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Ex-Indy Driver Walther Sentenced

September 26, 1998

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) _ A former Indianapolis 500 race driver was sentenced to six months of drug treatment and three years’ probation for trying to smuggle a painkiller into jail.

David ``Salt″ Walther, 50, of the Dayton suburb of Oakwood, turned himself in at the Warren County Jail on Thursday. An arrest warrant had been issued Tuesday when he did not show for sentencing.

Walther pleaded guilty in August to trying to smuggle three Tylenol III tablets into jail. The prescription painkiller contains codeine.

Judge Daniel Fedders said Friday he was sending Walther to a community correction center but misbehavior will result in a year in prison.

``It’s still not too late to get your life in order,″ Fedders said.

Authorities said a corrections officer caught Walther in May trying to sneak the Tylenol tablets into his cell. He had the drug inside a glove he wears to protect a hand badly burned during a 1973 crash at Indianapolis Speedway.

At the time, he was serving four months for failing to pay $8,500 in child support.

Walther raced professionally for more than 10 years and competed in several Indianapolis 500 races. His last appearance at Indianapolis came in 1979 when he finished 12th.

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