Earnhardt and crew counting on experience

Dale Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team were leading the spring event at Richmond International Raceway earlier this season when on lap 363 of the 400 event lap the final caution flag came out. The Richard Childress crew ...

Dale Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team were leading the spring event at Richmond International Raceway earlier this season when on lap 363 of the 400 event lap the final caution flag came out. The Richard Childress crew elected to bring the black No. 3 Monte Carlo in for some GM Goodwrench Service Plus service, changing only two tires for the final 32 lap sprint. When the field restarted, Earnhardt quickly knew he should have gotten four Goodyear tires instead of two, as his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed his Dad to win his second NASCAR Winston Cup event of the season. The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team finished 10th in what was the beginning of eight consecutive top-10 finishes for the team.

The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team has a chance at collecting the $1 million bonus up for grabs this weekend by series sponsor R. J. Reynolds and its Winston brand. The No. 3 qualified for this chance at a million dollars with a 3rd place finish at Charlotte in May. The Winston No Bull Five has eluded Dale Earnhardt on five other occasions the team has been eligible since the program started in 1998.

The Flying Aces gave Dale Earnhardt excellent team work in the pits last weekend putting the No. 3 in contention on every pit stop. Their quickest was a 14.86 second service giving the "Intimidator" four tires, 22 gallons of 76 racing fuel and a quick drink before returning to the track to the front of the field.

The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team after 24 events have posted one victory, nine top-fives and 19 top-10 performances. They have an average finishing position of 9.45% and have led a total of 243 laps in 12 races.

"We had a chance to win here in the spring and gave it away," commented Dale Earnhardt. "With 32 laps to go we came in for two tires when everyone else got four and we were sitting ducks on the restart. We held on for a top-10 but we should have won it. Instead the "kid" won his second one."

"We've got ten races to go which means anything can happen," said Earnhardt. "Richard and I have been here before and we know what it takes. We had two bad days that cost us a bunch of points. Anything can happen. I'm happy with our program and believe we have what it takes to win. If we stick to it and have just a little luck we'll be right there in the thick of it come November."

"Mother Nature sure wasn't with us last weekend," remarked Richard Childress. "Us and the 88 gambled on her and she let us down. We came back strong but track position was key and we lost a lot of it there for a while....Looking back I guess one pit road at Darlington wasn't such a good idea after all."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr.