Earnhardt Watkins Glen preview

"It hurts so good," commented Dale Earnhardt, as he climbed out of his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy Monte Carlo in 1996, after making a track record run for the pole position. That run came only two weeks after suffering a horrific...

"It hurts so good," commented Dale Earnhardt, as he climbed out of his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy Monte Carlo in 1996, after making a track record run for the pole position. That run came only two weeks after suffering a horrific crash at Talladega, that sent the "Intimidator" to the hospital with a broken collar bone and sternum. Earnhardt known for his seven championships, 75 Winston Cup victories and determined driving style captured only his 22nd pole position that weekend. That race was the last time the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team started from the number one position. In those 22 pole positions, three have come at Watkins Glen his first was in 1990, followed by 1992 and 1996. The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team went on to a sixth place finish that day. Earnhardt never climbed out of the car as planned to let relief driver David Green finish the event for the injured veteran.

With only two road course events on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, the opportunity to end the day in victory lane are few, but Dale Earnhardt made it in 1995 at Sears Point Raceway. Earnhardt started the race from the fourth position and passed Mark Martin on the final circuit to win his one and only road course event.

Richard Childress Racing had both of its NASCAR Winston Cup teams finish in the top-10 last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Earnhardt ending the day in eighth followed by Mike Skinner in ninth position.

The GM Goodwrench Service Plus team tested at Watkins Glen a few weeks ago in preparation for the 11-turn circuit. The team suffered a minor incident when the No. 3 car got off course in the circuits inner loop, causing minor damage to the rear suspension on the black Monte Carlo.

QUOTES
"We tested here and left with a good understanding of what was needed," stated crew chief Kevin Hamlin. "The concrete in the turns throws a little different variable into the set-up, but everyone has to deal with same track. It should be a good race, qualifying is really the biggest key. Track position means a lot on road courses."

"We need to improve the top-10's to top-5's," commented Earnhardt. "We're in the hunt, but need to continue to improve every week. The #18 and the # 88 are doing what they need to be doing, we'll do the same and see what happens come November."

"I've sat on the pole here more than once, I just haven't taken the checkered flag first," said Earnhardt. "We have a good car I just did a little beating and banging during the test, but everything is on track for this weekend."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mike Skinner , David Green , Kevin Hamlin , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing