The Earnhardt Connection - Race Reports

Race Report for:
Las Vegas 400
The Earnhardt Connection

Race: Las Vegas 400
Date: March 1, 1998
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Qualified: 26th
Finished: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267 of 267
Points Earned: 147
Money Earned: INCOMPLETE
Stories: gdot.gif (833 bytes)This weekend marked the inaugural Las Vegas 400. In testing prior to the event, drivers stated that Las Vegas was very competitive, with cars able to go 4-wide! Millions of fans anticipated the race.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)Dale entered the race 2nd in points after a mediocre finish in the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 400.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)The race was not what it was made out to be. First off, ABC was over-concerned about covering a basketball game. They were supposed to begin there coverage at 2:30, but with the basketball game, ABC was lucky to get coverage started at 2:50. ABC has a chance to redeem itself at next week's race at Atlanta.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)Little action occurred on the track. The race's two most exciting moments were the race's two cautions. Fans were lucky just to see 2-wide racing, much less 4-wide racing.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)As expected, post-race comment was directly proportional to the manufacturer's hat one was wearing. Chevy teams pleaded for downforce, while Ford teams stated that it was too early in the season to make a judgement regarding the manufactures. On Monday NASCAR will conduct wind tunnel tests to further appraise the dilemma.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)Earnhardt's pit crew showed great improvement form the previous weekend. The team punched out pit stops in the 18-second range all day long, compared to last weeks 21-second stops.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)In a late pit stop, Earnhardt's crew elected to take only 2 tires. The decision proved crucial to their 8th place finish. Before the stop, Earnhardt had been running around 11th through 15th place. After the stop, Dale was in the top-3, where he remained for a few laps until he was easily overtaken by a motorcade of Fords.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)Dale maintained his second place position in the points standings. He is surrounded by Rusty Wallace (1st in points) and Jeremy Mayfield (3rd in points). The series next heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Last year's race at the recently re-configured facility proved to be fast but boring.

Post-Race Quotes: wdot.gif (833 bytes)"It's just a bad deal when you put out everything you do and everybody is working their hearts out and the rules are just this unbalanced," said team owner Richard Childress. "It isn't even close to being an even deal."
Related Articles: Results: Las Vegas 400

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