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18th NASCAR Busch Win!
Daytona Int'l Speedway - July 4th, 2003
Dale Jr. and the D.M.P.
(Dirty Mo Posse) Team win the Winn-Dixie 250!
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Daytona Beach, FL - Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it look easy on Friday night by leading all 100 laps on his way to victory in the second annual Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt Jr.'s triumph was his sixth career victory at the "World Center of Racing" and his fourth in 2003. Earlier this year during Speedweeks, Earnhardt Jr. captured the Budweiser Shootout, a Gatorade 125's and the season-opening Koolerz 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.

"The car was great," said Earnhardt Jr., who has won all three Busch Series starts this year. "We stayed up front all night. I didn't think that was possible but it was possible."

The key to staying up front for Earnhardt Jr. was taking two tires on his lone pit stop.

"We won here in Richard (Childress's) car in the Busch Series (in 2002) and we won here in our car earlier this year and at Talladega and we did it on two-tire stops," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We weren't leading any of them races coming into the pits on the last stop and we couldn't pass the leader.
"So I said two tires and put me out front and I can hold them off. We won three races like that and now we won four." Rounding out the top five were Earnhardt Jr.'s Winston Cup teammate Michael Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Ron Hornaday and Johnny Sauter.
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"It probably looked real easy," said Earnhardt. "It looked real easy but it wasn't. The challenge tonight for me was the handle on the race car. It was real loose the first 35 laps or whatever, up until we had that first caution. I was just really really loose getting into the corner, but I was still was able to keep up my momentum, and I didn't have to lift or anything.

"It always a little bit of a help to be that loose, because I can run faster, but, as long as it didn't get any worse. So, that was quite a challenge for awhile, that was another good thing about taking the two tires was that it tightened the car up a little bit, and it sure did. The car was just perfect there with the two tires."

It is Earnhardt's 18th career victory in the series, and third consecutive NBS win this season.

"I got some celebrating to do," said Earnhardt. "Hopefully we will have more to do tomorrow night."

"We just had a super car," said Earnhardt. "I gotta credit the fabricators at DEI, Richie Gilmore in the engine shop, and the guys in Chance2, who are all very young. Due to their positions, they really did a great job putting the car together. It was only a 100 lap race and it kinda went by pretty fast, at least for me. It was just a lot of fun just being able to lead. I don't think I've ever lead every lap at a race before. It was pretty cool."


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