The Earnhardt Connection - Race Reports
Las Vegas 400
|The Earnhardt Connection|
|Race:||Las Vegas 400|
|Date:||March 1, 1998|
|Track:||Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|Laps Completed:||267 of 267|
|Stories:||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.
Dale entered the race 2nd in points after a mediocre finish in the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 400.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:||"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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