Earnhardt grabs top-10 in ACDelco 400
Earnhardt continued what is
becoming somewhat of a late season charge with a strong 9th place finish in Sunday's
ACDelco 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Dale now has three straight top-10
finishes including last week's third in Phoenix and his tenth-place performance two weeks
ago in Daytona.
Earnhardt started 29th but, as was the case last week in Phoenix, he made up for his poor
qualifying position with aggressive driving. By lap 100 he was running in the
Earnhardt remained quiet over the radio during most of the race, as usual, according to
crew chief Kevin Hamlin. Hamlin said that only a few minor changes were made to the
car during the race.
Dale experimented with several different groves on the race track but was most often found
running a very high line just about a foot from the outside wall.
By lap 155 Dale was 7th. On lap 187 he was up to 5th. On lap 226 he passed
Rusty Wallace for fourth.
Earnhardt became the tenth driver to lead on lap 270 when he stayed out on the track while
the leaders pitted. After leading for several laps he made his pit stop, taking 4
tires and fuel and completing the pit cycle. Earnhardt was then ninth.
He got as high as sixth following that but was never able to move into the top-5 for the
rest of the race.
Makes a Charge, Finishes Ninth at ACDelco 400
Sun, Nov 01, 1998
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (SCN Sunday, November
01, 1998) - For the second straight week, Dale Earnhardt rebounded from a poor starting
position to make a strong run on race day, this time finishing ninth in the ACDelco 400 at
Rockingham on Sunday.
Earnhardt, who started the race from the 29th position, drove himself into the lead
with 123 laps remaining as the leaders pitted under a green flag. He stayed in front for
eight laps before coming in to pit himself.
When he returned to the track, Earnhardt found himself in ninth. The Intimidator moved
himself as far up as seventh, but wasn't able to catch the lead group over the final 50
Jeff Gordon earned his fourth victory at Rockingham, passing Rusty Wallace with nine
laps remaining for the win and clinching his third Winston Cup championship in the last
four years in the process.
Dale Jarrett got by Wallace for second place, with Jeff Burton and Mark Martin rounding
out the top-5.
Earnhardt Rockingham Advance
Courtesy Champion Sports Group
Dale Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team have gone to victory lane three
times at North Carolina Speedway. Earnhardt's first win came in the 1987 Goodwrench 500;
He clinched his seventh NASCAR Winston Cup championship in 1994 by winning the ACDelco
500, and won his 69th Winston Cup race during the 1996 GM Goodwrench Service 400.
With a third place finish last week at Phoenix, Arizona, the
GM Goodwrench Service Plus team is coming off one of their best runs this year on an
intermediate track. The RCR team is looking forward to the final two races on the
schedule, Rockingham and Atlanta. Between the two remaining tracks, Earnhardt and the GM
Goodwrench Service Plus team have won 11 Winston Cup races. In fact, Earnhardt holds the
record for most races won (8) at Atlanta.
GM Goodwrench Service Plus/Richard Childress Racing
"Flying Aces" will be one of the teams trying to get into victory lane Saturday
in the annual UNOCAL Pit Crew Championship. The RCR team hail as the only team to win the
event four consecutive years, from 1985 to 1988.
"You can't start a year any better than we did at
Daytona," said Earnhardt. "We haven't had the consistency needed to be in the
fight for the championship. We want to win another race before we are finished with 1998.
That's our goal, to get back into victory lane."
"It was a good feeling to finish in the top three,"
said Richard Childress. "We need to finish out the year strong and gain some momentum
to get through the winter. We know where we struggled and where we need to improve. If bad
luck was worth anything we'd make Bill Gates look broke."
"If we pit on the front stretch we have a good chance of
winning," said Kevin Hamlin. "It's a disadvantage being back there. They try to
make it even, but it's not that easy. We need to have a good Friday, to have a great