The Earnhardt Connection - Race Reports

Race Report for:
Gatorade Twin 125's (Race #2)
The Earnhardt Connection

Race: Gatorade Twin 125 Qualifying Race #2
Date: February 12, 1998
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Qualified: 2nd
Finished: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 50 of 50
Points Earned: 0 (This was a non-points event.)
Money Earned: Unknown (This information was not released.)
Summary: The Bud Shootout Qualifying Race consisted of all drivers who qualified with the with fastest speed during 2nd round qualifying in 1997. In other words, every driver who qualified 26th last year was in the field. The winner of qualifying race got to transfer into The Bud Shootout. The Bud Shootout was composed of all drivers who won a pole in 1997. At the start of the Bud Shootout Qualifying Race, Sterling Marlin, Dale, and Greg Sacks, respectively, grabbed the top 3 spots. The trio of drivers separated themselves from the rest of the pack. At lap 10, drivers stopped for a mandatory pit stop. The rules required that a minimum of two tires be changed on each car. The Richard Childress crew put together a satisfactory pit stop, but Dale's car stalled as he tried to pull out of his pit space. As a result, Dale fell form 2nd place to 8th place. Once the cars were back on the track, Dale stormed forward, closing a big gap between himself and Lake Speed. The top 5 cars were now running single file, with Earnhardt in 5th. Then, Brett Bodine, who was running 2nd, got caught on the outside. "Hung out to dry", Brett helplessly slipped to 5th place. Next, Lake Speed and Dale teamed up on Sterling Marlin, who was running in 2nd. Sterling fell to 4th. Then, Marlin lost the draft, separating the top 3 cars from the rest of the field. The order was Jimmy Spencer, Lake Speed, and Dale Earnhardt. Dale tried numerous times in the last several laps to get into the lead from 3rd spot. But without drafting help, he ended the race in 3rd. It was the first time since 1992 that Dale failed to make the Bud Shootout. Dale is the winningest driver in The Bud Shootout (formerly known as the Bush Clash) with 6 victories.
Quotes: "That was a heck of a race," Earnhardt said. "I played the cards but I played them a little wrong. I think I should have bet on Sterling instead of the 9. You've got to have a lot of help in the draft and work with the cars. Looking back at it I'd like to have Sterling's experience working with me other than the 9."
Related Articles: Results: Bud Shootout Qualifying Race

1998 Unimount Enterprises