Mayfield bumps Earnhardt for
"When you live by the sword, you die by the
sword." Some say that was the case in Monday's Pocono 500. Dale Earnhardt had the
lead and seemed to be on his way to his second win of the season until Jeremy Mayfield
bumped him in the final turn of the final lap. Earnhardt got way loose and had to chase
his Goodwrench Chevy up the race track, barely saving himself from a wreck. Earnhardt
On the cool down lap
after the checkered flag, Earnhardt pulled up beside Mayfield and gestured to him. What
was he saying?
"I was telling him he was No. 1," Earnhardt said, not revealing which finger he
made the gesture with.
At the start of the race, an emergency pit stop in the race's opening laps forced
Earnhardt to to have to fight his way back to the front of the field from last place. On
lap 4, Dale and Mark Martin made contact. Dale pitted (under green) because he wasn't sure
if he had a flat tire and he didn't want to take a chance with it. As it turned out the
tire wasn't flat. Earnhardt was 43rd after
leaving the pits on lap 5, but he still was on the lead lap. His fender was still pushed
in from the contact with Martin.
Dale then worked his way back to the front. On lap 20 Wally Dallenbach crashed, bringing
out a caution and allowing Earnhardt to catch back up with the field. Dale was up to 31st
on lap 25 when the caution ended. By lap 29 he has raced his way up to 23rd. On lap 35 he
was 19th. By lap 52 he was all the way up to 12th.
Lap 73 was the third caution for debris on the track. After pit stops, Earnhardt was up to
8th. On lap 90 he was 5th.
Dale took the lead for the first time when the field was making green flag pit stops. He
led lap 110 before going into the pits to make his stop. Once the pitting sequence was
complete Earnhardt was running in 3rd.
During the final caution
Earnhardt got a fast 2-tire pit stop and exited the pits in the lead. He then led 14 laps
before getting passed by Mayfield on the final lap.
Despite having a victory slip away, Earnhardt did make up some ground in the Winston Cup
points race. He came in 98 points behind Bobby Labonte and closed that down as Labonte
recovered from an early problem with his exhaust system to finish 13th. His lead is now 57
points over Earnhardt.
The race will be re-aired at 8 p.m. eastern tonight on TNN.
Race postponed by rain_6/18
The Pocono 500 was postponed until Monday at 10 am. The
race will still be televised on TNN.
Earnhardt 16th in qualifying at Pocono_6/16
Dale qualified 16th on Friday during
first-round qualifying at Pocono. Dale Jr. will start alongside his dad after he qualified
Qualifying for the Pocono 500 is Friday at 3
p.m. ET. Dale has placed in the top 10 in five of the last six races at Pocono. Last year
he was seventh in this race and ninth in the Pennsylvania 500.