The Winston - Paint Schemes
1999: Wrangler Jeans
1999 Winston Select:
time when retro is in, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing went back in time and
returned to the 1980s for the 1999 Winston all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in
Charlotte. Earnhardt's car featured the nostalgic blue and yellow colors with Wrangler
Jeans on the hood.
It had been 11 years since Wrangler Jeans was associated with the No. 3 car of Richard
Childress Racing. After winning the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup championship together,
Wrangler exited the sport and GM Goodwrench advanced from its associate sponsorship to
RCR's primary sponsor. The entire gang came back together for this one race.
"It's great to see those yellow and blue colors again," said team owner
Childress. "Looking at the car brings back a lot of memories. GM Goodwrench Service
Plus and Wrangler have been instrumental in RCR's success. I'm glad we could bring them
together for this reunion."
For the driver who spent seven years driving a Wrangler car
and another 12 years in a black GM Goodwrench car, the 1999 Winston was memorable.
"This paint scheme is pretty special," said Earnhardt. "It represents
the two major sponsors I have had throughout my racing career. We were fortunate to
represent both GM Goodwrench Service Plus and Wrangler Jeans as champions. It will be
great to get them into Victory Lane again."
"This is the fifth paint scheme that GM Goodwrench Service Plus has had for
NASCAR's all-star event," said Bill Fitzgerald, event manager at GM's Service Parts
Operations. "The Winston is an exciting and entertaining event for GM Goodwrench
Service Plus. Dale's 'pass in the grass' while driving the Wrangler car brought the
all-star event into prime time."
"The yellow and blue No. 3 brings out an enormous sense of pride for all of the
people associated with Wrangler Jeans and Shirts," said Brian Goldberg, vice
president of marketing communications for Wrangler. "We can't help but feel a bit
nostalgic for the old days when Dale Earnhardt was just beginning to make a name for
himself, and the sight of the Wrangler Jean Machine in Victory Lane was a familiar sight.
The years 1981 and 1987 bookmark Wrangler's racing roots with a whole lot of action
including two championships."
In the Race:
Dale Earnhardt gave a throwback effort
in a throwback car but settled for fourth at The Winston on Saturday night.
The event consisted of three segments - two 30-lap runs and a final 10-lap sprint - with a
10-minute break after the first segment for teams to make adjustments to their cars. Also
part of the first intermission was a "Plinko" board that determined the number
of spots that would be inverted for the second 30-lap run.
Earnhardt, his Chevrolet Monte Carlo painted with the blue and yellow Wrangler Jeans
scheme from the 80s, started the race from fifth position, dodged a couple of multi-car
crashes, briefly took the lead from Jeff Gordon at one point, but due to an ill-handling
car, finished fourth in the first segment. The biggest wreck of the segment, which was
triggered close behind Earnhardt, took nearly half of the field out of contention,
including many top contenders.
After the first segment, the "Plinko" board was used to decide that the
top six cars would invert their positions. Dale moved from 4th to 3rd because of this.
Before the segment started, Dale's crew tightened the car up because it was loose in
segment one. Earnhardt moved into second position at the start of the second segment.
During laps 8 and 9 of the 30-lap segment, Dale swapped the lead a couple times with Terry
Labonte. But his car again became loose, and he fell back to finish 6th in the second
Earnhardt's crew changed four tires and tightened the car up a
bit more for the final 10-lap shootout (segment 3). The Intimidator tried to get to the
front with his four fresh tires but couldn't get into position to become a contender. He moved up two spots at the start of the final dash but
couldn't make any more progress, finishing almost one second back from the third-place car
of Jeff Gordon.
Terry Labonte passed Tony Stewart with four laps remaining to capture the win. Jeff Gordon
finished third, followed by Earnhardt and Jeremy Mayfield in fifth.
Earnhardt, the only three-time winner of The Winston, earned $30,000 for the fourth place
Click on an image for a larger version.
Just like old times.
Copyright © 2001 The Earnhardt Connection
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