ultimately come away with the win that day at Richmond, marking the former NASCAR driver's first Winston Cup Series victory. But, most folks don't really remember that. Leave it to Dale Earnhardt Sr. to steal the show, even when he didn't win.