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Road Courses are Fun for Dale, Jr.
Watkins Glen International - Courtesy Champion Sports Group
June 23, 1999

This will be the third time in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racing career that he will run the road course at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The 2.45-mile road course presents itself as a challenge that Earnhardt Jr. is ready to make. Last year, he was fastest in practice all weekend but had a bobble in qualifying and started 12th. Once the race began he worked his way through the field and took the lead on lap 64 but he could only hold it for four laps. On lap 67 of the 82 lap race, he made a mistake that allowed Ron Fellow's to get by him. He ended his day in eighth.

This year the ACDelco team is trying something new on their road course program for Watkins Glen. They will be racing a drop-snout car for the first time on the road course. After testing last week, the No. 3 car was about three quarters-of-a-second slower than last year, while most of the other cars there testing were off by a full second. The team has confidence that their race set-up will be good for this weekend.

Earnhardt Jr. is gradually moving his way to the top of the NASCAR contingency award programs, which he dominated last year. He currently holds the No. 1 spot in the Gatorade Front Runner (leading at half-way in the race), MCI Worldcom Fast Pace (fastest lap of the race), and is tied with six other drivers for the top spot for the Bud Pole Award. His great finishes have helped his engine builder to remain on top for the AE Clevite Engine Builder (award for top engine builder who is Ron Hutter with No. 3 car). He is currently second in the Goody's Extra Strength Award (top finishing regular in the Busch Series) and is only $6,550 behind Matt Kenseth in the most monies won category.

Earnhardt Jr.'s second win for the 1999 season came at South Boston Motor Speedway. The win helped increase Earnhardt Jr.'s lead in the NASCAR Busch Series points standing to 64 points ahead of second place Matt Kenseth.

Earnhardt Jr. has led laps in a total of 11 events so far this season, and ten of those have been in the last 12 races.

This weekend at Watkins Glen, Earnhardt Jr. will be accompanied by a few of his friends. Bridge, whose band members are personal friends of Earnhardt Jr.'s, will be opening the concert at the race track on Saturday night for the feature band Blessed Union of Soul's. Watkins Glen International brings in entertainment for the fans to give them a place to enjoy the evening after the race activities are over for the day.


"I think road courses are a real challenge for all the Busch Series drivers because we only get race one time a year on a road course," commented Earnhardt Jr. "But I think they are really fun to drive because it is a challenge."

"We tested last week at Watkins Glen with a new drop-snout car," remarked Earnhardt Jr. "We were pretty loose and chased the chassis for most of the test but I feel real good about the race."

"If Dale Jr. can keep it on the track we be Okay," quipped Tony Eury Jr. (car chief). "He was pushing the car pretty hard when we tested here last week and got off track about six times but he only went into the gravel pit three times. Hopefully, he got all that out of his system."

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Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on July 26, 1998 and is owned and maintained by Gary Harris.  This site is a tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son.  We are not affiliated with any official Team, Sponsors, Media Group or NASCAR.  This site is solely for entertainment purposes.  Information and statistic's on this site have been collected from various NASCAR related sites on the internet, from Winston Cup Scene, Newspapers, Television and our personal experience at Winston Cup and Busch Grand National races.  All statistics are believed to be accurate at the time they are updated but cannot be guaranteed.
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