Earnhardt History
1994 Season
Reaching Seventh Heaven

1994 Season

Starts 31
Wins 4
Top 5's 20
Top 10's 25
Points Rank 1
Crew Chief:
Andy Petree
Car Owner:
Richard Childress
Car Make:
Chevy Lumina
Car No: 3
Sponsor: GM Goodwrench

 

 

Everyone expected the 1994 NASCAR Winston Cup season to be one of unparalleled -- competition among drivers and teams to see who could be the first to unseat Dale Earnhardt and the Goodwrench team as NASCAR Winston Cup champions. More than two dozen changes had taken place during the off season as teams fought to find a combination that would propel them to a higher competitive plane and enable then to stop the black and white Goodwrench express.

There was little question that the combination of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress had been a marriage made in heaven. Since Dale had joined the team at the beginning of the 1984 season, the group had emerged as the winners of the year-long championship battle five times -- and those five championships had com in the last eight years. This team had won over 50 times in during their 10-year association and also had finished second 32 times and third in 37 other events. In the 291 races that Earnhardt and Childress competed in together since their union, the team had posted 119 top-three finishes -- and incredible average of more than 40 percent -- and had totaled nearly $17/5 million in winnings. By 1994, Earnhardt has won more money driving for Childress than any other driver had ever won in his career in the history of the sport!

No wonder the other teams in the garage area were trying everything in their power to find a way to compete at the same level that the Goodwrench effort was on!

Taking a look at the competition he would face at the season-opener, Earnhardt felt that three teams would be the most serious challenge to this attempt to tie Richard Petty with sever Winston Cup championships. Dale felt that Mark Martin, most of all, would be strong because of the combination of the driver, team personnel and determined car owner Jack Roush could never be discounted.

Ernie Irvan had fit in well with Robert Yates team and would develop into a force in '94. The third team able to mount a serious challenge, Dale reckoned, was Rusty Wallace and his Penske South operation. Wallace's Miller-sponsored team had switched from Pontiacs (after 10 victories) to Fords during the off-season, and if the team could come to terms quickly with its new Thunderbird, Earnhardt felt that Rusty could be a serious challenger.

 



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