Waltrip, Stewart win Twins in Daytona

The first Twin Duel 150 race redeemed Dale Earnhardt Incorporated as the restrictor plate powerhouse after a miserable week in Daytona. All the DEI Chevy's were slow in their time trial and practice efforts causing quite a buzz in the garage of...

The first Twin Duel 150 race redeemed Dale Earnhardt Incorporated as the restrictor plate powerhouse after a miserable week in Daytona. All the DEI Chevy's were slow in their time trial and practice efforts causing quite a buzz in the garage of what was wrong with DEI.

Michael Waltrip did the easiest thing a race car driver can do to silence rumors: Win. Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hooked up late in the race and made a charge to the front to earn the No. 15 Chevy the Twin 150 win.

"My car just handled so well," said Waltrip. "It's pretty cool coming across the start/finish line side-by-side (Earnhardt, Jr.) at Daytona.

"I just felt really confident about being able to race my car to the front."

Earnhardt grabbed second.

"We got a lot of help from Michael (Waltrip) those last couple of laps," said Earnhardt. "I am glad that we finished 1-2 and I am glad that we got to race for the win. Our cars are obviously good cars and I knew that we would prove that today."

Mike Skinner led laps 51 through 59 before being overtaken by the DEI freight train. He settled for third.

"We didn't need that last caution we were lined up there," said Skinner. "He had a teammate behind him today. But basically we were just a sitting duck.

Ryan Newman and Ricky Rudd complete the top five.

"We'll take it," said Rudd. "This car is just a little bit tight. We got a little bit of work to do before the 500. If we get the front end to stick a little better, we got something for 'em in Sunday."

It was heartbreak for defending race winner Elliott Sadler who thought his streak of bad luck was behind him. Sadler pitted on lap 44 but came in a little too hot. Sadler backed up catching gears and broke the transmission.

"I should have let my guys push me back," said Sadler who will start 39th on Sunday. "I just got trapped in the pits and tried to rush out too quick. It's my fault."

The crew took the car to the garage for repairs but did not rejoin the race. He finished 26th.

The second race was chugging along with Jimmie Johnson in the lead when all hell broke loose on lap 35. Kevin Harvick decided to bump draft Johnson in turn two which spun the No. 48 Chevy. In the melee, Mark Martin, Dave Blaney, Rusty Wallace, Joe Nemechek and Scott Riggs all got collected.

Johnson was not amused.

"I hope Richard Childress fires him," said Johnson.

When the race got back underway, Jeff Burton had inherited the lead in the No. 31 RCR Chevy. Burton led until lap 49 when the Gibbs cars of Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte powered past Burton's ride.

Stewart would lead the rest of the event unchallenged to earn the victory in the second Twin race.

"This team deserves it they have worked hard all winter," said Stewart. "The key to winning the race was my teammate Bobby Labonte. We got such a good push from him.we probably couldn't have won the race without him."

Jeff Burton was second.

"I thought I drove a good race and I put myself in position to win and I am proud of that," said Burton. "We got lucky to miss that wreck, we did pretty good."

Kevin LePage, Martin Truex, Jr., and Scott Riggs complete the top five.

"We had a really good car," said Truex. "Better than what I thought it was going to be."

The cars transferring into field for the Daytona 500 based on their Twin results are Kenny Wallace, Martin Truex, Jr., Kevin LePage and John Andretti.

Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Burton, Mike Skinner, Kevin LePage, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex, Jr. are the top ten starters for the season opening Daytona 500.

Fifty-seven cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show were Johnny Sauter, Hermie Sadler, Stanton Barrett, Morgan Shepherd, Randy LaJoie, Geoffrey Bodine, Robby Gordon, Kirk Shelmerdine, Eric McClure, Greg Sacks, Andy Belmont, Larry Gunselman, Kerry Earnhardt and Derrike Cope.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Geoffrey Bodine , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Andy Belmont , Larry Gunselman , Scott Riggs , Hermie Sadler , Johnny Sauter , Martin Truex Jr. , Morgan Shepherd , Greg Sacks , Eric McClure , Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin
Teams Dale Earnhardt Incorporated