Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Dale Earnhardt Home

newheaderjpg.jpg (48672 bytes)
Home
News
News Archive
Statistics
Race Schedules
Photo Gallery's
Life and Times of the Intimidator
Race Links
Site Awards
Web Rings
Book Store
Site Navigation
Contact Us
Sign or View Our Guestbook
3

Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site

Blk3GM's Winston Cup News

Hamlin-Earnhardt union
celebrating first year


June 10, 1999
By Marty Smith, NASCAR Online
WELCOME, N.C.
990425deandhamlin.jpg (13695 bytes)

One year ago, NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Kevin Hamlin was a virtual unknown, directing a stagnant second-year team and it's underrated and unlucky driver Mike Skinner. Hamlin really wasn't pressured to win, or even contend for a win. Then came the switch. Unhappy with his teams' performances over the first third of the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, car owner Richard Childress knew it was time for a change. Following an emotional victory in the Daytona 500, his prime time driver -- Dale Earnhardt -- sunk to 12th in the points standings over the next three months.

"We have to do something," Childress said at the time. "Both programs are struggling and we're not accomplishing anything by running for 20th position. Our sponsors deserve a better performance that what we're giving them."

In the wake of an uncharacteristic slump, Childress opted to swap crew chiefs between the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus team and the No. 31 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse team, sending Larry McReynolds to Skinner and Hamlin to Earnhardt. Suddenly, the spotlight glared on Hamlin at every turn.

"It was kind of awkward at first," admits Hamlin. "With Skinner they really didn't expect us to be in contention every week, so nobody really paid us much attention. We just went about our business. With Dale it is expected not only to be in contention, but be in the winner's circle. If you're not winning they want to know why. If you are winning they want to know what took you so long."

This weekend at Michigan, the Hamlin-Earnhardt marriage will celebrate it's one year anniversary. The season started out well again for Earnhardt, as he nearly won back-to-back Daytona 500s, giving Jeff Gordon all he could handle over the final two laps. After a brief dip in performance, the No. 3 team is right back where it needs to be, having catapulted 13 positions up the points chart and into seventh place over the past seven races.

During that span, Earnhardt has recorded three top-10s including a dominant victory in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Following that race, Earnhardt knew the chemistry between himself and Hamlin was extraordinary.

"Kevin is a good guy," remarked Earnhardt after winning Talladega last month. "He sort of thinks like I do and he's always got something in his mind. Nine times out of 10 I tell him what I think and he's thinking the same thing. Kevin doesn't say much until he has thought it through, I like that because he is looking for one of two answers and usually it's the one I give him."

Although the shy Hamlin was somewhat forced into the limelight, he has accepted the challenge well, and has intentions of continuing the good fortune he has helped bring to the No. 3 team.

"Honestly, to be crew chief for Dale Earnhardt and this team I feel like I'm the luckiest crew chief in the garage area," said Hamlin. "I didn't necessarily volunteer for the position, but after being here, it's a fun position to be in. Dale and I seem to have a good relationship, and I think we're going to build it into something bigger and better, and hopefully get Dale that eighth championship."

rule_black.GIF (837 bytes)

Dale Earnhardt Home

| Home | Winston Cup News | Busch Series News | Truck Series News | News Archives |
Statistics | Race Schedules |
Photo Gallerys | The Intimidator | Race Links | Awards |
Web Rings | Book Store | Site Navigation | Contact Us/Guest Book |
spacerwhite.gif (835 bytes)


winstonlogo.gif (5665 bytes)

NASCAR
Winston Cup Series

redarrow.gif (62 bytes)Earnhardt fans, check out That's Racin's new wallpapers

redarrow.gif (62 bytes)The Life and Times of the "Intimidator"

We are a Link Partner with:
Click here to visit SpeedWorld, a link partner

nasline2.jpg (4795 bytes)

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.
spacerwhite.gif (835 bytes)