Earnhardt finishes 9th in Atlanta
Dale Earnhardt looked ready to
get a top-five finish Sunday after moving from sixth to fourth following the race's final
restart. Unfortunately, he couldn't stay there, and faded to finish 9th behind teammate
Earnhardt started the race 36th, and after about 25 laps, he
was up to 26th. After the first pit stops of the day, Dale was in 21st. He later raced
into the top-10, where he ran frequently throughout the day.
The No. 3 team had a new pit crew member for Atlanta. While the series was in town, Ned
Yost, the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves and longtime NASCAR fan, worked in the
pit stall of Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 Chevrolets Sunday. He served as the team's second
The 1999 year was definitely not a dream season for the Intimidator, but it was a step
back in the right direction. Dale has three wins, seven top-5s and 21 top-10s this year,
compared to one win, five top-5s and 13 top-10s in 1998. Although Dale's qualifying hasn't
improved too much from 1998, he has noticeably improved his consistency. In the 22 races
from the first Talladega race to the second Talladega race, Earnhardt earned 15 top-10s
and finished lower than 13th only three times.
Coming into Atlanta, Dale knew that he had nothing to loose or
gain in the points standings. He was locked in 7th between Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace.
He will visit the stage in December at the Winston Cup awards banquet for finishing in the
top-10 in points, the ninth time he has done so in the 1990's.
Final 1999 Season Graph: Small Size - Large
Earnhardt will start 36th in Atlanta Nov. 20
Dale Earnhardt will start 36th in the season-finale NAPA 500
"We just need to go a little faster," said Earnhardt on Friday. "We've been
off a little bit all day, but we'll get to work on it and be ready to run when they drop
the green flag on Sunday."
Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett will sport metallic-looking paint schemes
this weekend to celebrate the NAPA 500 as the final race of the century.
Atlanta's winningest driver with eight wins -- four each in the spring and fall races. In
42 starts at the track, Earnhardt has posted 24 top-fives. He has held the race record at
Atlanta since 1995 when he won the race with an average speed of 163.633 mph.
Earnhardt will wear
metallic look in Atlanta Sept. 21
Dale Earnhardt, along with four other NASCAR drivers, will
celebrate the close of the century by sporting metallic paint schemes in the final Busch
Grand National race and final Winston Cup race of the 1999 season. Rusty Wallace, Dale
Jarrett and Earnhardt will sport the metallic look in the Winston Cup series NAPA 500 at
Atlanta, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Atwood will drive metallic looking cars in the
Busch series Miami 300 at Homestead.