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1999 MBNA Platinum 400

Race: MBNA Platinum 400 (Race No. 13)
Date: June 6, 1999
Track: Dover Downs International Speedway
Qualified: 34th
Finished: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 389 of 400
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 7/7
Points Earned: 130
Money Earned: $49,510


Earnhardt finishes 11th in Dover June 6
Dale Earnhardt won seven Winston Cup championships by recognizing the need for change when it arises.

So, after finishing 11th Sunday in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway, Earnhardt said he discovered what needs altering.

"It was a pretty good day for us," he said. "I wish I could have got a little more, but at least we learned something for the next race here. I think we learned that we're probably going to bring back another car."

Even that might not be enough. Earnhardt has returned with plenty of new cars after losing efforts on The Monster Mile. He has three victories in 41 races at the track - the last in 1993.

Starting 34th, Earnhardt struggled with a tight handling car in the early stages of the race and was first lapped around lap 60. He eventually worked his way into the top-10, but being lapped could not move further forward. He finished in 11th, two laps down.

"It was a handful to start with, but we adjusted on it and got it better," said Earnhardt. "If we hadn't started that far back, maybe we wouldn't have got lapped. I think the track changed. I couldn't run on the bottom at first and then all of a sudden I could. I just took my time with the car because I couldn't rush it in the center of the corner."

So Earnhardt and the Monster Mile called it a draw after 400 miles. Earnhardt didn't get a top-10 finish, but by coming home 11th he came as close as he possibly could, holding his ground in the points chase all the while.

Pole-sitter Bobby Labonte inherited the lead with six laps remaining after Jeff Gordon was forced to pit for fuel, marking the second time in as many years that fuel mileage has determined his fate. Meanwhile, Labonte, who had taken on fuel under caution with 106 laps remaining, drove to his first victory of the season and the eighth of his career.

Gordon finished second as the only other car on the lead lap. Mark Martin was third, followed by Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett.

Earnhardt qualifies 31st for MBNA Platinum 400  June 4
Dale Earnhardt qualified 31st today in first-round Bud Pole qualifying for the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover.

Since finishing 40th and 25th at Atlanta and Darlington earlier this season, Dale Earnhardt has been on a blistering pace back toward the top of the Winston Cup standings.

Following his Darlington finish, Earnhardt dropped to 20th in the point standings.

Since Darlington, he has registered five top-10 finishes, including a win at Talladega and has moved to seventh in the standings, only three points behind sixth-place Ward Burton.

That's an increase of 13 positions over seven races.


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