Dale Jr win 3rd in
a row and is on a roll June 28, 1999 If Earnhardt's not a roll, there's no such
thing. What's more, if beating Fellows wasn't amazing enough, he did it while driving much
of the last 20 laps with one hand, while using the other to keep his car in gear.
"I made a run on him off of the last corner, and by the time we got down into Turn 1,
I was beside him," Earnhardt said. "I knew if I went down in the corner too
hard, he was gonna duck back under me coming into the esses.
"So I slowed up and held him to the outside, and forced him to stay high going into
the corner. That way, he wouldn't have position on me off of Turn 1 to get under me. I
come out of that corner in second gear, and the car popped out of gear.
"He dove under me, and I tried to block him and get the car back in gear. I was all
over the place for a second. The last 20 laps, it'd just pop out of gear for no apparent
reason. It's difficult to drive this place with two hands, but with one hand, it's real
It had been Fellows' race all afternoon. He had virtually no trouble in leading four times
for 52 of the event's 82 laps, easily pulling out to advantages of four and five seconds.
This was his and his Joe Nemechek-owned Chevrolet's race to lose.
His engine, however, developed some sort of sputter late in the race. That killed his
momentum, and allowed Earnhardt to stay close on his bumper following a lap-76 restart.
"His car was too strong, and he drives too well," Fellows said with a rueful
smile. "There was nothing I could do. We just didn't have enough left. It's extremely
disappointing to come up one lap short, but that's the name of the game. I guess if that's
the worst of our bad luck all weekend, that's OK.
It was Earnhardt's third win in a row, the 10th of his NASCAR Busch Series career and
first in three starts at the 2.45-mile road course. "Little E" stretched his
lead in the standings from 64 to 129 points over second-place Matt Kenseth. He has now
finished either first or second in five straight races.
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