Earnhardt History
1995 Season
New Monte Carlo dominates

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1995 Season

Starts 31
Wins 5
Top 5's 19
Top 10's 23
Points Rank 2
Crew Chief:
Andy Petree
Car Owner:
Richard Childress
Car Make:
Chevy Monte Carlo
Car No: 3
Sponsor: GM Goodwrench Service

 

 

When the 1995 season opened in Daytona, the sport had a new look; no less than 18 drivers and a half-dozen crew chiefs had changed teams. Still, the favorite to win the year-long championship was none other than Dale Earnhardt, who had celebrated a record-tying seventh title the previous year. Earnhardt, for the third time in his career, found himself in a position to win a third-consecutive crown and become just the second driver in history to do so (Cale Yarborough's feet of winning three straight [1976-'78] had stood the test of time). And that wasn't the only thing on Earnhardt's agenda as he headed to Daytona with his black Goodwrench Chevrolet; he was also hoping to win his first Daytona 500.

But for the second-straight year, Sterling Marlin drove his Morgan-McClure Chevy to victory in the Daytona 500, outrunning Earnhardt in the final laps.

Chevrolet debuted its al-new Monte Carlo in '95, returning the nameplate model to NASCAR Winston Cup competition to replace the aging Lumina. The new car was even better than preseason tests had indicated, and from the beginning of the season, the Monte Carlos went to victory lane regularly. Chevrolet teams simply decimated Ford's hopes by winning the first seven races of the season and 13 of the first 16 events. The new Monte Carlo was so strong -- on every type of race track -- that the Manufacturer's title was never in doubt. The bowtie Brigade clinched the crown at the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington.

The surprise of the season was the Hendrick Motorsports combination of Jeff Gordon, crew chief Ray Evernham and the rest of the crew members wearing rainbow-hued uniforms. Jeff won the Winston Select after watching veterans Darrell Waltrip and Earnhardt eliminate each other in battle. One-third way through the season, Earnhardt and Gordon were tied for the points lead. Gordon led the points two-thirds through the season.

Although they maintained the point lead, everyone expected the youthful DuPont team and driver to be sent reeling by Earnhardt and the Richard Childress team when it came to the cauldron of the point race, beginning at Bristol. Earnhardt fought his way back through the field twice after two black flags, and punted Terry Labonte across the finish line in a fiercely determined drive, underlining his determination to win an eighth title.

Earnhardt's hard charge fell short however, as his attempt at a third-straight title fell 24 points short after he dominated the season finale at Atlanta.

Although his dreams of an eighth title did not materialize, Earnhardt had another great season. He posted his first career victory on a road course (when he snookered Mark Martin at Sears Point) and capped it with an impressive, hard-fought victory in the second running of the Brickyard 400. If nothing else, he had put the Earnhardt name on a page of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway record book, a feat he never thought he would be able to accomplish. Rest assured, however, that a Daytona 500 victory and regaining the head table at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City ranked at the top of the Goodwrench driver's personal agenda for 1996.

 



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