Jeff Gordon Captures Second Daytona 500 Victory Earnhardt Takes Second in Thrilling Finish Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 14, 1999) -- Fans enjoyed an exciting finish at today's Daytona 500 as 1998 Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon battled defending...
Jeff Gordon Captures Second Daytona 500 Victory Earnhardt Takes Second in Thrilling Finish
Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 14, 1999) -- Fans enjoyed an exciting finish at today's Daytona 500 as 1998 Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon battled defending Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt for the checkered flag. Gordon prevailed to capture his second win in three years in the "Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway.
Gordon will be taking home more than $2 million, $1.1 million for winning the Daytona 500 and a $1 million bonus from the Winston No Bull 5 program. Ray Grimm, from Hagerstown, Md., also won $1 million. He was selected from a nationwide sweepstakes program and paired with Gordon prior to the Daytona 500.
"That is a dream come true to race Dale Earnhardt down to the final finish, all the way down to the line of the Daytona 500," said Gordon. Gordon now has seven victories at Daytona International Speedway, including wins in 1995 and 1998 in the Pepsi 400; wins in 1994 and 1997 in the Bud Shootout; a 1993 win in the Gatorade 125's; and a 1997 win in the Daytona 500.
Finishing behind Gordon and Earnhardt was Kenny Irwin, 1998 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. After starting in the 41st position, Irwin managed to finish third, a career best in the NASCAR Winston Cup series. Mike Skinner and Michael Waltrip rounded out the top five.
A 12-car accident on lap 136 eliminated early leader Dale Jarrett, costing him a shot at the $1 million bonus. Gordon's victory ended Daytona's 41st annual Speedweeks. Earnhardt was a two-time winner in 1999, winning a Gatorade 125 and the True Value IROC to up his Daytona-leading career total 33 victories. Other Speedweeks winners included Mark Martin in the Bud Shootout; Bobby Labonte in the Gatorade 125; Randy LaJoie in the NAPA Auto Parts 300; Bobby Gerhart in the ARCA First Plus Financial 200; and Christian Elder in the Discount Auto Parts 200.
Gordon's winning car will move from Victory Lane to DAYTONA USA, the Official Attraction of NASCAR, where it will remain on display until just prior to the 2000 Daytona 500. Race fans can visit DAYTONA USA to see the car that won the "Great American Race" exactly as it was when it crossed the finish line - with every scratch and dent intact. The No. 24 DuPont Auto Finishes Chevrolet will be installed at DAYTONA USA in a special celebration beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday. Following the taping of an ESPN special from the attraction's Gatorade Victory Lane, featuring hosts Bob Jenkins and Benny Parsons, Gordon will join attraction fans at approximately 10:30 a.m. for a special greeting and photo opportunity from the stage at ESPN's You Call the Race on the main floor. Source: ISC/DIS