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13th NASCAR Busch Win!
Richmond Int'l Raceway - Sept. 10th, 1999
Dale Jr. and the ACDelco Team win the Autolite Platinum 250!
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Richmond, VA - Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed veteran Mark Martin with seven laps to go Friday night to win the Autolite Platinum 250 Busch Grand National race.

"I want to ask the race fans, 'How was the race from up there?"' Earnhardt said in Victory Lane. "It looked pretty good from where I was at."

"We had a great race car," said Earnhardt, who could barely be heard over the approving crowd. "We could get around and move it high or low when we needed to. I just steered it, mashed the gas and it did the rest."

"I got Mark thinking I was working better on the bottom, I guess, and he moved down there and tried to jump me. We had the car working on old tires up high and I learned that earlier in practice from Mark. I didn't have my hopes up real high for getting by him. I seen how hard it was for me to get by Spencer and then Mark went right by him, so I thought there was no way I would get by Mark."
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"We didn't change anything at all during the race. The car was good most of the night. I figured if I messed with a good thing, it would take us backwards, so I just left it alone.

Earnhardt raced door to door for a number of laps with Jimmy Spencer, another Winston Cup regular who entered the Busch race. Dale Jr said, "Jimmy don't give an inch and I really enjoy racing with him. That's my kind of racing."

Earnhardt said he races people the same way they race him, referring to the contact with Spencer a few times during the evening. He said "Jimmy drives that way, so I know to expect that. If he puts tire marks down the side of my car, I don't care."

The cars battled side by side and bumper to bumper as the 61,000 fans at Richmond International Raceway stood and roared until the 24-year-old Earnhardt finally passed Martin in turn two and pulled ahead, winning by .548 seconds.

"He put it on me there at the end," said Martin, who had won five of his 10 previous Busch starts this season. "There wasn't anything I could do about it."
The victory was Earnhardt's series-high sixth of the year and extended his lead over Matt Kenseth from 26 points to 103 points with six races remaining.

Kenseth who started 29th, had problems and finished 17th, one lap down. "One hundred points isn't a whole lot to a guy like Matt Kenseth," Earnhardt said. "He's not going to hand it over to us. He'll bring out all the ammo."

The race featured 12 lead changes among eight drivers, eight cautions for 53 laps and ended with 11 cars having gone to the garage area early with damage.

The victory was the 13th of Earnhardt's career.


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