Earnhardt finishes 13th in Atlanta
To many fans, the NAPA 500 was like the
entire 1998 season condensed into one race. It dragged on, Jeff Gordon won and
Earnhardt's run was typical as of late ... mediocre.
Starting 37th, Dale was up to 29th in just 11 laps. By lap 80 he was in the top-15.
On lap 192 drivers made pit stops under a mandatory caution by NASCAR. Mike
Skinner, Todd Bodine, Dale and a few others took only two tires and exited the pits first.
Skinner led the restart followed by Dale. Taking two tires proved to be bad
choice. Dale slipped all the way back to 13th where he finished. The race was
shortened to 221 laps. Rain delayed the race.
More to follow.
Earnhardt to start 37th in Atlanta 11-7-98
Dale Earnhardt will start in 37th spot
after using a provisional.
He qualified 38th on Friday during first-round qualifying at Atlanta making it 21 times in
1998 that he has qualified outside the top-25 (63% of the races). He ran a lap of
188.424 MPH. The race is Sunday at 12:40 p.m. EDT.
Dale Earnhardt's qualifying woes continued on Friday. The seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup
champion, who has more career victories at Atlanta than any other driver in NASCAR Winston
Cup history (eight), could do no better than 38th out of 48 cars on Friday with a best lap
of 188.424 mph.
Earnhardt's best qualifying effort in recent weeks was fifth at Daytona. He hasn't,
however, qualified in the top-10 besides that since July at Pocono, when he put his No. 3
GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet on the outside of Row 5 for the Pennsylvania 500.
"It was too tight," Earnhardt said of his qualifying effort. "I don't know
what the new rules are going to do in the race. I've run three laps on this track. We blew
a motor, so I don't know what we've got. We'll just have to give it some time."
Earnhardt journeys to Atlanta 11-4-98
The Winston Cup series heads to Atlanta
Motor Speedway this weekend for the final points-race of the 1998 season. Earnhardt
sits eighth in the standings where he has been for the past 12 races. He is 45
points ahead of Terry Labonte who is ninth in the standings. With a finish of eighth
or better in the race he will clinch the eighth points position, regardless of Labonte's
finish in the race. Earnhardt is Atlanta's winningest driver with eight wins; four
each in the spring and fall races. In 41 starts in Atlanta Earnhardt has 24
top-fives. Last year he finished 16th in this race.