The Earnhardt Connection - Race Reports


Race Report for:
Food City 500
The Earnhardt Connection

Race: Food City 500
Date: March 29, 1998
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Qualified: 37th
Finished: 22nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 496 of 500
Points Earned: 97
Money Earned: $33,715
Stories: gdot.gif (833 bytes)Dale entered Bristol 3rd place in points after a 12th place finish in Darlington.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)The weather at Bristol was considerably warmer than usual.  Many drivers, including Earnhardt, were thrown off by this change.  Dale qualified miserably on Friday, and got into the field using a provisional.  He started in 37th position.   Earnhardt has qualified no better than 26th since starting on the outside of the second row at Daytona.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)At the start of the race, Dale steadily worked his way through the field.   By the time of the first round of pit stops, he was running in the top-20.   Pit stops and a poor handling car killed Earnhardt throughout the race.  His pit stall was again on the the backstretch because of his poor performance in qualifying.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)During one caution around lap 215, Dale elected not to pit while most others cars did.  When the race went back to green, Dale fell from 4th to 30th.  The leaders came around and easily lapped Dale.  Laps later, Dale communicated to his crew that the right rear tire of his Chevrolet was coming loose.   Earnhardt pulled into the pits for the crew to change the tires during the green flag.  When he came out of the pits he had fallen to 33rd position, 4 laps down.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)The race had 14 cautions.  It seemed like Dale was nearby during almost every one of them, yet he was never involved.  Earnhardt eventually finished the race four laps down in 22nd position.

gdot.gif (833 bytes)Earnhardt has followed his season-opening Daytona victory by finishing 17th, eighth, 13th, 12th, and 22nd.  Dale is now 6th place in the point standings, 1 point behind Bill Elliot in 5th place.  Next week the series will run the 2nd annual INTERSTATE Batteries 400 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Last year Earnhardt picked up a top-10 in that event.

Post-Race Quotes: wdot.gif (833 bytes)"Maybe we'll build another car to race with here before we come back," said Earnhardt.  "We just couldn't get anything going."
Related Articles: gdot.gif (833 bytes)Results: Food City 500

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