A TUMS’ “Fights back fast” MOMENT
(For each of the 36 races during the 2011 Sprint Cup season, TUMS will provide a brief historical recap of a moment when a team fought back to overcome an obstacle, one that can easily be described as a TUMS “Fights Back Fast” Moment. This week, the focus is on Daytona International Speedway).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. claims victory in honor of his father
The date was July 9, 2001. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his No. 8 Chevrolet to victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, just over four months after his father lost his life in a crash on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500.
NOTE: TUMS is the sponsor of the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, at Martinsville Speedway on October 30.
Earnhardt Jr. held off Michael Waltrip, finishing 123 seconds ahead of his Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate.
Earnhardt Jr. had to dodge cars through two cautions in the final 20 laps that eliminated several contenders. He led 116 of 160 laps, but was running fifth with five laps remaining. By the time the checkered flag was displayed, it was the No. 8 making the trip to victory lane for what would be an emotional celebration.
“We had a great car –it was all car – 100 percent, I just had to hold on,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “He was with me tonight. I don’t know how I did it, but he (Earnhardt Sr.) was there. I dedicate this win to him. I mean, there ain’t nobody else I could dedicate it to that would mean more to me.”