| February 16, 1986 (1986-02-16)|
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Temperatures reaching up to 71.1 °F (21.7 °C); wind speeds approaching 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)
148.124 miles per hour (238.382 km/h)
The 1986 Daytona 500, the 28th running of the event, was held February 16 at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Defending race winner Bill Elliott won the pole for the second year in a row, and Geoffrey Bodine won the race.
1986 Daytona 500 Wikipedia
70-J. D. McDuffie
On lap 116, a major accident (such crashes are now known as "The Big One") in turn 4 involved several cars, including some contenders for the win. 1980 winner Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett (already several laps down after earlier problems), defending race winner Bill Elliott, Tommy Ellis, Harry Gant, Kyle Petty, Joe Ruttman, Lake Speed, & four-time 500 winner Cale Yarborough were involved in the crash, but Elliott, Ellis, Petty, and Speed were able to continue the race.
Geoff Bodine won this race on fuel mileage after engaging in a long feud with Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt was forced to pit for gas with three laps to go, then blew the engine leaving the pits. This allowed Bodine to cruise to victory by a margin of over 11 seconds.
It was the first of many hard luck finishes for Dale Earnhardt that would last until the 1998 race.
Prior to the race, the drivers paid tribute to the astronauts who were killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which was several miles away from the track 19 days ago. They would do so again for the 2003 Daytona 500, which took place two weeks after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
- 5-Geoff Bodine*
- 44-Terry Labonte
- 11-Darrell Waltrip
- 8-Bobby Hillin, Jr.
- 55-Benny Parsons
- 98-Ron Bouchard
- 4-Rick Wilson
- 27-Rusty Wallace
- 1-Sterling Marlin
- 75-Lake Speed