Aug 3, 1996
Dale Earnhardt, who suffered a broken collarbone and damaged sternum in a wreck at Talladega six days earlier, turned over his car to Mike Skinner, a relief driver, at the first yellow flag, five laps after the start. Because Earnhardt started the race, the points earned by Skinner for his cautious 15th-place finish were credited to Earnhardt, who is now second in the title race, 61 points behind Labonte and 2 ahead of Jarrett.
Earnhardt knew he was in no shape to race 400 miles, but he still felt separation anxiety. ''It's hard to get out of there,'' he told a television interviewer as Skinner drove away. ''It's my life.''