Feb. 9, 1998
Kerry Earnhardt Looks To Take the Title
Kerry Earnhardt has a few goals to accomplish during the 1999
NASCAR Busch Grand National Series this season. Win a race, or two or several; make his
father, Dale, and the rest of his family proud of him; and set his sights on a new
"bar" for the Earnhardt name.
"My dad has set the bar for the Earnhardt name,"
the 29 year-old son of "the Intimidator" said Sunday pointing to a mark several
inches above his lanky, six-foot frame. Junior has set the bar here, (measuring waist
high) and I'm here (pointing even lower). We're going to knock that stick down!"
Earnhardt spend Sunday not so much thinking of knocking
that bar down, but with a mind set on speed. Spending the overcast day in Florida touring
the 2.5 mile oval at the Daytona International Speedway resulted in posting a best time of
48.316, good enough for fifth place on the day.
"We're trying a few new things here today," he
said confidently at the World Center of Racing. "That's what today is all about try
this here, try that there. It's one big experiment."
Earnhardt hopes the experiments pay off and he has no doubt
the kinks will be worked out by the time the season rolls around at noon on Saturday,
February 13 with the NAPA Auto Parts 300 at the Daytona International Speedway. "Oh,
we're capable of winning," he said. "I have a great crew and we're looking for a
Earnhardt knows the comparisons between the other members
of his family are inevitable. He's heard it for a while now. That's something he's
accustomed to and expectations that's he's more than happy to live up to.
"I'm proud of what my dad has accomplished," the
low-keyed Earnhardt noted. "But I don't' let what he's done affect me. I just have to
go out and do the best that I can do."
As for the pressure. Well, that just part of the game. He's
okay with that too.
"I know the fans that like my dad are going to like
me," he said. "But I also know the fans that don't like my dad aren't going to
like me. That's ok. I can't let that bother me. I just have to go out and do my job."
Jan. 22, 1999
Big shoes to fill: Another Earnhardt follows in
By ANDREW BOOTH-Daytona Beach News Journal
DAYTONA BEACH - Dale Earnhardt is just now getting accustomed to watching his youngest
son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., drive his No. 3 Chevrolet on the Busch Grand National Series.
Now Earnhardt will also have to keep an eye on his oldest son, Kerry Earnhardt, who will
drive his first full year in the Busch Grand National Series in owner Doug Taylor's No. 40
"I'm happy for him,"' Dale Sr. said about Kerry's full-time ride. "I think
he's work hard for that team. He's a very good worker and he has stayed positive. We'll
see what happens. We'll give him all the support we can."
Kerry Earnhardt tested two days earlier this week at Daytona International Speedway in
preparation for the Feb. 13 season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300 and posted the 13th fastest
lap with a speed of 186.792 mph.
The testing session was the second time the 29-year-old Earnhardt had piloted a race car
at DIS. In 1993, Earnhardt qualified 22nd and finished seventh in the Florida 200, a
Goody's Dash Series event.
Even with his previous experience at DIS, Earnhardt says he's still got plenty to learn
about the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
"I forgot about this place since then," Earnhardt said at the conclusion of the
testing session. "I forgot what it's all about."
To help refresh Earnhardt's memory during his first day of testing at DIS, he phoned his
dad, who has won 31 time at DIS, the most of any driver.
"I called and talked to him a little bit and he was asking questions about how the
car (was doing)," Kerry said. "He's a big help to me. I can call him with a
question no one else can answer. He knows racing."
Kerry Earnhardt got his first taste of racing in 1992 competing against his younger
brother Dale Jr. at a short track in Concord, N.C. In 1993, Kerry Earnhardt raced in the
Goody's Dash Series before moving back to a short track at Hickory, N.C., for three years.
Last year, Earnhardt raced in Asheville, N.C., and finished fourth driving late model
While working as a service advisor at his father's car dealership in Newton, N.C.,
Earnhardt was introduced to Taylor by one of the salesmen.
Taylor inquired into Earnhardt's background and invited him to come along for a test
session at Hickory with his current driver at the time Kevin Lepage. Soon after that test
session, Earnhardt started working in Taylor's race shop and now he's got a full-time
"I was there getting to know the equipment, but I also was making friends with the
guys on the team before I became the driver," Earnhardt said. "I feel like you
have to build a relationship with a team to be successful in racing."
Earnhardt ran two races for Taylor last season finishing 23rd at Myrtle Beach, S.C., and
26th at South Boston, Va.
"Doug is backing me 100 percent," Earnhardt said. "He's putting all of his
confidence behind me."
With a famous racing name, a lot is going to be expected of Kerry Earnhardt in 1999 GN
season. Kerry's brother Dale Jr. won the 1998 Busch GN title in his first full year on the
circuit and his father Dale Sr. has 71 career Winston Cup victories and seven
"My brother has set a high stick way above everybody else and it's a high stick
that's going to take a lot (of work) to reach," Earnhardt said. "I feel like
we're capable of it. The team is working well. (The car) has been running awesome.
Everybody on the team is working so well together. It's going to be a good year."
Kerry Earnhardt file
-- Who: Kerry Earnhardt, the oldest son of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt.
-- Age: 29.
-- In 1999: Will drive the No. 40 Chevrolet for owner Doug Taylor on the Busch Grand
-- Etc.: Drove late model stocks in the Winston Racing Series ... Worked at his father's
car dealership in Newton, N.C., as a service advisor for six years ... Younger brother
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the 1998 Busch GN champion.
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