Tony Stewart dominated the second half of Sunday's MBNA.com 400 to take his fourth victory of the 2000 Winston Cup season. Stewart won both races at the Dover Downs Raceway this season, while his teammate Bobby Labonte extended his Winston Cup...
Tony Stewart dominated the second half of Sunday's MBNA.com 400 to take his fourth victory of the 2000 Winston Cup season. Stewart won both races at the Dover Downs Raceway this season, while his teammate Bobby Labonte extended his Winston Cup points lead when his three main competitors struggled. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Budweiser racing team finished 16th, one lap behind Stewart, after spending a good portion of the afternoon among the top ten. One of the strangest moments of an already adventuresome season took place on lap 47 when Dale Jr. brought the Budweiser Chevrolet into the pits for his first pit stop of the day. After starting 13th, the Bud car had climbed to ninth place, but when he arrived in his pit stall, another race car was already parked there. Bill Elliott, whose pit area was one stall forward, came to a stop 20 feet too soon, causing Dale Jr. to lock the brakes and slide into the back of the McDonald's race car. The red No. 8 Chevy suffered only superficial damage, but dropped 11 spots to 20th position. The remaining laps saw the team climb back into the top ten 100 circuits later, only to fall back down the scoring charts, sliding to 16th place at the finish. Dale Junior: About the new tire compound used for this race weekend: "They brought a different tire compound than what we had here in June. It felt like we were driving around on those lil' plastic Hot Wheels tires - there was just no grip. They would feel really good for about three laps and then it was like I had a flat right rear tire and then they'd feel better again for a few laps. Once they gave up, they were completely gone. The car would be really tight and then all of a sudden it'd be so loose that the rear end of the car would feel like it was trying to slide into the wall every lap. We could run faster running a high line around the corners, but it would just eat up the tires."
About the Elliott pit lane collision: "That was major league (messed) up. I had to lock the brakes and ran into the back of him. I was worried that I had knocked the front end off of the car, but the guys said it just bent the on the grill."
About several bumping incidents while racing with his father for 17th position early in the race: "It's gonna be a long plane ride home!"
Dale Jr. moved up one spot to 15th in the Winston Cup point standings, however, the team failed to gain points in the rookie-of-the-year battle. Kenseth now leads Earnhardt Jr. by 23 points in the rookie race. With 8 races to go, Dale Jr. is still in contention for the rookie title, but only if he gains a significant amount of bonus points awarded for top ten finishes. The rookie point system awards ten bonus points for a race win, nine points for a second place finish, eight for third, and so on down to a single bonus point for tenth.