Daytona - Fans Knew it All Along

Fans knew it all along Daytona Beach, Florida - February 15, 1998 There is no bigger race in American motorsports than the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. It is, in fact, so big that the career of a man with a record-tying seven...

Fans knew it all along

Daytona Beach, Florida - February 15, 1998

There is no bigger race in American motorsports than the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. It is, in fact, so big that the career of a man with a record-tying seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships was considered - by some - incomplete without a win in it.

The man in question, of course, is Dale Earnhardt.

Earnhardt now has a remarkable 31 wins in various races at Daytona International Speedway - far more than anyone else. And NASCAR Online fans said this week that he would finally score his first win in the "Great American Race."

What can we say? They were right. Earnhardt held on for his first trip to Victory Lane in the 500, in a hugely entertaining race.

The balloting wasn't even close. Out of a staggering 33,961 votes cast (most ever in a NASCAR Online poll), an equally staggering 12,2998 fans said that Earnhardt will be the 1998 Daytona 500 champion. Placing a very distant second was 1997 race winner and NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, with 3,866 votes, with Rusty Wallace, "Other," and Bill Elliott rounding out the top-five.

We threw out 3,376 attempts to stuff the ballot box. Here are the complete results:

5,898 votes accepted, 406 votes rejected. Choice Votes Percentage Dale Earnhardt 12,298 36.2% Jeff Gordon 3,866 11.4% Rusty Wallace 3,365 9.9% Other 2,452 7.2% Bill Elliott 1,920 5.7% Terry Labonte 1,811 5.3% Dale Jarrett 1,551 4.6% Ken Schrader 1,533 4.5% Mark Martin 1,507 4.4% Bobby Labonte 1,295 3.8% John Andretti 751 2.2% Jeff Burton 609 1.8% Sterling Marlin 505 1.5% Kenny Irwin 259 0.8% Bobby Hamilton 183 0.5% Mike Skinner 56 0.2%

Courtesy of NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Ken Schrader , Sterling Marlin , Mark Martin