Earnhardt places 12th in California May 2
Dale Earnhardt was unable to back up his Talladega win last week with
a California 500 win on Sunday.
The Intimidator, looking to win his second straight race, fell a lap down and couldn't
make up the distance, finishing 12th at the California 500 presented by NAPA.
Earnhardt led laps 83 through 85 of 250 as green flag pit stops went on, but ran out of fuel and lost considerable track position in the process.
The loss left him struggling at the end of the lead lap, before finally succumbing to race
leaders Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton.
Earnhardt used the final 115 laps to move from 14th to 12th. He
raced himself back onto the lead lap at one point, but was not able to keep himself there.
By leading those laps, Earnhardt ran in front for only the second time in 1999.
Jeff Gordon went on to win his third race of the season
and his second California 500 victory in three years.
Earnhardt dropped from ninth to 11th in the Winston Cup points standings with his 12th
Qualifying cancelled, Earnhardt
starts 9th May 1
Both rounds of qualifying for this
weekend's California 500 by NAPA have been wiped out by rain. The starting field for
Sunday's race has been determined by owner points and entry postmark dates. The Richard
Childress owned GM Goodwrench Service No. 3 Monte Carlo sits ninth in the points, meaning
Earnhardt will start Sunday's event from the ninth position.
Rain also washed out Winston Cup practice on Friday at California
Speedway. Teams were, however, able to get in two rounds of practice on Saturday.
Earnhardt was only 36th quickest in practice session one. He was 27th quickest in
"Happy Hour" practice. The race is Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ABC.