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Their number one competitor for the award is Matt Kenseth

Their number one competitor for the award is Matt Kenseth

2000 is Earnhardt’s breakout seasons in the Cup Show, the guy competed with the Raybestos NASCAR Novice of the season Honor in the 2000. Kenseth outran Earnhardt regarding the seasons-beginning Daytona five-hundred. Earnhardt scored his first earn on DirecTV five-hundred within Texas Engine Speedway, damaging the checklist kept from the their dad Earnhardt Sr. having fewest starts from the a driver to make 1st profit when you look at the NASCAR’s “progressive era” by the successful inside the twelfth start, at Richmond Las Vegas NV sugar daddy International Raceway. The guy turned into the original newbie in order to winnings the latest All of the-Star exhibition battle.

Earnhardt played an associate in reproducing that Winston Mug milestone when you look at the 2000 as he competed along with his dad and 50 % of-aunt Kerry regarding the Pepsi 400 from the Michigan All over the world Speedway. That celebration was only next time one to a father got raced facing several sons – Lee Petty along with his one or two sons Richard and Maurice got in past times completed the brand new accomplishment.[9]

Within the 2001, the major experiences of the year took place on the Daytona five-hundred. Given that Earnhardt along with his teammate Michael Waltrip raced toward wind up line, he complete second so you’re able to Waltrip. His father got damaged subsequently 4 immediately following Sterling Marlin generated connection with their left buttocks bumper. Earnhardt Sr. increased the newest song towards exterior wall surface at the rear of Waltrip and you may their guy and you can built-up Ken Schrader in the act. Earnhardt Sr. was obvious dry from the 5:16 pm because of a beneficial basilar head break.

Regarding aftermath, of a lot disgruntled admirers sent dying dangers in order to ing your to the crash; Earnhardt and you can Waltrip both asked one fans eliminated blaming people to possess Earnhardt Sr.’s the reason dying and the regional police and NASCAR investigations on the the new crash cleaned Marlin of every engagement. Earnhardt raced from the Rockingham next week-end, however, finished in 43rd-place shortly after an excellent wreck on the first lap you to appeared eerily just like their father’s ruin simply a week earlier. Afterwards in the year, Earnhardt undergone a revival, you start with a difficult victory from the Pepsi eight hundred, that has been and the earliest race kept from the Daytona because their dad’s passing.

Earnhardt met with the prominent car of the battle, leading 115 from 160 laps. To the history resume, he was able to take action out-of 6th to help you first place on course of a few laps, having Waltrip carrying from the community while the Earnhardt grabbed the fresh checkered banner. eight hundred within Dover, that was the first Cup battle following the Sep 11 symptoms since the brand new booked battle during the The fresh Hampshire System Speedway was defer till the prevent of the season. After the battle, the guy performed a shine earn lap while you are holding a big American flag out of the driver’s top window.

The guy claimed this new MBNA Cal Ripken Jr

On the Fall, Earnhardt grabbed their 2nd restrictor plate profit as he won this new EA Sports 500 in the Talladega since a crash unfolded to the back straightaway one brought about Bobby Labonte so you can flip more as well as have gathered fifteen most other automobiles. This new Talladega victory made Earnhardt a Winston Zero Bull 5 $1 million incentive. He was docked twenty-five issues, however, shortly after his car failed blog post-race review. With this win, DEI swept about three of five restrictor dish events getting 2001, simply failing woefully to win the fresh springtime Talladega race. He complete the newest 2001 season eighth in the items standings which have three wins, nine Most readily useful 5s, and you will fifteen Greatest 10s, as well as several poles.[10]


In the 2002, Earnhardt Jr. got a good roller-coaster 12 months. The guy struggled once lasting an effective concussion off a mind-on the accident into outside wall structure during the Ca competition within the April – an accident he don’t admit so you can up until mid-September. Throughout the around three events following California, the guy accomplished zero better than 30th. Yet not, Earnhardt Jr. rallied to help you sweep each other Talladega races (best a principal 133 from 188 laps about spring race), a couple of Bud Rod Honors and you can an enthusiastic 11th-set find yourself about standings having 11 better-fives and you may sixteen better-ten closes.

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