Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued his hot streak, finishing tenth in Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware. Tony Stewart was the dominant driver on the day and became the 12th different winner in 13 Winston Cup races this year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued his hot streak, finishing tenth in Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware. Tony Stewart was the dominant driver on the day and became the 12th different winner in 13 Winston Cup races this year. Earnhardt Jr. remains the only driver to win twice in the 2000 season. The Key Moment:
After leading the race early in the going, Dale Jr. dropped back like a stone through water with an evil-handling Budweiser Chevrolet. Falling as far adrift as 27th position and struggling for much of the 400-lap race, the team decided to make dramatic adjustments to the car on a lap 287 pit stop. Placing 'rubbers' (inserts that impact the characteristics of the car's suspension) in the right rear and left front springs, the team was able to improve the handling of the No. 8 car enough to launch Dale Jr. from 17th all the way to 10th position.
Dale Junior's Quotes:
"Tenth?! Really?! We hustled for that one. That's cool. I thought we must've been back in 20-something as bad as we struggled. It was a long day, but I think we might've found a solution at the end there. We really got better on the long runs late in the race."
"The car was just evil. I'm not even talking a minor push or something - this was some major s***. The right rear tire was chattering in the middle of the corner. Tony [Eury Sr., crew chief] said it looked like the entire weight of the car was rolling on the right front tire - like the other three weren't even touching the ground."
"It was insane there -fish-tailing off the corners and all, but this is good for our team to get a strong finish when the car wasn't good until the end. I've been saying we need consistency, and we've still got a ways to go, but this feels good to get a top 10 today."
MBNA Platinum 400 Race Notes
Starting Up Front
Dale Jr. has qualified in the top 10 more than any other driver - 10 times in 13 races. He has a league-leading average starting position of 8.2. As often as he has been in the top 10, this is the first time this year that he has started in the same position a second time. Dale Jr. also started sixth at Talladega.
What's the Point?
Earnhardt Jr. moved up one into 15th place in Winston Cup points. This is the third consecutive top 10 finish (and fifth overall for the year) for Dale Jr.
For those who were out having a Budweiser or two and missed it the first time, Dale Jr's stirring victory in The Winston will be replayed on TNN, June 10th at midnight Eastern (Friday night/Saturday morning). Set the VCR - this one is a real classic. Earnhardt Jr. is the first rookie to win NASCAR's all-star tilt, and put on a show worth watching again.