Sunday, July 10, 2005
Dale Earnhardt Jr get first win of season at Chicagoland
This is exactly what this team needed, a win. To find the winners circle is a big step in the right direction. Dale Jr chased down his first victory of 2005.
The last of 10 caution flags waved on Lap 249, when Mike Bliss and Jeff Gordon crashed, giving all the leaders a last chance to pit on a day when right-side tires were blistering and causing numerous blowouts and crashes.
Scott Wimmer stayed on the track and took the lead, while Earnhardt and several other drivers took only two tires and moved ahead of both Kenseth and Tony Stewart, who took four tires after coming into the pits first and second. (They came out 9th and 10th.)
The green flag came out on Lap 255, and it took Earnhardt three laps to get past Wimmer, who then faded quickly. (Wimmer gambled and finished 17th.)Meanwhile, Kenseth charged toward the front, grabbing second place from Brian Vickers on Lap 261.
But Kenseth couldn't catch Earnhardt, finishing about five car-lengths back.
I do admit, Matt Kenseth had the dominate car. For the longest time, him and Tony Stewart drove away from the field. Yes, that Tony that wrecked in practice and had to start from last because JJ Yeley qualified his car. He can drive the wheels of anything. The short pit strategy late in the race was key for Jr. I told my wife this morning that he was going to pull off something like that for a win. With last week's top five finish and this week's win, this team is starting to standup again. Hopefully eight more weeks of it to be eligible for the playoffs.
Now only the Top 10 reside with the invitations for the Chase. Dale Jarrett is only nine points out at 409. Carl Edwards -475, Dale Jr -491, Kevin Harvick -496, and Jeff Gordon -502 still have a eight weeks to get under the 400 point cutt off.