2000 Race Reports
Food City 500


Race: Food City 500 (Race No. 6)
Date: March 26, 2000
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Qualified: 11th
Finished: 39th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 346 of 500
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 3/5
Points Earned: 51 (including 5 bonus points)
Money Earned: $26,225


Earnhardt has bad luck at Bristol_3/26
Dale Earnhardt was one of the quickest cars today at Bristol Motor Speedway until an accident midway through the race ruined his chance at winning and left him with a season-worst 39th-place finish.

Dale, who started from 11th position, made contact with Elliott Saddler going in to turn one on the 2nd lap. Saddler spun while Dale Jr. was also collected in the accident.

On lap 40 Robby Gordon spun. Dale slowed down to keep from hitting Terry Labonte, but Bobby Labonte didn't slow down fast enough and ran into Earnhardt's rear bumper, causing Earnhardt to spin. Dale didn't hit anything and only had damage to his rear bumper. Earnhardt pitted with the leaders and was 22nd when the race resumed.

By lap 125 Dale was back in the top-10, in 9th position. After another pit stop, he raced up to 5th position where he had to good battle with Steve Park. Finally Dale passed Park for 4th spot, and then got by Bobby Labonte for 3rd and Jeremy Mayfield for 2nd. Next, Dale passed race leader Jeff Gordon to take the lead for the first time in the race on lap 206.

Only a couple of laps later, Kenny Irwin spun. Dale saw Irwin sitting in the middle groove of the race track and aimed his car for the low groove. But when Irwin started to slide back down the track, Earnhardt had to make a hard left to try and get by on the apron of the track. The right side of Dale's Chevy scraped Irwin and Dale spun back up the race track and into the Turn 4 wall.

Earnhardt said if Irwin had held "the brakes on I would have been all right. I'd done committed myself to the low side, and that's all I could do."

Hitting Irwin messed up the rear axle housing on the No. 3. When Dale drove his car off of the wall toward the pits, his right rear tire fell off as a result of the damage. Earnhardt limped the three-wheeled car behind the wall for repairs.

When he returned to racing, he was 153 laps down and out of contention. He finished 39th in his badly bruised Monte Carlo.

3/27/00 - Earnhardt is the man, but not for long - Dale Earnhardt had gotten the lead, and he didn't have to spin Terry Labonte to get it...

Scanner Reports
Thanks to these fans for sharing their reports from Bristol.

y maggie3-8 on March 27, 2000
Hi, guys, we're back home, had a great time, even though Dale didn't win. It is always exciting at Bristol, and you just have to plan on bad luck some of the time there. Hope it's out of the way for this year, now!
We got some autographs on Saturday, Rusty (yeah, yeah, I like him!), Park, Buckshot, Skinner (short line, there!).
Also got that poster ya'll were talking about a couple of weeks ago, from the Winston!
Got an ACDelco jacket for $60 at the cheap trailers, and a bunch of cars, too, especially happy about the Elmo Langley one.
I got to meet some of the EEBs, and that was cool, so nice to have faces for the names. I didn't get to stay and chat long, my dinner was being cooked up the street, but it was still nice!
One quick scanner note: after Jr and Dale bumped, Dale got on the radio, and said "Someone get over to that 8 car's pit, and tell him if he hits me again, he's gonna lose his fu@#in' job!" At least glad he's still passionate, even with a tore-up car.
I sure hope we have better luck this weekend.

y 2dales on March 27, 2000
After B. Labonte spun him...Dale said "Y'all loosen this thing up a bit and I'll tighten these belts and we'll get it back"
When Dale got to third place Robbie Loomis told Gordon "if that 3 car gets to second, don't hold him up cause we need to be there at the end"
When Dale got clipped by Irwin he said "I aint believin' this sh*#"

y tn3fan on March 28, 2000

we got to the speedway camping area on Thurday about 1:30 -the weather was great - Friday turned on scanner in the RV and listened to 1st. practice - Dale was around 16th. fastest and they decided to wait til 2nd. practice to dial in the car. I knew by listening and watching him qualify that Sunday was going to be interesting -he was joking with Danny Lawrence about some good looking woman wandering around the pit area. Saturday he sat on top of the GM hauler and coached Hornday - the crew called him "Big Daddy". He seemed relaxed and "full of himself" joking with the busch crew and Ron.
When they were making pre-race laps Dale was trying to set his pit road speed - they was some discrepancy and he said - ask Skinner what his is - they finally decided on 3400 rpms - when he got into the 21 car all he said was "dam, I hate that" - when 18 got into him he knew what was wrong with the car and told the crew what to do - then asked who hit him. The spotter acted like he didn't what to tell him - Dale finally said the 18 was behind me - the spotter came on and said Bobby said he was sorry, there was nothing he could do to avoid it - Dale said ok that's what happened with me and the 21.
As for the wreck that took him out of contention - i blame the spotter - he didn't say anything to Dale until he was right on top of the wreck - Dale hit the wall on the driver's side - the crew kept saying are you ok? scared me bad, finally RC said DALE, ARE YOU OK??
Dale had yea, I guess so and then proceed to tell them what was broke on the car. The incident with Jr. was interesting and Dale was livid - but then later on asked JR (his PR man) to find Jr. and see if he was going to ride home with him on the helicopter. Dale is back, make no mistake and yes he has that attitude and swagger - I can see #8 from here -
On a more personal note - @ 7 a.m. Sunday morning the police can knocking on the RV door - seems like there had been a "possible homocide" 3 rv's down from our camping spot and they were checking to see if you had seen or heard anything unusual - unusual @ bristol on a saturday night before a race - there was total partying everywhere - I look on the web for anything about this but couldn't find anything. It rained all the way home Monday so we lucked out on the weather.

3/24/00 - Earnhardt has knack for finding center stage - Some athletes have it, some don't. Winston Cup racing's version of this phenomenon is, of course, Dale Earnhardt.

Earnhardt qualifies 11th at Bristol
Today Dale Earnhardt earned another solid starting spot by qualifying 11th at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr., will start alongside in 12th position. Steve Park took the pole while setting a new track record.

"The car ran a good corner.," said Earnhardt. "When I got in the gas in every corner, it had a flutter in it like the carburetor was dumping over a little bit, so it was missing up off the corners and would clear out down the straightaways. It was a really good lap for the car not really running up to snuff. It drove good. We feel good about it for the race. I was really happy to see Steve Park hang on to the pole. That'll give that team a big boost."

Earnhardt on display again at Bristol_3/23
Crash, bang! What about an encore? Terry Labonte doesn't dwell on the time Dale Earnhardt virtually stole a victory from him last August at Bristol Motor Speedway. And The Intimidator sounds downright sheepish when asked about it. Full Story.

Copyright 2000 The Earnhardt Connection
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