Dale Earnhardt Caifornia celebration

Subject: NASCAR-WCS: Dale Earnhardt Caifornia celebration One year ago this week, Dale Earnhardt made the statement after winning Talladega that if he didn't run well in California it wasn't his team or the car, it was the driver. Since making...

Subject: NASCAR-WCS: Dale Earnhardt Caifornia celebration

One year ago this week, Dale Earnhardt made the statement after winning Talladega that if he didn't run well in California it wasn't his team or the car, it was the driver. Since making that statement Earnhardt has gone on to win three NASCAR Winston Cup races and has accumulated 25 top-10 finishes in 34 races. Earnhardt was leading the California event when his Monte Carlo came up ½ lap short on fuel mileage causing him to lose a lap and ending the day in 12th position.

In the first nine events of the 2000 NASCAR schedule, the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team has improved from where they were one year ago at this time. In 1999 their average starting position in the first nine events was 24th. In 2000, the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team has averaged a 16th starting position in the first nine events. Along with a 10.4 finishing position in 2000 compared to their 17th average finish in 1999. The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team has started in the top-10 in three of the first nine events. In 1999 they started in the top-10 only three times all year.

Weather washed out qualifying last year for the NAPA 500 and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team started the event from the 9th spot. The starting order was determined by positions in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. If that were to happen this weekend, the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team is currently fourth.

California Speedway is similar in design to its sister track, Michigan Speedway. The two share a 2 mile tri-oval with a difference in banking of 4 degrees with Michigan having 18 degrees and California only 14 degrees. On the last visit to Michigan, Dale Earnhardt drove his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a fifth place finish.

The No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt will be driving is the same one that the team took to Las Vegas in the third race of the season. That event was shortened due to weather giving Earnhardt a ninth place finish after the field completed 148 of the scheduled 267 that make up the 400 mile event.

Saturday, April 29th Seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt will be celebrating his 49th birthday as the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit visits California Speedway.

"We have had a good start to the season, but haven't forgotten that it is only the start of the season. We plan on having a good middle and ending too, " commented Dale Earnhardt.

"California Speedway hasn't exactly been good to us," stated Richard Childress. "In three races we've led two laps and have one top-10 finish. We're a better team than what the record shows. Our top-10 came after we started 43rd in 1998. We should be pretty good this weekend. The team has been working hard and got a well deserved weekend off for Easter. They're rested and ready to get back to the track and put the No. 3 car out front."

"We made a mistake last year and ran Dale out of gas while we were leading," remarked Kevin Hamlin. "You can go back and say what if and all that, but the only way to really get justice is come back and win the race."

"We don't get out to the West Coast that much," commented Dale Earnhardt. "It's good to see the fans out here. It gives the fans a chance to see NASCAR Winston Cup racing in person and experience what we do every Sunday. They have been supporting us for a long time even back in the late 70's and early '80's when we use to run here on the old Riverside Raceway."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kevin Hamlin