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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Mountain Dew 500 Preview: #3, Dale Earnhardt

28 August 1997

 #3 Dale Earnhardt, GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Monte Carlo
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Mountain Dew Southern 500 Advance
 Darlington Raceway

DARLINGTON, SC - If you were looking for directions to victory lane at 
Darlington Raceway, Dale Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team 
know how to get to you there. Combined, they have celebrated victory nine 
times. More than any other active driver in the series. Only legend David 
Pearson has won more races at the egg-shaped raceway, winning 10 events 
including the 1979 Southern 500, while filling in for an injured Earnhardt. 

 - Earnhardt's first win at Darlington came in 1982, while driving for car 
owner Bud Moore. His best string of finishes came between 1986 and 1990, when 
he went on to win six out of ten events in that time span. The GM Goodwrench 
Service Plus team won three consecutive races starting with the 1989 Heinz 
500 and sweeping the field in 1990 winning both the TranSouth and Heinz 500 

 - Earnhardt holds the race speed record at Darlington Raceway while driving 
his Chevrolet, 139.958 mph, in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 29 seconds on March 
28, 1993.

 - In Earnhardt's nine wins, he has started from the pole position twice and 
as far back as 15th. Eight of his wins came when he started in one of the 
top-10 qualifying positions.

 - The GM Goodwrench Service Plus teams biggest payday was $205,350 on 
September 8, 1990. They collected a $100,000 bonus from Series sponsor 
Winston, for winning two of the Series' big four events (Daytona 500, Winston 
500, Coca-Cola 600 and TranSouth 500). 


"The only difference with the flip flop of the start/finish line is that the 
race should be called a 500 1/2-mile event. We'll race the same, but the 
first couple of laps, going into turn four/two everybody needs to hold their 
line. Once we get past that point, it will be the same old tough Darlington."

"The crew did a great job last week," said Larry MCReynolds. "After getting 
caution in that crash we had to replace a radiator. We only lost three laps 
while replacing the radiator, removing the hood and checking the tow-in."

Earnhardt on Gordon's shot at million dollars:

"A million dollars is a lot of money, I'm sure they will be prepared for this 
weekend. The media will be putting pressure on them to win,  let's see if 
they let the pressure get to them."

"It's a great incentive that Winston has put up for all of us," remarked 
Richard Childress. "Only one driver has ever won the money and that was over 
ten years ago. It would be good for the sport if they won the money, but it 
would be great for us to be the spoiler and get the GM Goodwrench Service 
Plus team back into victory lane."

By Champion Sports Group