Sears Point Earnhardt family affair

Family affair for Earnhardt at Sears Point Brett Borden SONOMA, Calif. (June 25, 1998) It's all in the family this weekend for Dale Earnhardt at Sears Point Raceway. The seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion will drive...

Family affair for Earnhardt at Sears Point

Brett Borden

SONOMA, Calif. (June 25, 1998) It's all in the family this weekend for Dale Earnhardt at Sears Point Raceway.

The seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion will drive the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, per usual, in Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350. And Darrell Waltrip will again be piloting the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. No surprise there.

But also on hand will be Ron Hornaday, fresh off a victory in last Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Loadhandler 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hornaday drives the No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet truck for Dale and Theresa Earnhardt. Sunday at Sears Point, he'll be in the No. 17 Chevrolet fielded by Tyler Jet Motorsports, which happens to be Waltrip's once and future car number at the same time. About the only person from Earnhardt's racing family who'll be missing is his own son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will be driving in the NASCAR Busch Series at Watkins Glen.

It may sound confusing, but as far as Earnhardt is concerned, Sunday's race is a chance to clear the mind and just have a good old time.

"It's a fun change running on a road course," he said. "The new configuration is going to put all of us on an equal playing ground. I think I'm going to miss the carousel that's where I made the pass to win this race a couple of years ago."

It was three years ago, to be exact, and it was Earnhardt's only NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory in a road course. Earnhardt was running second to Mark Martin when the field took the white flag, but passed Martin in the carousel when Martin slipped in oil on the track. This year, the carousel will not be there as Sears Point has been reconfigured.

While that was Earnhardt's only NASCAR Winston Cup road course victory, he has had quite a record in Sonoma. In nine races at Sears Point, Earnhardt has seven top-10 finishes, four top-fives, the one victory and one Bud Pole. It adds up to a pleasant trip every summer to wine country.

"We have a good time in California," he said. "I enjoy meeting the race fans from the West Coast. They don't get many opportunities to see us in action, so when they do come to the race track, they are ready for a good time."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Darrell Waltrip , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mark Martin