Earnhardt races to 9th-place
finish in Sonoma June 27
Dale Earnhardt had a near race-ending mishap with Ken Schrader on Sunday at
Sears Point but survived to finish ninth behind winner Jeff Gordon.
Earnhardt had moved from 23rd to 16th just 10
laps into the race. Shortly following the first pit stops of the day, Earnhardt was up in
|Dale Earnhardt and Ken
Schrader had another on-track incident Sunday in Sonoma.
Then the mishap occurred. Going into a turn, Bill Elliott got loose. Earnhardt
went high and checked up to avoid him, but Ken Schrader (who was behind Earnhardt) failed
to slow down and bumped Earnhardt.
The "Intimidator" was somehow able to
maintain control of his GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet, yet dropped to 39th position
after spinning out.
Dale raced back from 39th to 28th
within eight laps after the spin. His fierce battle
resolve on the road course came through, as he continued to fight his way back through the
field to finish a respectable ninth.
qualifies 23rd at Sears Point June 25
Dale Earnhardt turned a lap
in 01:12.518 at an average speed of 96.754 mph in Bud Pole Qualifying on Friday, good for
23rd place in the starting lineup for Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350 at Sears Point
"I just didn't get up the hill like I wanted to," Earnhardt explained.
Earnhardt, who won here in 1995, last won the pole at Sonoma in 1993.
Earnhardt needs to flex his muscles on the 1.95-mile, 10-turn road course this weekend if
he wants to get back in the Winston Cup championship race. The Intimidator is currently
seventh, trailing Dale Jarrett by 475 points. He has one win, two top-fives and eight
top-10s in 15 races this season.