WILL DALE EARNHARDT JR. BECOME NASCAR'S FIRST THIRD-GENERATION CHAMPION AT HOMESTEAD? HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 23, 1998) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be looking to make NASCAR history when he returns to the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex for...
WILL DALE EARNHARDT JR. BECOME NASCAR'S FIRST THIRD-GENERATION CHAMPION AT HOMESTEAD?
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 23, 1998) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be looking to make NASCAR history when he returns to the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex for the Nov. 13-15 Jiffy Lube Miami 300, the final event of the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series championship.
Earnhardt can become the first third-generation champion in NASCAR's 50-year history. His grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt, won the 1956 title in the NASCAR Sportsman division, the predecessor of the Busch Series, while Dale Earnhardt Sr. won seven Winston Cup championships (1980, 1986-87, 1990-91, 1993-94).
Driving the No. 3 AC Delco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Earnhardt currently holds a 102-point lead over Matt Kenseth in the battle for the championship. Only three races remain, with events at Rockingham, N.C., and Atlanta preceding the season finale.
"It would be nice to win the championship at Homestead - if not sooner," said Earnhardt, who leads the series with seven victories and three pole positions in 28 races, in only his first full season in the division. The 24-year-old driver is quick to give credit to his team.
"These guys are excellent," Earnhardt said of his crew, led by Tony Eury Sr. "They were a race-winning team last year, and they pieced a few more things together to improve their performance this year. I just feel lucky to be a part of it."
Steve Park was the team's regular driver last season, winning three races. Earnhardt had eight starts, including a 13th place finish at Homestead,
"He showed a lot of talent last year in the Busch car," said Park, who now drives the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Pennzoil Chevrolet in the Winston Cup Series. "We had a good team and we showed we can win some races, and he's picked up where we left off and has taken it to the next level. He's got a lot of his father in him."
Regardless of how the points shape up entering the finale, Earnhardt said he plans to run "as hard as we can go."
"You've got to be smart, but being too conservative can get you in trouble," he explained. "So we're going to run hard."
Practice and qualifying for the Jiffy Lube Miami 300, the final event of the year at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, begins on Friday, Nov. 13. The weekend also includes races for NASCAR's Slim Jim All Pro and Goody's Dash series. The fourth annual Jiffy Lube Miami 300 takes the green flag at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
A limited number of grandstand seats are still available for the race weekend. Advance ticket buyers are also eligible to reserve tickets for Homestead's inaugural Winston Cup race, the 1999 Jiffy Lube Miami 400. For additional information or to place credit card orders, call (305) 230-RACE (7223).
Source: NASCAR Online