Earnhardt wrecks, finishes 41st
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
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
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.