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1999 Dura-Lube/Big K 400

Race: Dura-Lube/Big K 400 (Race No. 2)
Date: February 21, 1999
Track: North Carolina Motor Speedway
Qualified: 18th
Finished: 41st
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 275 of 393
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 2/17
Points Earned: 40
Money Earned: $36,725


Earnhardt wrecks, finishes 41st   Feb. 21
Dale Earnhardt accompanied his second place finish in Daytona last week with a disappointing 41st place run on Sunday in the Dura-Lube/Big K 400 at Rockingham.  Dale Earnhardt among a few others used the opening laps to try the rugged high line to advance in the field.  After an unusually "okay" qualifying run, the black 3 advanced ten spots from 18th to eighth in the first 20 laps.

The track, notorious for its tire wear was all the uglier because of cooler than normal temperatures.  Dale began experiencing handling problems, faded out of the top-20 and was lapped.

The race's second caution came out when the No. 9 Cartoon Network car spun out on the frontstretch.  Earnhardt slowed down for the caution going into turn 1 and lost control of his car which then struck the wall.  Earnhardt said the car suddenly jerked toward the wall for no apparent reason.  The right side of Dale's car was badly damaged and Earnhardt limped back to the garage area with a broken tie rod among the car's problems.

Earnhardt never made it back onto the track and finished a dismal 41st, two positions higher than last (43rd).

"We just wasn't handling all day long," said Earnhardt, "we had a big push."

Rockingham Update  Feb. 19
Dale Earnhardt was 19th quickest in first practice and 13th quickest in the second practice session for Sunday's Dura-Lube/Big K 400 in Rockingham.  Qualifying was scheduled to begin Friday but has been postponed until Saturday at 10:45 a.m. ET Saturday, with Bud Second-Round Qualifying canceled.


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