2000 Race Reports
DirecTV 500

 

Race: DirecTV 500 (Race No. 7)
Date: April 2, 2000
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Qualified: 17th
Finished: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 334 of 334
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 5/4
Points Earned: 146
Money Earned: $108,750

Summary:

Earnhardts manages a 7th, Little E gets first win_4/2
Dale Earnhardt, the ageless one, pulled another rabbit out of his hat in Texas today. They brought a brand new race car, and without Happy Hour, they lost valuable time to dial the car in. Then he ran mediocre early, not outside the top 16 but not in the top 10.

When he got into the top 10 the problems started. Track position is key here, he needed to restart in the top 10 or 12 cars to have a shot at getting into the top 5. On one pit stop the crew had trouble with the right rear costing him 10 spots. He fell to 22nd and got up to 12th. He restarted 12th and then a tire went down so he fell to 20th. He then pitted under the yellow and charged from 20th to 8th or 9th.

Also, Earnhardt was penalized for speeding on his exit from pit road on lap 147, dropping him to the back of the longest line of traffic on another restart.

Then more problems -- the battery needed to be replaced on the 3 car, causing another lengthy pit stop. Instead of restarting in the top 10 and having a shot at the top 5 he had to restart 18th. He charged up into the top 10 again. Then he pitted for 4 fresh tires, he restarted 16th and had to work his way through lapped cars on the inside while the leaders cleared the lapped cars. He drove all the way up to 7th when it was all said and done.

Earnhardt had a lot of trouble but still was able to battle back for a good finish. He had a lousy pit stop, a tire going down, a speeding penalty, and battery problems. His good finish allowed him to surpass Dale Jarrett for fourth in the points after Jarrett wrecked.

Meanwhile, Dale Jr. led
106 of the 334 laps en route to his first Winston Cup victory. It was only his 12th Winston Cup start.

Dale Jr.'s win was a first step just like the one the father took with his first career victory on April 1, 1979, at Bristol. It was also the first father-son tandem to win in the same season since Bobby Allison and his son Davey Allison both won in 1988.

After the race, the elder Earnhardt parked his seventh-place car next to victory lane and strode purposefully to greet his son as both a parent and the owner of the winning Chevrolet. Earnhardt beat his son to victory lane and was waiting when the crew pushed in the No. 8 Chevrolet. Earnhardt leaned into the driver's window to greet the winner. Earnhardt Jr. climbed out, jumped on the car's roof and raised his arms in triumph. He jumped down into his father's waiting arms.

"I'll tell you, he's something else," Earnhardt said of his son. "We knew the kid could do it. The boy drove a good race."


Earnhardt 17th in qualifying at Texas
_3/31
Dale Earnhardt was 17th fastest in Friday qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway.


Earnhardt hopes to grab Texas by the horns_3/31
If anyone could master an ornery track like Texas Motor Speedway, you would think it would be Dale Earnhardt. Texas has been one of the more intimidating stops on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule, so who better to tame it than the Intimidator himself? Full Story.

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