Earnhardt outduels Rudd to capture Pontiac 400 in record time AUTO RACING

February 25, 1991

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt held off Ricky Rudd in a three-lap shootout yesterday to win the Pontiac 400 Winston Cup race in a record-shattering pace.

Thanks in large part to just six caution flags that led to only 23 of the race's 400 laps being run under yellow, Earnhardt averaged 104.378 mph in his Chevrolet Lumina. The previous record for a Winston Cup event on Richmond International Raceway's .75-mile, D-shaped layout was 95.770 mph set by Davey Allison in September 1988.

Earnhardt's victory, the 49th of the defending Winston Cup champion's career, was worth $67,950.

Harry Gant was third, followed by Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip, the last driver on the lead lap.

Earnhardt passed Rudd for the lead on lap 255 and gradually built an advantage of more than four seconds.

The four-time Winston Cup champion gave up the top spot briefly when the entire field went through its third and final round of green-flag pit stops. By lap 324, everyone had gotten fuel and fresh tires for the run to the finish and Earnhardt was back up front, this time to stay.

Earnhardt enjoyed a lead of more than three seconds before Brett Bodine brought out the final caution flag when he slammed into the second-turn retaining wall on lap 393.

When the race went back to green with three laps left, Earnhardt quickly moved about three car-lengths ahead of Rudd's Chevrolet and stayed there for almost two laps.

But as Earnhardt came out of the fourth turn to take the white flag, his car appeared to slide slightly toward the outside and Rudd tapped the rear of the Lumina and jumped down to take the preferred low groove. Rudd pulled even as the cars crossed the start-finish line for the final lap, and he edged the front of his car slightly into the lead.

1. (19) Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet Lumina ,, 400, $67,950, 104.378, track record; old record 95.770, Davey Allison, September 1988. 2. (4) Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Chevrolet Lumina, 400, $45,675. 3. (6) Harry Gant, Taylorsville, N.C., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 400, $25,500. 4. (20) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Pontiac Grand Prix, 400, $13,050. 5. (2) Alan Kulwicki, Greenfield, Wis., Ford Thunderbird, 400, $19,025. 6. (14) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford Thunderbird, 400, $15,450. 7. (17) Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet Lumina, 400, $5,650. 8. (21) Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 399, $11,550. 9. (11) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Ford Thunderbird, 398, $5,150. 10. (5) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet Lumina, 398, $11,700.

11. (23) Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 398, $7,750. 12. (1) Davey Allison, Hueytown, Ala., Ford Thunderbird, 398, $15,350. 13. (7) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford Thunderbird, 398, $11,500. 14. (18) Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 396, $7,200. 15. (10) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Pontiac Grand Prix, 396, $7,660. 16. (29) Chad Little, Spokane, Wash., Ford Thunderbird, 395, $5,225. 17. (15) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Pontiac Grand Prix, 394, $6,525. 18. (22) Rick Wilson, Bartow, Fla., Buick Regal, 394, $6,375. 19. (33) Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Pontiac Grand Prix, 393, $5,500. 20. (28) Bobby Hillin, Midland, Texas, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 392, $5,525,

21. (13) Dale Jarrett, Conover, N.C., Ford Thunderbird, 392, $5,825. 22. (26) Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Buick Regal, 391, wreck, $5,750. 23. (25) Mickey Gibbs, Glencoe, Ala., Pontiac Grand Prix, 391, $3,375. 24. (3) Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Buick Regal, 390, wreck, $6,575. 25. (9) Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac Grand Prix, 390, $5,475. 26. (35) Robby Gordon, Orange, Calif., Ford Thunderbird, 388, $3,525. 27. (8) Ernie Irvan, Modesto, Calif., Chevrolet Lumina, 379, $8,950. 28. (32) Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 372, $3,225. 29.

(27) Joe Ruttman, Upland, Calif., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 367, $6,350. 30. (24) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford Thunderbird, 365, $9,870.

31. (31) Jimmy Means, Huntsville, Ala., Pontiac Grand Prix, 356, engine, $3,750. 32. (12) Derrike Cope, Spanaway, Wash., Chevrolet Lumina, 309, $10,225. 33. (34) Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet Lumina, 256, axle, $4,610. 34. (30) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Chevrolet Lumina, 236, steering, $4,600. 35. (16) Rick Mast, Rockbridge Baths, Va., Oldsmobile Cutlass,

221, $4,600.

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