30 Years Since Tim Helped Dale at Pocono

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/02/12 01:04:54PM
9,054 posts

My, my.... time does quickly pass.

Seems like just yesterday I was standing next to car owner/crew chief, Bud Moore on pit road at Pocono when Dale Earnhardt took a scary ride down in turn 1.

Actually it was 30 years ago, the second Pocono race of 1982, on July 25, when Dale got into the back of one of his favorite racing competitors, Tim Richmond and went for an upside down ride.

The blue & yellow #15 Wrangler T-bird with Earnhardt strapped aboard for the ride climbed the old boiler plate steel wall and rode for a distance on its roof before coming back down on the track. The car almost cut down the "Winston Pack" MRN radio booth with Eli Gold inside - a very scary moment for Eli.

Those were the days of racing back to the flag and very slow emergency response times. Dale was being inundated with hot oil from the oil cooler as he struggled upside down to get free. A photographer ran across the track to assist, along with Richmond, who helped Dale to the ambulance that finally arrived at the crash scene. I always remember Tim helping Dale that day.

Dale had been seriously injured at Pocono in 1979 and airlifted out by helicopter after breaking both collar bones and being knocked unconscious in a crash in his Rookie of the Year run. David Pearson subbed for the young Earnhardt at Darlington that September, winning the Southern 500 in Dale's Osterlund ride.

When the carcass of Dale's Wrangler T-bird was towed back to the Pocono garage, it was torn all to pieces. It was ready for the scrap heap behind Bud Moore's Spartanburg shop.

The late Don Naman called me in Greensboro at Wrangler headquarters on Monday morning after the crash to see if I could get Bud to donate the car to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Museum in Talladega as a "safety" display. Bud, who had no use for wrecked cars and had lost drivers Joe Weatherly and Billy Wade in crashes, politely declined the request.

As for "One Tough Customer" Dale Earnhardt, he maintained he was ok from the crash and drove the following race at Talladega secretly nursing a broken leg and had surgery on Monday after that race. Dale was a tough cookie and he and Tim Richmond had the utmost racing respect for each other.

Look how Dale slams the wall directly in front of the MRN Radio turn location pained to look like a Winston pack.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
JAck Redd
@jack-redd
08/02/12 02:12:55PM
111 posts

A great piece here Dave. Thanks for the memories of two great action drivers. Man, you have alot of history stored in your memory-cells.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
08/02/12 02:48:31PM
3,883 posts

For the record, look at the logo on the wall near where Dale's car came to rest...




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/02/12 03:11:45PM
9,054 posts

Chase, I shoulda known!!!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
08/02/12 03:41:04PM
3,883 posts

Just wondering if that logo could have distracted Dale and Tim. Maybe their minds were already in post-race mode every time they passed that Schaefer logo. I'm just sayin...




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
08/03/12 09:59:16AM
504 posts

Dave, can you locate Bud Moore and youself in the last (2) #15 DALE PIT STOP POCONO July 25,1982 photos.

Didn't this wrecked #15 race car was auction off on e-Bay afew years ago??
I think it was listed and photos of it sitting by an red barn was on eBay!!!

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/03/12 10:26:51AM
9,054 posts

Dennis, that is Bud, over the wall in front of the car with the pit board.

Behind the wall, just to the right of crew member holding the gas can at the front of the car is Bud's son, Greg Moore (with the long dark hair and beard - now gray like mine). I am immediately to the right of Greg, directly behind the wall from Bud, holding the cup.

Immediately to the right of the guy in the plaid shirt next to me (with the drink pole), wearing the large cowboy hat, is my Wrangler NASCAR Assistant Program Manager, Mel Parkhurst - one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Mel had ridden motorcycles and worked for the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) and then took a job with NASCAR in the Daytona mail room. He was highly recommended to me by Dave DeSpain, Lin Kuchler and Jim Foster. What a wonderful recommendation. The racers loved him and he was a terrific assistant. He lived in a large converted Golden Eagle bus in a Greensboro campground on I-85 next to where they built the water park. Mel's Canadian girlfriend's daughter spoke no English - just French - but she and my girls conversed in their own language. We promoted Mel the following year (1983) to head up the Wrangler Willie Nelson Country Music sponsorship and he spent a couple of years on the bus with Willie. Imagine, a year with Dale Earnhardt followed by a couple with Willie Nelson! Mel was a wonderful topnotch guy.

Thank you so much for posting these photos.

I'm not familiar with the car being auctioned, I just know Bud didn't want it in the IMHOF Museum.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/03/12 10:31:15AM
9,054 posts

I don't remember how the back end of Dale's car had already been damaged - maybe by Tim? Do y'all remember?

Our little Wrangler beach umbrella was sure a far cry from those humongous covered carts with all the computer equipment that forced them to tear down the roof over Daytona's pit road. When I went to 7-Eleven/CITGO in 1984, we got really high tech and sometimes had two beach umbrellas in the pits!

Those 14 ounce heavy duty denim jeans the crew wore were HOT!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
08/03/12 11:00:40AM
504 posts

Dave, Thanks for the information.
I just found this #15 DALE CRASH POCONO July 25,1982 photo.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/03/12 11:05:51AM
9,054 posts

When Dale came out of the track hospital, that cream colored driving suit with the blue & yellow stripe was covered in oil that had dumped on Dale while he was upside down. As I mentioned earlier, he also had a broken leg that the Pocono infield hospital missed and that Dale kept secret from Bud, hobbling around at Talladega on crutches and driving anyway, then having surgery in North Carolina on Monday.

As you can imagine, Bud was not a happy camper about being kept out of that loop. Joe Whitlock made all the arrangements for Dale and was sworn to secrecy.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/03/12 01:00:17PM
9,054 posts

Tried looking a little closer, Dennis. The man holding the gas can is the late Red Myler, father-in-law of Maurice Petty and builder of Bud Moore's rear end gears. Standing next to Red with the catch can is Cal Madera, tire specialist and husband of longtime Dale Earnhardt scorer Dolly Madera. Cal and Dolly lived in a motor home and worked for whatever team Dale drove for. Dolly is the lady you aleways see in victory lane with Dale holding the clipboard.

The guy with the sledgehammer at the right rear of the car is shop foreman, Doug Williams.

Note that the car is only half way into the pit, not yet having stopped, yet 5 guys are already over the wall, including Bud, who is baling out of Dale's way in front of the car. Bud was a brave fellow to stand in front of Dale Earnhardt. Bud would beat that pit sign up and down on the pit box line several times, then run like heck as Dale slid into the pit.

When Ricky Rudd slid into Bill Elliott's car at Atlanta and killed his crew member, all that stopped.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
08/07/12 11:09:54PM
504 posts

Dave Fulton: I don't remember how the back end of Dale's car had already been damaged - maybe by Tim? Do y'all remember?
Answer: GRAND NATIONAL ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE JAN. 1983 Volume 2 No.1 Pages 98-99.
Earnhardt led four times for nine laps early going but his problems began on the 59th lap when he was tagged by spinning car of Bobby Wawak through turn three. That ripped the rear bumper partially of his car and he was black flagged three times. However, since the yellow flag came out for Ricky Rudd, whose Piedmont Airlines Pontiac had stalled in tutn three, Earnhardt was not penalized.
Instead he pitted. His crew removed the bumper. But when Earnhardt charged back onto the track , he passed the pace car and given a one-lap penalty.
As Earnhardt was trying to make up on Richmond's Stacy Buick in turn one on lap 135. He tagged Richmond's rear bumper, spun him out, and then lost control of his own car which looped around onto his roof. After an up-sidedown slide of about 50 yards, the "Jeans Machine" came to a halt, destroying a portion of the steel retaining wall, "I lost the brakes going into the first turn, I kept pumping, but there wasn't anything there" said Earnhardt later "I've got a charley horse, but I've put ice on it and I can walk a little bit now."
Except for a few bruises, at first it was thought neither driver was seriously injured .
Later, Earnhardt discovered he had sustained a fractured left kneecap and was admitted to a hospital near his Doolie, N.C., home for surgery.

GRAND NATIONAL ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE JAN.1983 Vol.2 No.1 Front Cover photo

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
08/08/12 10:51:00AM
9,054 posts

Thanks, Dennis. I had forgotten every bit of those track incident descriptions.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
07/25/17 03:11:15PM
3,883 posts

I posted a blog entry today about the July 25, 1982 Mountain Dew 500.

https://bench-racing.blogspot.com/2017/07/july-25-1982-mountain-dew-500.html




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.