TDIH: February 15, 1998


In his 20th attempt, Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally wins the Harley J. Earl Trophy, in the 40th running of the Daytona 500. He would lead five times for a total of 107 laps, with the race ending under the caution flag sealing the victory for #3. Leading the final 61 laps, Senior would hold off Bobby Labonte and Jeremy Mayfield late in the race, using the slower lapped car of Rick Mast to his advantage coming out of turn four. With Lake Speed and John Andretti spinning down the backstretch, the field would race back to the yellow and certain victory, with Earnhardt leading the way. Although this would prove to be his only win in 1998, it completed the career grand slam for Earnhardt, having previously won the Winston 500, Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500 three times a piece. Six years later to the day of his fathers triumph, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in only his fifth try, would hold off Tony Stewart to win the 46th Daytona 500.


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