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Earnhardt Racing News and Highlights

redarrow.gif (62 bytes)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 great season."

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."

redarrow.gif (62 bytes)Jan. 22, 1999
Big shoes to fill: Another Earnhardt follows in footsteps
By ANDREW BOOTH-Daytona Beach News Journal
Staff Writer

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 Chevrolet.

"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 stocks.

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 ride.

"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 championships.

"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 National Series.

-- 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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(These Racing News clips have been gathered from racing related sites on the internet, RPM2nite, Inside Winston Cup Racing, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene, Jayski's, StockCarFans Newsletter and various other racing related news sources. We will do our best to give credit where credit is due on where we obtain these news clips. They are believed to be accurate at the time they are posted here but cannot be guaranteed.)