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1999 TranSouth Financial 400

Race: TranSouth Financial 400 (Race No. 5)
Date: March 21, 1999
Track: Darlington Raceway
Qualified: 30th
Finished: 25th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 163 of 164 (293-lap race was shorted by rain)
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 18/20
Points Earned: 88
Money Earned: $37,020


Earnhardt finishes 25th in Darlington 
Mar. 21
Dale Earnhardt finished 25th in the rain-disturbed TranSouth Financial 400 in Darlington.  This is the third race of the season that rain has interfered with.  The 293-lap event was cut short after only 164 laps.  Ironically, Earnhardt has wrecked in all three events this season that have had rain delays: Rockingham, Atlanta and now Darlington.  Early in the race, around lap four, Dale got caught up in a wreck triggered when Rick Mast got a flat tire.  Ken Schrader checked up and received a slight bump from Steve Park, sending Schrader out of control.  As Schrader was sliding down the track, Earnhardt hit him.  Earnhardt's damage was minor; mainly a kicked in grill and some minor sheet metal damage.  During the first rain delay the crew made a plastic cover to place over the grill and help the damaged aerodynamics of the car.  Later in the race a second red-flag came out again for rain.  The race was called after this flag and Dale finished 25th.  Jeff Burton came away as the winner.
More to follow.

Earnhardt is 10th in Saturday practice 
Mar. 20
Dale Earnhardt may have found a setup that will allow him to run up front this weekend.  During the first practice session on Saturday Dale posted the 10th quickest lap with a speed of 164.865 MPH.  Jeff Gordon was ninth quickest during that practice.  Yesterday Earnhardt struggled in qualifying.  Today, he choose not to re-qualify in second-round and will start the race from 30th.  Dale will however be forced to pit on the backstretch pits.

Earnhardt qualifies 30th in Darlington 
Mar. 19
Earnhardt qualified 30th on Friday during first-round qualifying for Sunday's TranSouth Financial 400 in Darlington with a lap of 170.324 MPH.

According to team owner, Richard Childress, the key to any good run at Darlington is getting a good lap in time trials. "Qualifying, qualifying, qualifying," said Childress. "I haven't said that enough this week. To have a great Sunday, you have to have a good Friday, and by that I mean making a Top 20 starting position. Things happen very quick at Darlington, and the further back you start the more likely you're going to get into trouble. We've had our share of trouble already."

"This is a long season, and every lap counts," said Earnhardt, who wrecked last weekend at Atlanta finishing 33rd. "We've had two Top 10 finishes and two not so good finishes. We need to get back in the Top 10 and Top 5 finishes on a consistent basis, that's the only way to win the championship."

Earlier on Friday Earnhardt had posted the 20th quickest speed in first practice and 28th quickest in second practice.  Second-round qualifying and two more sessions of practice will be held on Saturday at the track.   The TranSouth Financial 400 begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Earnhardt, Darlington made for each other 
Mar. 18
Romeo and Juliet? Nah. Bonnie and Clyde? Closer. Dale Earnhardt and Darlington? Perfect fit.  Full Story.


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