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News The Earnhardt Connection

Elway's victory inspires Earnhardt
SportsLine wire - '99 News

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 1999) -- John Elway's second consecutive victory in the Super Bowl gave Dale Earnhardt a little jolt of confidence as he began preparations to defend his victory in the Daytona 500.

"I was glad to see him win the Super Bowl for that reason alone," Earnhardt said of the Denver Broncos' quarterback, whose team beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in the big game last month.

EARNHARDT, WHO FAILED to win in his first 19 attempts, would be only the fourth driver to win NASCAR's most prestigious event twice in a row, joining Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty and Sterling Marlin.

"To be able to do that would be great," Earnhardt said Friday after finishing practice at Daytona International Speedway. "To start the season off on a winning note and get this team back into the feel of racing in the top five and racing for the championship is what I want to do."

Now that he has won the Daytona 500, Earnhardt's next big goal is a record eighth Winston Cup championship. In fact, his last title came in 1994.

LAST YEAR, HE FAILED TO WIN again after starting the season in victory lane, and he was out of the running for another title early, finishing a distant eighth in the points.

Referring to longtime car-owner Richard Childress, Earnhardt added, "Over the years I've raced with Richard, we've raced for the championship a lot of years. There weren't many years we were out of the running for it. We've got to get this turned around and get back in the running for it. Winning the race again would be a great start."