Also See

1998 News Archive
(News stories)
1998 Race Reports Page
(Post-race reports)

Earnhardt History
1998 Season
First at last in the Daytona 500

Earnhardt finally wins the Daytona 500

1998 Season

Starts 33
Wins 1
Top 5's 5
Top 10's 13
Points Rank 8
Crew Chief:
Larry McReynolds, until Kevin Hamlin took over in early June
Car Owner:
Richard Childress
Car Make:
Chevy Monte Carlo
Car No: 3
Sponsor: GM Goodwrench Service Plus



The 1998 season got off to an immaculate start for Dale Earnhardt. He started his second season with crew chief Larry McReynolds. Earnhardt began Daytona Speedweeks with his ninth-straight Twin 125's qualifying win. Then, on February 15, Dale Earnhardt finally won his first Daytona 500! The big victory that had eluded him for 25 years was at last his.

Unfortunately, the rest of the season was not so smooth for Earnhardt. The next week at Rockingham, Dale finished an embarrassing 33rd. The team continued to post a string of poor finishes as Earnhardt quickly dropped from 1st to 12th in the points.

Earnhardt and McReynolds were beating the bushes, trying to figure out what was wrong. Midway through the season Earnhardt was still having mediocre finishes, and Richard Childress was ready to make any move he could think of to try and fix the dilemma. In early June, Childress announced that Larry McReynolds would swap duties with Kevin Hamlin, who was the crew chief for Dale's teammate Mike Skinner. The move came as big news. Just a short while ago there was big hype about McReynolds joining Earnhardt, and just like that he was gone.

With Hamlin on board, the team finished up the season with a few 2nd-place finishes and an 8th-place finish in the points. Hamlin's laid back style fit well with Earnhardt's also laid back style. The combo began to gel.


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