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Motor Racing Roundup : Earnhardt Wins in Patched-Up Auto

March 09, 1987| From Times Wire Services

Dale Earnhardt seemed to be in trouble, but he got a quick fix.

Earnhardt wrecked his car in practice Saturday, but his crew put it back together in time for him to win the NASCAR Miller 400 Sunday at Richmond, Va.

"We put a new engine in it after qualifying during practice yesterday," Earnhardt said. "The throttle hung, I wrecked the car and we decided to fix it here in Richmond.

"They said they thought we could fix this car and be more competitive with it. We just went out there and went to work. I could have been a little better, but we were still a little better than anybody else."

It was the second straight Winston Cup victory for Earnhardt, who took the lead midway through the race and finished three car lengths ahead of Geoff Bodine.

Earnhardt, the defending national points champion, posted an average speed of 81.521 m.p.h. to claim his 22nd career win. Earnhardt also won last week's Rockingham 500 at the North Carolina Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt, who regained control of his Chevrolet after a spin-out on the eighth lap, took the lead from Bill Elliott on lap 232.

Bodine finished second in a Chevrolet and Rusty Wallace was third in a Pontiac. Elliott claimed fourth in a Ford and Terry Labonte finished fifth in a Chevrolet in the $336,180 event before a record crowd of 30,000.

By winning, Earnhardt won $49,150 and broke a first-place tie with Elliott in the points race. Earnhardt now leads with 530 points to 510 for Elliott.

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