Steve Park takes fourth in Richmond_5/5/01
The Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond is complete.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Finished: 7th - Started: 14th
Dale Jr. led lap 112 during green flag pit stops before making his stop on the
following lap. He stayed in top-15 and top-10 for much of the night. In the last 100 laps
Dale Jr. moved up to fifth. He battled Jeff Gordon for a few laps for fourth place but
wasn't able to make a pass. In the last 40 laps Dale Jr.'s car began to fade some, and he
slipped back to eighth. Dale Jarrett got loose on the frontstretch and Dale Jr. was able
to pass him back for the seventh spot, where he finished.
Finished: 35th - Started: 12th
Michael Waltrip had a problem with his right-front brake
locking up. He had to make an early unscheduled pit stop and lost a lap. He pitted again
during the second caution, still trying to fix the brake problem. His crew lost control of
a tire on pit road and NASCAR held the car for 15 seconds.
Later on lap 230, Kenny Schrader squeezed Bill Elliott up the track, forcing Elliott into
Michael Waltrip and forcing Waltrip into the frontstretch wall. One of the race's biggest
wrecks resulted, and the back end of Waltrip's car was badly damaged. Dale Jr., who was
behind Waltrip at the time, had to swerve way to the left to just barely avoid the crash.
Finished: 17th - Started: 32nd
Kevin Harvick's day was fairly uneventful. He stayed out of trouble and ran in the
top-20, finishing 17th, one lap down.
Finished: 4th - Started: 4th
Steve Park ran in the top-10 for nearly the whole race. He made a late pit stop to
get an adjustment during a caution on lap 299. The rest of the leaders didn't pit, which
gave Park slightly newer tires (about 18 laps newer) than the competition. When the race
went back green, Park climbed from outside the top-10 back all the way up to fourth. A
late caution with five laps to go probably kept Steve from gaining even more spots.
Tony Stewart won his first race of the season, passing Rusty Wallace with 38 laps
to go. After his cool-down lap, Stewart did a burnout all the way down the frontstretch
while holding three fingers out the window to salute Dale Earnhardt. Stewart followed the
burnout with a Polish victory lap and the 3-finger salute out the window. In victory lane
Stewart acknowledged the experience that he had gained from watching Dale Earnhardt.
Dale Earnhardt taught me a lot about this place, Stewart said. I
followed him a lot of laps here and he would just flat wear you out. You would think you
were going to beat him and pass him and go on, and the next thing you know he would run
back on you."
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Pontiac Excitement 400_5/4/01
4th - Steve Park
12th - Michael Waltrip
14th - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
32nd - Kevin Harvick