A TUMS’ “FightS back fast”MOMENT
(For each of the 36 races during the 2011 Sprint Cup season, TUMS will provide a brief historical recap of a moment when a driver or team fought back to overcome an obstacle, one that can easily be described as a TUMS “Fights Back Fast” Moment. This week, the focus is on Richmond International Raceway).
Neil Bonnett Recovers from Injury To Win at Richmond
The date was February 21, 1988. Neil Bonnett, driving a Pontiac owned by RAHMOC Racing’s Bob Rahilly and Butch Mock, ended a 16-month winless drought by taking the final checkered flag on the old .542-mile short track. The following year, Richmond International Raceway was reconstructed to the three-quarter-mile banked track used today.
NOTE: TUMS is the sponsor of the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, at Martinsville Speedway on October 30.
Bonnett’s win came during his second Sprint Cup (then Winston Cup) start since suffering a badly fractured leg in a crash at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October of 1987. The Alabama native was told his career was over, but he fought back through painful physical therapy over a six-month period to return to racing.
He was two laps down at Richmond with 175 laps remaining but battled hard to regain lost ground. He held off the challenges of Ricky Rudd during the final 47 laps and was ahead by 1.12 seconds at the finish.
Similar to how TUMS fights back fast, Bonnett fought back from his injury in 1987 to capture the final win at Richmond International Raceway before it underwent reconstruction.