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Pepsi 400

Pepsi 400

Race: Pepsi 400
Date: October 17, 1998
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Qualified: 5th
Finished: 10th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: __ of __
Points Position Before Race/After Race: 8/8
Points Earned: NA
Money Earned: $NA


Earnhardt places disappointing 10th in Pepsi 400 10-17-98
Dale Earnhardt looked like the car to beat in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 until he ran into pit troubles in the second half of the race.  He ran into a tire from No. 18 car on pit road.  The front air dam was dented in a couple feet, giving him a huge aerodynamic disadvantage.  The team tried time after time throughout the rest of the rest to repair it.  Earnhardt felt the car was pretty good again around the last dozen laps, but he was unable to charge to the front with the traffic being bad.  NASCAR red-flagged the race with 5 laps to go.  On the restart Dale moved up from 12th to 10th, where he finished.

Dale Earnhardt led 41 laps but his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet slammed an errant tire on pit road and stove in the front air dam on the car. At that, he was lucky to come back for a 10th place finish.

"I hit that tire on pit road and that's what cost us," the Daytona 500 winner said. "We had a really good car up to then. The guys worked their tails off to get us back out there and try to do something with 'em, but it just wasn't meant to be.   The luck's not going our way right now, but it'll change and we'll get 'em."

Earnhardt seeks historic Daytona double

If Earnhardt is victorious on Saturday, he will join an elite group as one of only five drivers in Daytona's 40-year history to turn the "Daytona Double," winning the Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400 in the same year.   Whole Story.

Earnhardt qualifies 5th for Pepsi 400

The first official competition under the lights at Daytona took place Thursday night when 49 drivers shot for a solid starting position for Saturday night's Pepsi 400.  The race was meant to be run three months ago on the Fourth of July but Florida's wildfires postponed the event.   Earnhardt was the first car to qualify, posting a lap of 191.783 MPH.   Earnhardt will start fifth after he was later surpassed by Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Terry Labonte.  This is Earnhardt's third top-5 qualifying position of the season -- the others were a fourth in the Daytona 500 and a second in the DieHard 500 in Talladega.

"One and two is just a bear to drive," said Dale after qualifying.   "Three and four aren't too awfully bad, but one and two is just awful to drive through there bottoming out. You've got to get down on that racetrack to go fast. It's pretty neat to be the first car to qualify under the lights. It's a great honor. We picked up from practice. I think a lot of guys are going to pick up. It's cooler, and I don't think the air has gotten as heavy as everybody thought it would with the night air. It's going to be fast. This is a brand new car. We're trying to duplicate that car in the museum (Daytona 500 winner) and this is getting even closer."

Earnhardt was the 12th fastest car in practice on Thursday afternoon.  Dale has a record 31 victories at the speedway, including the 1990 and 1993 Pepsi 400s.
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