Ricky Rudd Wins Richmond on 2/26/84 Wearing Flak Jacket After Daytona Barrel Roll

Dave Fulton
6 years ago
9,132 posts

In his first ride for Bud Moore, Chesapeake, Virginia's Ricky Rudd put the Wrangler Jeans Ford #15 on its nose in the February 1984 Busch Clash at Daytona before starting a sickening series of barrel rolls. Rudd was beaten black & blue after his ordeal and drove the 1984 Daytona 500 with swollen, blood shot eyes taped open.

The very next race was scheduled at the worn old half-mile at Richmond's Fairgrounds - a track that took a high toll on drivers and cars.

Moore outfitted Rudd with a special flak jacket for the race and the crowd went wild as Rudd battled side-by-side with Dale Earnhardt driving the Richard Childress Wrangler #3 Chevy. In 1983 Earnhardt had driven for Moore and Rudd for Childress.

Smart tire management by crusty old Bud Moore helped Rudd defeat Darrell Waltrip, another former Moore driver. There has never been a more popular win at the Richmond track or a crowd as vocal to see the young, injured home area driver defeat all odds and make it to victory lane.

Ricky Rudd in #15 and Dale Earnhardt in #3 battle side-by-side in the two Wrangler Jeans cars during the September 1984 Wrangler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway.

1984 Miller High Life 400

NASCAR Winston Cup race number 2 of 30
Sunday, February 26, 1984 at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway , Richmond, VA
400 laps on a .542 mile paved track (216.8 miles)

Time of race: 2:09:31
Average Speed: 76.736 mph
Pole Speed: 93.817 mph

Cautions: 9 for 40 laps
Margin of Victory: 3.2 sec
Attendance: 28,000
Lead changes: 11


Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led Points
1 4 15
Ricky Rudd

Wrangler Jeans ( Bud Moore )
Ford 400 31,775 running 36 180
2 1 11
Darrell Waltrip

Budweiser ( Junior Johnson )
Chevrolet 400 27,865 running 348 180
3 6 44
Terry Labonte

Piedmont Airlines ( Billy Hagan )
Chevrolet 400 12,465 running 1 170
4 13 9
Bill Elliott

Coors ( Harry Melling )
Ford 399 11,000 running 0 160
5 10 12
Neil Bonnett

Budweiser ( Junior Johnson )
Chevrolet 399 4,820 running 15 160
6 17 3
Dale Earnhardt

Wrangler Jeans ( Richard Childress )
Chevrolet 399 8,675 running 0 150
7 3 27
Tim Richmond

Old Milwaukee ( Raymond Beadle )
Pontiac 399 6,040 running 0 146
8 12 33
Harry Gant

Skoal Bandit ( Hal Needham )
Chevrolet 399 5,535 running 0 142
9 8 5
Geoffrey Bodine

All-Star Racing ( Rick Hendrick )
Chevrolet 399 2,475 running 0 138
10 14 98
Joe Ruttman

Levi Garrett ( Ron Benfield )
Chevrolet 399 5,675 running 0 134
11 29 75
Dave Marcis
RahMoc Enterprises Chevrolet 398 9,675 running 0 130
12 18 1
Lake Speed

Bull Frog Knits ( Hoss Ellington )
Chevrolet 398 4,385 running 0 127
13 16 2
Morgan Shepherd

Levi's Jeans ( Robert Harrington )
Buick 397 1,735 running 0 124
14 9 28
Cale Yarborough

Hardee's ( Harry Ranier )
Chevrolet 396 1,665 running 0 121
15 15 43
Richard Petty

STP ( Mike Curb )
Pontiac 396 1,995 running 0 118
16 5 88
Rusty Wallace

Gatorade ( Cliff Stewart )
Pontiac 396 4,025 running 0 115
17 19 7
Kyle Petty

7-Eleven ( Petty Enterprises )
Ford 396 8,455 running 0 112
18 22 66
Phil Parsons

Skoal Bandit ( Johnny Hayes )
Chevrolet 395 1,925 running 0 109
19 7 90
Dick Brooks

Chameleon Sunglasses ( Junie Donlavey )
Ford 395 3,710 running 0 106
20 24 4
Lennie Pond

Jim Testa ( Larry McClure )
Chevrolet 395 1,640 running 0 103
21 28 71
Mike Alexander

Action Vans ( Dave Marcis )
Oldsmobile 394 3,530 running 0 100
22 26 64
Jimmy Hensley

Sunny King Ford & Honda ( Elmo Langley )
Ford 391 3,385 running 0 97
23 23 70
J.D. McDuffie

Wilder's ( J.D. McDuffie )
Pontiac 388 3,215 running 0 94
24 27 51
Greg Sacks

Uniden Force ( Arnie Sacks )
Chevrolet 387 1,175 running 0 91
25 30 97
Dean Combs

Best Products ( Irv Sanderson )
Oldsmobile 387 1,140 running 0 88
26 32 48
Trevor Boys

Hylton-McCaig ( James Hylton )
Chevrolet 385 2,795 running 0 85
27 25 17
Clark Dwyer

Hesco Exhaust Systems ( Roger Hamby )
Pontiac 355 2,775 ignition 0 82
28 31 52
Jimmy Means

Broadway Motors ( Jimmy Means )
Chevrolet 346 2,705 running 0 79
29 2 47
Ron Bouchard

Race Hill Farm ( Jack Beebe )
Buick 310 3,710 engine 0 76
30 11 22
Bobby Allison

Miller High Life ( DiGard )
Buick 225 9,865 engine 0 73
31 20 41
Ronnie Thomas

Thomas Racing ( Ronnie Thomas )
Chevrolet 152 1,965 rear end 0 70
32 21 16
David Pearson

Chattanooga Chew ( Bobby Hawkins )
Chevrolet 95 1,515 rear end 0 67

Racing Reference

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 06/12/19 03:01:56PM
Charles Ray Stocks
6 years ago
222 posts

i remember that race very well dave ricky demonstrated what determanation was all about

Tim Leeming
6 years ago
3,119 posts

That was a great race! Ricky Rudd was always very nice to me in every encounter. When my son and I went to the Richmond race on September 8, 2001, Harvick banged Rudd around and I told my son then, Harvick has messed with the wrong guy. Sure enough, Ricky caught him and it was quite the payback.

Dave Fulton
6 years ago
9,132 posts
ws Archives

Ricky Rudd Wins Richmond with Eyes Taped Open

September 6th, 2012 at 9:30 AM
By Clayton Caldwell

Ricky Rudd is known as one of NASCAR 's all time toughest drivers. One example of that toughness was in 1998 at Martinsville, when Rudd dominated the NAPA Auto Care 500 without power steering and fresh air coming into his racecar. Temperatures at Martinsville that day were in the tripledigits andRudd was breathing in exhaust fumes for basically the entire race at one of the sports' toughest racetracks.Ruddpassed out in victory lane in one of the gutsiest performances in the sports history.

However, that's not Rudd's best performance. That cameback in 1984 at the RichmondFairgrounds Raceway, when Rudd did almost the unthinkable.

Ricky Rudd was ayoungster back in 1984. His Winston Cup career started back in 1975 when Rudd was just 18 years old, running four races for his father. Heran 25 races in 1977 and won NASCAR 's Rookie of the Year Title. In 1979the 22-year old Chesapeake, Virginia native was hired by Junie Donlavey todrive his famous #90 Ford. Rudd accepted, running 28 of31 races andfinishing ninth in the seriespoint standings.Rudd was replaced by Jody Ridley and ran a partial schedule in 1980. In 1981 he ran a full season for DiGard Racing and finished an impressive sixth in the standings. He moved to Richard Childress Racing in 1982 and in 1983 he gave the company their first two wins, as well as his first two wins of his career.

When 1984 came Rudd accepted a deal from Bud Moore to drive his #15 Wrangler Ford. Rudd's career at Bud Moore's team got off to a not so good start.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ - click to view more info about '#15 Ricky Rudd' or find free 'Ricky Rudd' pictures via Wylio"> '#15 Ricky Rudd' photo (c) 2010, Mike Traverse - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Because he won threepoles in 1983, Rudd was eligible for the 1984 Busch Clash. Rudd was running fifth15 lapsinto race when coming off of turn four contact was made between Rudd and Jody Ridley sending Rudd's Ford spinning into the infield grass. Rudd's car hit a piece of the grass right before pit lane and got airborne. Rudd's car flipped six times in every direction. It was a scary accident. Emergency workers raced to the scene.

The #15 Wrangler Ford sat there all battered and torn apart. From the look of the work it appeared Rudd was okay. Rudd was taken away in an ambulanceand wentinto the infield care center. Ruddhas a badly swollen face from the incident.Doctors recommended Rudd not to race but Rudd wanted none of it. Rudd describes the next events in his own words.

"It was one of these deals where you do what you have to do. I didn't start off with that in mind. I was at Daytona and had a pretty big wreck in the Bud Shootout it was the Busch Clash then came back, and we had a day off because it rained, came back to the racetrack, I guess a day had gone by since we had actually been in the wreck, went out in the race car. I didn't know if it was an inner-ear distortion problem, trauma to the inner ear, or whatever, but my balance mechanism went kind of haywire and everything would go dark when I went into the corner.

My face was swollen really badly, looked like I had been beat up pretty bad by somebody much bigger than me, it wasn't really hard to think about it. I looked at my face. I could hardly open my eyes to begin with.They were like little slits. What was happening was that I was going into the corner and the vertical g-load at Daytona is not a whole lot, but it's probably a G and a half, two Gs vertical max, but everything was going dark and it was mainly like shutting your eyes.So I knew I had to do something. I had to fix it, so there was some duct tape up on the toolbox. The guys were changing the spark plugs, I said, 'Let me go back and try this again.'

I never told them I was uncomfortable. I went around there wide-open but I never told them I was really uncomfortable in the car. I went and got a roll of duct tape. I didn't have Band-Aids. I would have used Band-Aids, but I didn't have any. But the duct taped it right there, so I just kind of took all the extra skin and taped it to my eyelid and taped it up to my forehead and put my helmet on and went on."

It was a remarkable feat. Being able to compete in a Winston Cup car with a face that bruised was something special. Rudd finished seventh in the Daytona 500 but what he did at the Miller High Life 400 the following week was remarkable.

Rudd went out and band-aid his eyes open the next week, as his face was still swollen from the accident. He led 36 laps and won a fierce battle with Darrell Waltrip for his fourth career win.

It was an impressive finish and it's one of the memories that gave Ricky Rudd the nickname "ironman."

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Charles Ray Stocks
6 years ago
222 posts

he was a very tough man and a great race driver and i admired his abilities in a racecar

Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,132 posts

Bumping up for the 31st anniversary of Ricky's hometown win for Bud Moore following his horrendous Daytona crash - below. What a blessing that he didn't hit the no SAFER Barrier concrete wall.

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
5 years ago
4,029 posts

From Getty Images

From Getty Images

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Jay Coker
5 years ago
177 posts