Moustache or not, it's the same
August 24, 1999 - By Marty Smith, NASCAR Online
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Since shaving his
trademark moustache a few weeks back, Dale Earnhardt doesn't look quite right away from
the racetrack. His appearance on it, however, hasn't changed a bit.
Earnhardt, driver of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench
Service Plus Chevrolet, drove to a fifth-place finish in the Pepsi 400 presented by Meijer
Sunday, once again proving his tenacious superspeedway prowess.
"The car would really work pretty much
anywhere," Earnhardt said. "It would get tighter and tighter as the run would
go, and that's the
way it had done all day. I want
to thank Goodyear and Goodwrench and all of the guys. Richard Childress and all the guys
did a good job.
"This is a brand new car and we didn't qualify that well with it. Coming back from as
far as we did and running fifth was OK. We would have liked to run a little better."
Even so, he'll take a top-5 any day. He only has four in 1999, all of which have come on
superspeedways two miles around or larger. Sunday, he battled from a provisional starting
spot (38th) to post one of his finest runs of the season. From the midway point on,
Earnhardt fiercely battled with race winner Bobby Labonte and runner-up Jeff Gordon down
the stretch, and had he been able to get a fresh set of tires late in the race, the
outcome may have been a bit different.
"I could beat them for awhile and it would go to getting tighter and tighter,"
he said. "We adjusted on it several times and got it better, but we just needed a
little more there for the end. I wish we could have had a caution with about 15 to go. We
could have got some stickers on and wore their butt out."
Regardless of the outcome, Earnhardt was happy to run with the leaders once again. In
recent weeks, "The Intimidator" has posted top-10s at Sears Point, New Hampshire
and Pocono twice. But Sunday, he was in contention for a win at the checkered flag rather
than just battling for position.
"I was having a good time, but my time ran out," Earnhardt said. "My tires
tightened up. I'd like to have been there at the end. The tires are great. These guys
worked awful hard to do that (come back from so far down). That's a lot of team effort to
adjust on the car today and come back from back there. It was close out there (racing with
the 18 and 24), but it was just good racing. That's what I was enjoying. That's what
they've been doing and I haven't been getting any of it. This time I got some of it."
Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on
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tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son. We are
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