Earnhardt continues recent reawakening
with a sixth in Richmond Sept. 11
Dale Jr. finishes 10th
Dale Earnhardt's run in the Exide 400 on Saturday
night at Richmond was a continuation of his recent string of steady finishes. Lately, Dale
has been showing some of the same consistency that helped win him seven Winston Cup
titles. He's still not a threat to win every race, but with the help of crew chief Kevin
Hamlin, he seems to be working diligently towards that goal. Including Richmond, Earnhardt
has recorded nine top-10 finishes in his last eleven starts.
Four laps into the Exide 400, Earnhardt had moved from his 33rd starting spot up
to 27th. Eight laps in, he was up to 24th.
Earnhardt Jr. also ran in the Exide 400. He started his fourth Winston Cup race of the
season from 21st and moved quickly into the top 15 within 10 laps from the start.
The first caution came out when Terry Labonte wrecked hard when his tire went down. During
Earnhardt's pit stop under the caution, Dale wanted a rubber in his right rear spring but
crew chief Kevin Hamlin disagreed, saying it would take too long. Dale came out of his
first pit stop 17th.
In the middle part of the race Dale hung mostly between 15th and 20th.
Later, after a slow pit stop Earnhardt was 28th. He worked up to 19th, while Dale Jr. was
20th. The two Earnhardts stayed 19th and 20th for awhile, even doing a little racing with
With 185 laps to go Dale was 11th. A few laps later he got 10th, and a few more
later he got 9th spot.
On lap 241, an accident involving Ron Hornaday and Mike Wallace brought out the fifth
yellow flag. The leaders pitted and Earnhardt came back on the track in 10th spot.
On the restart, Dale moved from 10th to 9th. Continuing to move forward, Earnhardt gave
Dale Jarrett a little bump. Jarrett got loose and lost several spots, while Earnhardt
passed on the inside.
"We got the car in pretty good shape and then I got tapped (by Dale Earnhardt) and
the only thing that didn't surprise me about that was who did it," Jarrett said after
Earnhardt was up to 7th spot when he came up on Mark Martin. Dale got by Mark for 6th spot
and moved in line behind Steve Park, who was in 5th.
Caution came out when Dale Jr. bumped Jimmy Spencer on lap 304 and Spencer hit the wall
with the driver side of his car.
"He got a little loose, Dale did, and he tried to correct it and I was outside and he
bumped me," said Spencer, who finished 37th after the incident. "I don't think
he meant anything by it. We were all just driving real hard. It was just unfortunate we
all had to be involved. I had a top-10 car. You know the thing is, accidents happen and
nobody intends on them to happen. We weren't good enough to win, but we had a solid top-10
car. No question about it. I'm not mad at anybody. That's part of racing."
Dale Earnhardt came in to pit with the leaders under the caution from Spencer's wreck.
Earnhardt's car was a little loose. The crew changed all four tires and made an
adjustment, as they had done most of the night, but had a somewhat slow stop and Dale came
out of the pits 9th, loosing three spots from where he came in.
In the closing laps, Dale got by Mark Martin, Kenny Irwin and others moving from 7th, to
6th, to 5th. The last few laps, Earnhardt battled side-by-side for fifth position with
Irwin. But coming to the checkered flag, Irwin got the spot from Earnhardt, so the
"Intimidator" had to settle for 6th place. Dale Jr. also had a solid run,
picking up the 10th finishing spot.
Again, Earnhardt has been showing promise lately. He has recorded 12 top-10s and four
top-5s in his last 18 starts, dating back to his win at Talladega earlier this season. In
those 18 starts, he has only finished outside the top-20 once.
Earnhardt remains 7th in points. He carries a substantial 288-point lead over Rusty
Wallace, who is 8th. Earnhardt trails Jeff Gordon, 6th in the standings, by 108
Childress feels good about No. 3's future Sept.
Despite a bad day in Darlington, S.C., Dale Earnhardt's
resurgence has a lot of NASCAR people buzzing. The 48-year-old is riding the crest of
eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts. Full Story.
Earnhardt can't cut top-25, qualifies 33rd
Dale Earnhardt could only muster enough speed from his
RCR Chevy for the 33rd position in first-round qualifying on Friday in Richmond. Second
round qualifying is Saturday at 2 p.m. The Exide 400 is Saturday at 7:30 p.m.