Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins the Golden Corral 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway!
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally etched his name in the Atlanta
Motor Speedway record book, winning Sunday's Golden Corral 500 NASCAR NEXTEL
Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt joins two other members of his family who have already
written themselves into Atlanta Motor Speedway history. His father, Dale
Earnhardt, won nine races in Atlanta, more than any other drivers in
history. His brother, Kerry, won the 2001 ARCA race.
"It was a big deal to win the Daytona 500 and The Winston, but it was a big
personal victory to win here," Earnhardt Jr. said.
Earnhardt started the season off by winning the Daytona 500 and taking the
points lead. He held that lead for another week at Rockingham before a
dismal 35th-place finish at Las Vegas relegated Earnhardt to seventh in the
"I went through the corners on pins and needles every lap," Earnhardt Jr.
said. "(This year) I went from hero to zero and back to hero."
After leading 22 laps late in the race and looking like he had a
shot at the win, Mayfield settled for second place.
"It seemed like as the race went on, the tighter we got," Mayfield
said. "I guess Junior and them made more aggressive adjustments. Junior
definitely had the best car at the end."
Rookie Kasey Kahne continued his impressive start, finishing third
and earning his third straight top-5 finish.
"We've got to be more consistent through the race," Kahne said. "To
get that win, we've got to run a little better through the middle part of
Jimmie Johnson and polesitter Ryan Newman rounded out the top 5.
Sunday's race capped a successful race weekend at Atlanta Motor
Speedway, which projected record spring race crowds for both Saturday's
EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 and Sunday's Golden Corral 500.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway,
NASCAR's fastest track, for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend.