In Monday's Pocono 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 19th while his father and car owner Dale Earnhardt was passed for the lead in the final corner by Jeremy Mayfield in a wild dash to the finish. It is Mayfield's second win of 2000, as he...
In Monday's Pocono 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 19th while his father and car owner Dale Earnhardt was passed for the lead in the final corner by Jeremy Mayfield in a wild dash to the finish. It is Mayfield's second win of 2000, as he joins Dale Jr. and Tony Stewart as the only multiple winners this year. The elder Earnhardt finished fourth, but drew closer to Bobby Labonte for the lead in the Winston Cup point standings.
Dale Jr's day turned sour on lap four, when he was hit by his father's car. Dale Earnhardt had suffered a cut tire, and slammed into the right side of the Budweiser Chevrolet while attempting to make it into the pits. The No. 8 car was able to continue, but was damaged enough to slow the car the remainder of the day. The Budweiser team dropped as far back as 36th position after making an extra pit stop on lap 75 to make extensive repairs to the damaged car. The team was able to remain on the lead lap all day and worked up through the field to a 19th place finish.
About the contact with his father's car: "Dad had a flat tire and he was trying to get to pit road and I guess I was just in the way."
About his first race ever at the tough Pocono track: "Pocono is a tough track to get used to. We learned a lot, but not as much as I would've liked for July (when the Winston Cup Series returns to Pocono). We were never that good after the contact, so it was kinda tough. I think we're a better team than what we showed, we should've been better.
About finishing on the lead lap: "A top 20 is pretty good I guess. To struggle like we did, we could've been worse off.
Pocono 500 Race Notes
Track position is always critical in Winston Cup racing. For only the fourth race this season, the Budweiser team started outside of the top 10, and it may have bit them this time, as Dale Jr. was involved in a fender-banging incident on lap four with Dale Earnhardt.
The rain-out on Sunday was not popular with NASCAR's transport drivers, who must now leave Pocono, head south to Charlotte to pick up cars and equipment and then head west to Sonoma, outside of San Francisco, for next week's race. The event at the picturesque road course at Sears Point starts with practice Friday morning. It will be Dale Jr's first Winston Cup road course race.
The Save Mart/Kragen 350 will be seen next Sunday on ESPN at 4:00 pm Eastern. Winston Cup Bud Pole qualifying will also be televised live on ESPN Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern.