Budweiser race report - Dale Jr. 23rd at Las Vegas

Jeff Gordon won the race and a million dollar bonus from Winston's "No Bull 5" promotion Sunday at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory propelled Gordon from seventh to second in the Winston Cup point...

Jeff Gordon won the race and a million dollar bonus from Winston's "No Bull 5" promotion Sunday at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory propelled Gordon from seventh to second in the Winston Cup point standings following three races. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Budweiser team finished 23rd after leading the race near the halfway point. A stop-and-go penalty on lap 234 for a pit lane violation dropped Dale Jr. from a top 10 position.

The Key Moment: Starting 32nd, Dale Jr. needed less than 100 laps to slice his way into the top 10 with a fast car and strong pit strategy. Dale Jr. ran among the top three positions for more than 60 laps, leading the race from lap 158 until making a pit stop on lap 161. The stop dropped Dale Jr. to 15th, but he again worked his way into the top 10 before making a final pit stop on lap 234. A miscommunication among the crew resulted in Dale Jr. leaving the pits with the small fuel catch-can still attached to the rear of the Budweiser car. The team received a stop-and-go penalty from NASCAR, deflating the team's hopes for victory like releasing the air from a small balloon.

Dale Jr's Quotes: "We need to hold our heads high. Even though the finish wasn't good, it was great to go out there and run so well. We really learned a lot and I think it's a sign that we will be much better this year on the flat tracks. I tell ya, this car was so much fun to drive, and it was really good for me to just go out there and drive around like that."

"We didn't make many changes to the car all afternoon. It would take a few laps for the tires to come up to the right (air) pressures, but once they did, we were really good on long runs. The car was consistently fast all day. It's a shame about the pit deal, but other than that, we were good on the pit stops."

Race Notes / UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400

People Magazine
Dale Jr. is featured in this week's issue of People Magazine that hit the newsstands Friday. The story outlines his courageous return to the race track less than one week after the tragic death of his father.

Laps Led
Dale Jr. has now led every race where he has completed a lap so far this season. He led the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade 125 and the Daytona 500 before being punted out of the race at Rockingham in a first lap incident. With the five bonus points for leading the race today, Dale Jr. moved to 17th in points after three races.

<pre> Today's Stats Started: 32nd Finished: 23rd Money Won: $90,398 Laps Led: 1 time for 3 laps Best Pit Stop: Lap 161 / Four tires/Fuel in 14.17 seconds

-Budweiser Racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon