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Dale Earnhardt, Jr's Wins

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7th NASCAR Busch Win!
Gateway International Raceway - Oct. 17, 1998
Dale Jr. and the Team win the Carquest Auto Parts 250!


Madison, IL - Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted he didn't have the best car on the track, yet he managed to find a way to win the Carquest Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Earnhardt continued his march to the series championship with his seventh victory of the season.

He grabbed the point from Buckshot Jones when Jones' car broke an oil line on lap 174, and he then cruised to victory lane. "Buckshot was strong, awfully strong," Earnhardt said. "We weren't sure if were going to be able to beat him or not. We had a hard time trying to get by him because he wasn't going to give up anything".

"We didn't want to use up the tires, so we tried to conserve a little, especially in the middle part of the race. So, we hoped that if we just run well enough to stay within a few car lengths of him, maybe we might catch a break." He did when Jones' car started smoking 28 laps from the finish. NASCAR black-flagged Jones two laps later, and he came into the pits, where he lost two laps to the race leaders.

Matt Kenseth led his share of laps throughout the event, but couldn't overcome Earnhardt's ACDelco Chevrolet at the end. "We had a strong car today, but it just wasn't enough," Kenseth said. "We really thought we had a good enough car to win. On the last pit stop, they (the No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet team) made an adjustment, and that made them much better later in the race. Again, we had a great car, but it just wasn't good enough to win the race."

Earnhardt's crew tightened the car up on his last pit stop on lap 143, the one thing Earnhardt said put him over the top and allowed him to win.