October 4, 1997 in Sports

Wallace Pays Really Heavy Fine

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Rusty Wallace paid his blankety-blank $5,000 fine to NASCAR yesterday, and enjoyed a bit of payback.

Fined for uttering an expletive during a postrace radio interview Monday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Wallace hired an armored truck to deliver 500,000 pennies to the garage area at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m paying my fine to you in something that has some weight,” Wallace said to NASCAR president Bill France Jr. As the media recorded the moment, Wallace added, “All you guys, never say (bleep), at least not on the radio.”

Wallace was miffed after the race because NASCAR had penalized him for jumping a restart while in the lead with 22 laps remaining. He was black-flagged and ordered to the pits for a stop-and-go penalty. Wallace finished 15th in his No.2 Miller Lite Ford Thunderbird.

Thursday, Wallace was cited for “actions detrimental to automobile racing” by NASCAR officials.

Asked what he thought about the method of payment, France said, “It’s a lot of pennies. And pennies are money.”

Wallace was unaware that NASCAR already had received a check for $5,000, but France went along with the gag, accepting the shipment with a smile.

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