Dave Fulton

Dale Earnhardt's 1st Bristol Race for Childress

Dale Earnhardt's first Bristol start for Richard Childress in August 1981 ended prematurely on lap 31 of 500 when Dale crashed our Wrangler Jeans Pontiac into the pit road guardrail while avoiding another car. These were the days before the big rigs were allowed in the Bristol infield and Dale and the team had 469 laps to think about the crash before they could leave. That's Richard Childress' brother, Ronnie with his hand on his hat brim. Photog Unknown.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   last year
NASCAR didn't have its "Pits Open" - "Pits Closed" deal back in 1981. But Dale pretty well closed Bristol's front pit road for them.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   last year
I had run out of budget money to make any more of our blue and yellow western cut Wrangler Racing shirts, so the Childress crew had to settle for plain yellow pullovers after Dale went to his 3rd car owner of the 1981 season. My Wrangler fiscal year budget ran from October 1 - September 30, so I was in a real $$$ bind when the August 1981 Bristol race came around.
Bob Coleman
@bob-coleman   8 months ago
I was at that race and almost got up and drove the 4 hours back to Concord, NC! I could never figure our why Dale was pitting 31 laps into the race. To the best of my memory, he was running pretty good.   And if you look close at Dale's face in the 2nd photo, you see the "Earnhardt stare" that will intimidate anyone that receives it. 
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   8 months ago
Definitely that rattling Earnhardt stare, Bob.
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