ERNIE IRVAN 1998 RACE-BY-RACE RECAPS

From Atlanta back to the Daytona 500, covers practice, qualifying, happy hour and the race


ATLANTA
ERNIE's(RICKY's) PRACTICE at Atlanta for the NAPA 500: 11/6/98 Practice - Ernie it sitting out again this weekend, Ricky Craven will run the #36. Not so good so far, Ricky was 40th fastest of 48 drivers with a speed of 188.308mph in 16 laps. In contrast, fastest was Ward Burton, over 5 mph faster at 193.575. 11/7/98 Practice Ricky was 26th fastest with a speed of 186.158mph in 21 laps. Gary Bradberry was was fastest in the #78 Pilot Ford with a speed of 189.015mph and even backed it up during 2nd round as he was the fastest 2nd round qualifier.

ERNIE's(RICKY's) QUALIFYING at Atlanta: 11/6/98 - Ricky could only muster up the 40th fastest tome during 1st round qualifying. Looks like another provisional. The team is safely in the field as they are 15th in owners points and would be awarded a provisional no matter what happens, unless of course Ricky goes out 2nd round and gets in the top 26. See link below for my Provisional page. Ricky's speed today was 188.213mph. Ricky did not make a second round attempt and will start the #36 in 39th, taking a provisional, the teams 8th and third with Ricky. Pole Winner: Kenny Irwin, #28 Texaco Ford, 193.461mph

ERNIE's(RICKY's) HAPPY HOUR at Atlanta: 11/7/98 - Ricky was 38th with a top speed of 184.578mph in 35laps. Mark Martin was the fastest with a speed of 188.008mph.

ERNIE's(RICKY's) RACE at Atlanta: 11/8/98 - Ricky Craven drove for Ernie in the last race of the year. Ricky started 39th in a provisional spot and was able to bring the #36 Skittles Pontiac home 25th in the lead lap after the longest delay in NASCAR history(for one day). 25th was pretty good, considering where it ran during all the practices and qualifying. Ernie dropped to 19th in drivers points and will return to the car in 1999, but it'll be quite different! It'll be the #36 M&M's Pontiac and be yellow instead of red. Should be easy to pick Ernie out next year. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(13th win of the year, a modern era record with The King)


ROCKINGHAM
ERNIE's(RICKY's) PRACTICE at Rockingham for the ACDelco 400: 10/30/98 Practice #1 - Ernie it sitting out today's action(see above story). Ricky Craven is practicing the car and was 32nd fastest at 151.759mph in 8 laps. Rusty Wallace was the fastest at 155.656mph. 10/30/98 Practice #2 - Craven was 29th fastest with a speed of 152.721mph in 4 laps. Rusty was fastest agian at 155.464mph. 10/31/98 Practice #1 -- Ricky ran 32 laps with a top speed of 146.942mph which was 40th fastest of 46 cars. Ted musgrave was the fastest at 151.321mph. Speeds were much slower on Saturday morning.

ERNIE's(RICKY's) QUALIFYING at Rockingham: 10/30/98 - Ricky Craven, still subbing for Ernie, went out 38th of 46 drivers, and only ran the 36th fastest in first round qualifying with a speed of 153.426mph. The team should at least make an attempt on Saturday morning(9:30am) and try to get in the top 28 as there are 28 front pit stalls and the rest are on the backstretch. The team stood on it's time and dropped one spot to 37th and will use their 7th provisional of the year to make the race and start 37th. Pole Winner: Surprise: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford, 156.502mph

ERNIE's(RICKY's) HAPPY HOUR at Rockingham: 10/31/98 - Craven ran 61 laps and was 38th fastest with a speed of 146.395mph. Jeff Burton was fastest at 150.555mph.

ERNIE's(RICKY's) RACE at Rockingham: 11/1/98 - Ricky Craven drove for Ernie and came up from 37th starting spot to get into the top 10 when he brushed the wall hard and damaged the car. Ricky was able to limp around the track for a while and finished 37th. Ernie dropped to 16th in the drivers points, but only 19 ahead of Michael Waltrip. Looks more and more that Ernie will not drive at Atlanta, we'll see. Winner: Jeff Gordaon, #24 DuPont Chevy(12th win of the year)


PHOENIX
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Phoenix for the Dura Lube/Kmart 500: 10/23/98 Practice #1 - Ernie was 30th fastest of 46 cars, he ran 17 laps and had a speed of 127.618mph. Kenny schrader was fastest at 129.697mph. 10/23/98 Practice #2 - A little faster but not much better, Ernie ran 8 laps and was 37th of 46 cars with a speed of 128.154mph. Kenny Schrader was fastest again in the #33 Skoal Chevy at 130.415mph. 10/24/98 Practice AM - Ernie continues to run slow. He ran 38 laps for a top speed of 125.461mph. Derrike Cope was fastest at 127.302mph, which would have been 46th fastest, so speeds are much slower Saturday morning. Expect Ernie to stay with his 1st round time and take a provisional.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Phoenix: 10/23/98 - Ahhhh.....what happened, well shouldn't be surprised with the practice speeds. Ernie ran a lap of 128.535mph which was 39th fastest. He's guaranteed of making the race based on the owners points(the last prov), so he'll be in. Not sure if he'll attempt 2nd round and take the provisional. One good thing about Phoenix, is that a driver can win from deep in the field, no one from the front row has ever won a Cup race there. Ernie and the team stood on the first round time as practice speeds were much slower, Ernie will start 41st with a provisional, the 6th he has taken this year. Pole Winner: Surprise: Kenny Schrader, #33 Skoal Chevy, 131.234mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Phoenix: 10/24/98 - Hey, Ernie picked up the pace and was 9th fastest in Happy Hour. Ernie ran 125.984mph in 44 laps. I found out Sunday, that Ricky Craven practiced the car for the majority of the laps during Happy Hour. John Andretti in the #43 Pontiac was fastest at 126.596mph. Two incidents left Bobby Labonte and Derrike Cope going to backup cars.

ERNIE's RACE at Phoenix: 10/25/98 - Ricky Craven drove the car to a 30th place finish after having to start last. Ricky fell a lap behind quickly. Ricky finished 3 laps down. Ernie sat out as he said he did not feel right and couldn't give the car 100%. This pretty much will cost Ernie a shot at 10th in the drivers points with two races to go. Ernie drops to 15th in the drivers points and 287 behind John Andretti in 10th. Winner: Rusty Wallace, #2 Miller Lite Ford(1st win of the year)


DAYTONA: PEPSI 400
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Daytona for the Pepsi 400: 10/15/98 Practice - I like Ricky, but it just ain't the same without Ernie going out tonight. He had a legit shot at the pole too. Anyhow, Ricky ran 10 laps and was 30th fastest with a speed of 188.853 mph. Bobby Labonte was the fastest at 192.628mph. Remember Ricky was probably out there just getting used to the car and the crew. Ricky ran the 22nd fastest at 188.107mph in 8 laps. Danny Pardus was the fastest in the #07 Chevy at 189.127mph, and he made that stand up by running fastest 2nd round at 189.946mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Daytona: 10/15/98 - Ricky Craven, subbed for Ernie during qualifying. Ricky went out 21st of 48 drivers and could only muster up the 39th fastest speed. Ricky will have to pick it up in 2nd round Friday at 6pm or the team will have to take a provisonal. The team is guaranteed to make the race by the way of a provisional. Thanks to Ricky Craven for helping Ernie and the team in a time of need. The team chose to stand on their first round speed and will take a provisional to start 39th. Pole Winner: Bobby Labonte, #18 Small Soldiers/Interstate Batteries Pontiac, 193.611mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Daytona: 10/16/98 - Ricky Craven is still subbing in the #36. He ran 13 laps with the 14th fastest speed of 189.127mph. Then Ernie got in the car and ran 11 laps with a speed of 190.597mph which was 8th fastest, so at least Ernie can drive tha car if he decides to tomorrow. Looks like a game day decision. Bobby Hamilton was the fastest at 191.346mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Daytona: 10/17/98 - Ernie started the Pepsi 400 and when the first caution came out on lap 11, Ernie got out and Ricky Craven took the controls of the #36 Wild Berry Skittles Pontiac and promptly took it up towards the front and got into the top five and was able to finish 8th which should do wonders for Ernie's chase to the top 10 in drivers points. Ernie moved up a spot to 13th place and is 137 points out of the top 10. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(11th win of the year)


TALLADEGA
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Talladega for the Winston 500: 10/9/98 Practice - Ernie ran 14 laps with the 10th fastest speed of 194.259mph. Bobby Labonte was fastest at 195.748mph. 10/10/98 Practice - If this was for the race setup, Ernie could be quite a factor, he was 3rd fastest in the AM practice with a speed of 194.574mph in 29 laps. Bobby Labonte was fastest at 195.656mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Talladega: 10/9/98 - Well, not what any of us expected. Ernie went out 35th and ended up with the 20th fastest speed of 192.761mph in the Wild Berry Pontiac, also noticed the car had GTE on the lower 1/4 panels. At least Ernie can set up for the race in the AM practice and not have to worry about 2nd round. Pole Winner: Kenny Schrader, #33 Skoal Chevy, 196.153mph(1st pole of 1998)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Talladega: 10/10/98 - Ernie only ran 12 laps but was 5th fastest with a speed of 194.523mph. Sterling Marlin was the fastest in the #40 Coors Light Chevy at 196.297mph. It will be televised at 12:30am/et on ESPN2(this is midnight:30).

ERNIE's RACE at Talladega: 10/11/98 - Ernie started 20th and was in the top 5 for a while until he ran over a piece of debris around lap 115 which cut down a left front tire and broke a brake line. The crew did a great job to make repairs and keep Ernie on the lead lap during the caution. On lap 135, just after Ernie got lapped, he and Sterling Marlin got together, with Marlin just touching the left rear of Ernie's #36 Wild Berry Pontiac, Ernie then spun and backed into the wall and then got hit hard twice, once by Dick Trickle then by Mark Martin. It took quite a while to extract Ernie from the car, as they had to cut the roof off the car to get him out and they took him directly to the hospital, not to the infield care center. They interviewed Ryan Pemberton who said Ernie was talking and alert. During his interview in victory lane, Dale Jarrett said that he was glad his friend, Ernie Irvan, was ok, and Dr. Jerry Punch said that Ernie is not seriously hurt. Ernie was credited with a 37th place finish. See Ernie's update at the top of the page. ALL STATS UPDATED. Winner: Dale Jarrett, #88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford(3rd win of the year) and won the No Bull 5 million.


CHARLOTTE
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Charlotte, NC for the UAW-GM 500: 9/30/98 Practice - Ernie ran 12 laps and had the fastest speed during practice at 180.620mph. Not too shabby, he is practicing and qualifying well lately, that win is almost here. 10/1/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 15 laps and was 8th fastest at 175.712mph. Jimmy Spencer was fastest in the #23 Winston Ford at 176.759mph. 10/1/98 Practice #2 - Ernie ran 46 laps and was 15th fastest with a speed of 174.300mph, Geoff Bodine was fastest at 176.516mph. 10/1/98 Practice #3 - Ernie was 24th fastest in 33 laps with a speed of 173.483mph. Jeff Burton was fastest at 176.951mph. The Cup series takes Friday off. 10/3/98 Practice - Ernie only ran 18 laps with the 10th fastest speed of 177.090mph. Bobby Hamilton was fastest at 178.607mph(ran 42 laps).

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Charlotte: 9/30/98 - Ernie went out 34th of 48 drivers and was able to qualify 4th, his speed was 181.135mph. Not too bad, the team is qualifying well now. Pole Winner: Derrike Cope, #30 Gumout Pontiac, 181.690mph(1st pole ever)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Charlotte: 10/3/98 - Erine ran 58 laps in Happy Hour and was the 3rd fastest with a speed of 176.051mph. Jeremy Mayfield was fastest at 176.800mph. Let's see, Ernie was 1st, 8th, 15th, 24th, 10th and 3rd in the six practices, and 4th qualifying. I think he's ready for a win, or at least that elusive top five.

ERNIE's RACE at Charlotte: 10/4/98 - Ernie had a very strong car all day and took the lead for the first time in the race at lap 10 for 14 laps. He then stayed in the top 5 and retook the lead on lap 124. At lap 137 during a pitstop under yellow, an airgun didn't work properly and caused a 24 second pit stop which sent Ernie back to 13th. But Ernie slowly worked his way back to the front. On lap 193, the team had a much better pitstop and Ernie came out 5th. Oh my goodness, right directly in front of Ernie, Bobby Labonte spun on lap 202 and hit the wall, Ernie missed him by a millimeter if that, the it ended up being a huge wreck. It looked like a Talladega/Daytona wreck. Ugh..lap 267, Jerry Nadeau, hit the wall. brought out a caution, and all the leaders came it to pit. Ernie came in 3rd and went out 6th, his stop took 19.7 seconds and Ward Burton and Mark Martin took around 17.5 seconds. Ahhhh....then on the lap 271 green flag, Dick Trickle blew a tire and collected Ernie and Ernie hit the wall and it was damaged pretty badly. Ryan Pemberton took the blame for the accident because of where Ernie had to restart after the pitstop. There goes the top five and possible win. Only Ernie's 2nd DNF of the season and his first since Texas. Ernie was pretty miffed, but I think when he sees the tape, he'll see Trickle got out of his way and blew a tire. I was am pretty bummed, I can't remember the last time I was so into a race, maybe Michigan in 1997 when Ernie last won. Ernie ended up finishing 31st and dropped to 13th in the drivers standings. Ernie is 85 points from 10th. Ernie was voted the Goody's Headache Powders Award, $2,500(bad break of the race). Well Ernie is off to Talladega and another pole! Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford(7th win of the year)


MARTINSVILLE
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Martinsville, VA for the NAPA AutoCare 500: 9/25/98 Practice - Finally found the practice speeds at That's Racin', Ernie was 2nd fastest with a speed of 93.447mph, while Jeff Burton was fastest at 93.562mph. Would have been nice to know this so we would have been more prepared for Ernie's great pole run. Since he went out 4th and I had seen no speeds, I wasn't sure if that was a good lap or not. 9/26/98 Practice - Ernie was 40th fastest with 74 laps run and a fast speed of 91.806mph, but I am sure the car was not taped up(like in qualifying, making it faster) and and that Ernie and Ryan were doing race setups. Fastest car was Jeff Burton in the #99 Exide Ford at 92.764mph. A hectic 2nd round qualifying is on tap, glad Ernie is not involved.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Martinsville: 9/25/98 - Ernie went out 4th of 47 drivers and blistered the track for a great run of 93.608mph. Which was good enough to WIN THE POLE!! Pole Winner: Ernie Irvan, #36 Skittles Pontiac, 93.608mph(3rd pole of 1998, 22nd of career)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Martinsville: 9/26/98 - Ernie ran 83 laps and was 4th fastest with a speed of 91.824mph. Fastest was Mark Martin at 92.096mph. So it looks like Ernie is ready to race! Happy Hour will be on ESPN2 at 9:30pm/et tonight.

ERNIE's RACE at Martinsville: 9/27/98 - Ernie started well and led the 14 laps, the only laps he lead. He and Jeff Gordon got together and it seemed to hurt both cars. Ernie stayed on the lead lap until just near the ned of the race when he tried to avoid spinning Kenny Schrader out and spun himself out. It wasn't what we hoped but Ernie got another top 10. Ernie was able to bring the #36 home in 8th place. And what about Ricky Rudd, what a great job to get that win, which marks 16 years in a row he has won a race. All stats are updated. Winner: Ricky Rudd, #10 Tide Ford


DOVER
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Dover, DE for the MBNA Gold 400: 9/18/98 Practice #1 - Not bad, Ernie was 7th fastest in practice, he ran 17 lpas and had a speed of 154.812mph. Ricky Rudd was the fastest at 156.141mph. Practice #2 - Ernie ran 7 laps and was 8th fastest with a speed of 155.099mph. Mark Martin was fastest at 156.467mph. 9/19/98 Practice -- Ernie was 13th fastest after running 62 laps and a top speed of 151.044. Chad Little in the #97 John Deere Ford was fastest at 152.963mph. Speeds are much slower today then on Friday.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Dover: 9/18/98 - Ernie went out 23rd of 46 drivers. Ernie slowed down during qualifying as oppsoed to his practice speeds. He ran a lap of 153.879mph and will start 23rd on Sunday. Pole Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford, 155.996mph(new track record)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Dover: 9/19/98 - Much better, Ernie was 4th overall fastest with a speed 0f 150.577mph in 51 laps. Rusty Wallace was the fastest with a speed of 151.381mph. Mark Martin was 2nd and Kyle Petty was third fastest. Real shame, Ernie was fast in all practices, but something happened in qualifying that slowed him up. Hopefully Ernie will be able to charge up front on Sunday.

ERNIE's RACE at Dover: 9/20/98 - Ernie was a slow starter at Dover, he fell a lap down early and slowly moved up to the top 15. He kept fighting and finally around lap 320, he got the lap back and was on the lead lap and the top 10. On lap 335 under another caution, Ernie who was running at the end of the lead lap, decided to pit and get fresh tires. It didn't really help much as Ernie held on and got an 8th place finish to maintain 13th in the drivers points. Ernie is now just 108 points out of 10th and has a great chance to get to 9th. Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford(6th win of the year)


RICHMOND
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Richmond, VA for the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400: 9/11/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 13 laps with the 32nd fastest lap at 121.261. Rusty Wallace was fastest at 123.490mph. 9/11/98 Practice #2 - Ernie ran 16 laps with a fast speed of 122.448mph. Kenny Schrader was fastest in the #33 Skoal Chevy with a speed of 123.893mph. 9/12/98 Practice - Ernie must have doing a race setup, he was 41st fastest in practice with a speed of 118.995mph in 79 laps. Mike Skinner was the fastest at 121.435mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Richmond: 9/11/98 - Ernie went out 10th of 47 drivers and had a lap of 122.677mph which was 29th fastest. Not sure if he will make an attempt during 2nd round which does not start until 2pm/et in the heat of the day. Ernie and team stood on their 1st round effort and only dropped back one spot as Mike Skinner was the only driver to get into the top 36 from those attempting 2nd round runs. Pole Winner: Rusty Wallace, #2 Miller Lite Ford, 125.377mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Richmond: 9/12/98 - Well not great, Ernie ran 38 laps and had the 39th fastest lap at 118.885mph. Dick Trickle in the #90 Heilig Meyers Ford was fastest at 121.179mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Richmond: 9/12/98 - Not bad, not great but respectible. Ernie fought up from his 30th starting position to get close to the top ten and fought very hard for most of the race to stay on the lead lap. He finally couldn't hold off the leaders anymore and fell a lap down. Ernie was able to bring home the Skittle Pontiac to a 14th place finish. Ernie dropped one spot in the drivers points standings to 13th. Winner: Jeff Burton, #99 Exide Batteries Ford(2nd win)


DARLINGTON
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Darlington, SC for the Pepsi Southern 500: 9/4/98 Practice #1 Ernie ran only 5 laps and was 18th fastest with a speed of 165.642mph. Ward Burton, also in a Pontiac was fastest at 168.601mph. 9/5/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 49 laps with the fastest being 160.114mph. Speeds are much slower. Fastest was Jeff Burton at 163.082mph, which would have been 44th fastest on Friday.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Darlington: 9/4/98 - Ernie went out 23rd of 46 cars. He ran a lap of 165.922mph which was 26th fastest. So Ernie is not yet qualified for the Pepsi Southern 500 but is safe and guaranteed to make the race as the team is 15th in owners points and will at least get a provisional. Depending on weather conditions at the track, hopefully Ernie can stay 28th and get a pit stall on the front stretch. There are 28 pit stalls on the front stretch at Darlington. Ernie stood on his 1st round time and will start 26th and gets a front stretch pit stall.
Pole Winner: Dale Jarrett, #88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford, 168.879mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Darlington: 9/5/98 - Ernie ran 46 laps with a fast speed of 159.300mph. Mark Martin had the fastest speed at 162.206mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Darlington: 9/6/98 - Well, not to bad, After losing a lap Ernie slowly fought his way up into the top 10 and stayed there the rest of the race, with Ernie getting another 6th place finish. Ernie finished 2 laps down and was able to move up to 12th in drivers points from 14th. Getting closer to the top 10 only 166 points out of the top 10!
Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(10th win)


LOUDON
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Loudon, NH for the Farm Aid on CMT 300: 8/28/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 21 laps in practice and was 23rd fastest with a speed of 126.266mph. Ernie backed the #36 Skittles Pontiac into the wall during practice and had to go to a backup for qualifying. Jeremy Mayfield was fastest with a speed of 127.748mph. 8/28/98 Practice #2 - Ernie was 38th fastest while running 14 laps with a fast speed of 126.245mph. Kenny Schrader was fastest at 129.103mph. 8/29/98 AM Practice - Ernie was 22nd fastest with a speed of 127.240mph and ran 49 laps. Joe Nemechek was fastest in the #42 BellSouth Chevy at 128.767mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Loudon: 8/28/98 - Ernie will go out 29th of 47 cars. Not too bad, Ernie really picked it up in Qualifying and ran a lap of 126.918mph and will start 19th. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 129.003mph(7th pole)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Loudon: 8/29/98 - Ernie's #36 Skittles Pontiac was hooked up. He was 7th fastest with a speed of 127.316mph in 26 laps. Mark Martin was the fastest at 128.385mph. Happy Hour only ran 36 minutes.

ERNIE's RACE at Loudon: 8/30/98 - Ernie was running excellent and then with around 50 laps to go, his engine started dying and he limped home to a 28th position. Bummer, he had a top 10 car easy.
Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(9th win)


BRISTOL
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Bristol, TN for the Goody's Headache Powders 500: 8/21/98 Practice #1 - Ernie only ran 13 laps in practice and was 16th fastest with a speed of 121.458mph. Mark Martin was fastest with a speed of 122.458mph. Practice #2 - Ernie ran almost the same speed as the 1st practice, but others picked it up some. Ernie was 26th fastest with a speed of 121.481mph in 19 laps. Bobby Labonte was the fastest of the session and the day at 123.205mph. Ernie wacked the wall in practice and knocked the rear bumper off, but the team got it fixed in time for qualifying. 8/22/98 Practice #1 - Speeds are dramtically slower in the heat of the day and Ernie ran 52 laps with a fast speed of 119.454mph which was 5th fastest, not bad, hope he is working on the race setup. Dick Trickle was fastest at 120.580mph.(36th fastest speed in 1st round was 121.236mph)

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Bristol: 8/21/98 - Not too good, not only was it not such a good lap, Ernie will have to pit on the back stretch pits, which means a slim to none chance to win. Ernie had the 40th fastest time with a speed of 120.763mph. But Ernie is 14th in owners points and has plenty of provisionals and is guaranteed to make the race. Ernie didn't run 2nd round qualifying as the track has slowed down considerably during the heat of the day. Ernie will use his 4th provisional of 1998 to make the race. He is the highest on Owners Points of those 37th or worse fatstest, so he gets the 1st Provisional spot.
Pole Winner: Rusty Wallace, #2 Miller Lite Ford, 123.554mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Bristol: 8/22/98 - Ernie ran 62 laps and posted the 38th fastest speed of 116.361mph. Mark Martin was fastest with a speed of 118.862mph in 102 laps

ERNIE's RACE at Bristol: 8/22/98 - The first 100 lpas or so, Ernie was cooking. He was up as high as 15th from his 37th starting spot. After his first pit stop, Ernie started falling back and while fighting to keep on the lead lap, lost it and spun out in front of the leader, Mark Martin. Luckily Ernie did not hit anything. Ernie fought and fought and finally got back on the lead lap when Dennis Setzer spun out and hit the wall on lap 288. Ernie got up to 17th when he radioed in and said the exhaust was getting in the car and causing him breathing problems and making his seat too hot and that he wanted a relief driver. When a caution came out on lap 435, Ward Burton who had crashed out earlier, took over for Ernie, the driver switch cost the team 2 laps. It's the first time I can remember Ernie needing a relief driver. Burton was able to take the car to a 22nd place finish. Ernie had to go to the Infield Care Center to get Oxygen but is ok. I guess not so bad for a tough weekend.
Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford


MICHIGAN
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Brooklyn, MI for the Pepsi 400 Presented by DeVilbiss: 8/14/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 13 laps with a the FASTEST speed at 183.992mph. This team has woke up! 8/15/98 Practice #1 If Ernie was running laps for a race setup, he is in good shape for Sunday. He was 2nd fastest after running 30 laps with a fast speed of 181.031mph. Buckshot Jones was fastest in the #00 Realtree Chevy at 181.822mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Michigan: 8/14/98 - How about that! Ernie went out 38th and grabbed the pole at Michigan!! His 2nd pole of the year, his 21st of his career! Ernie cut a lap at 183.416mph. Pole Winner: Ernie Irvan, #36 Skittles Pontiac, 183.416mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Michigan: 8/15/98 - Will be on ESPN2 at 6pm, tape delay, actual practice was right after the BGN race. Ernie ran 42 laps and was 7th fastest with a speed of 177.296mph. Mark Martin was the fastest with a speed of 179.287mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Michigan: 8/16/98 - Ernie ran great and led the most laps in the Pepsi 400 but the last green flag pit stop decision to go with only right side tires instead of 4 tires killed Ernie's chances as he steadily fell back and finished 6th, he lost 5th with a few laps to go. They changed all 4 on a caution pit stop and Ernie never recovered. Can't believe Gordon pulled it out, thought Martin had it. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(8th)


WATKINS GLEN
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Watkins Glen, NY for the Bud at the Glen: 8/7/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 7 laps with a the 11th fastest speed 118.253mph. Jeff Gordon was the fastest at 119.366mph. 8/7/98 Practice #2 - Ernie was 5th fastest with a speed of 119.379mph, Mark Martin in the #6 Valvoline Ford was fastest with a speed of 120.022mph. 8/8/98 Practice #1 - Ernie still looking good at the Glen, ran 9th fastest in the AM practice with a speed of 118.262mph in 19 laps. Joe Nemechek was fastest with a speed of 119.208mph in the #42 BellSouth Chevy.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Watkins Glen: 8/7/98 - Ernie went go out 11th of 45 cars and ran the 9th fastest lap with a speed of 119.575mph. Looks like the team is coming together with qualifying. Gordon gets another pole, Ron Fellows came close in the #96 but couldn't pull it off. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 120.331mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Watkins Glen: 8/8/98 - Ernie ran 25 laps in Happy Hour practice and was 6th fastest with a speed of 117.592mph. Mark martin was the fastest with a speed of 118.623mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Watkins Glen: 8/9/98 - Ernie looked good early in the race then faded to 20th. He got back up to 17th but he and Kenny Irwin, who was in 16th, got together and both ended up in the kitty litter and stuck. No idea what heppened between the two as the camera angles didn't really tell you much. Ernie lost a lap and could not make it up and finished a disappointing 33rd. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(7th)


INDY
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Indianapolis, IN for the Brickyard 400: 7/29/98 Practice #1 - Ernie only ran two laps(NASCAR Online says 4) but was 15th fastest with a speed of 174.422mph. Ernie mentioned during RPM2Nite that he has a sore shoulder that is bothering him, no idea what that is about. Fastest during the rain shortened practice was Mark Martin in the #6 SynPower Ford at 175.816mph. 7/30/98 Practice #1 - Not to bad, Ernie was 3rd fastest in AM practice with a speed of 177.806mph in 6 laps. Jeff Gordon was fastest at 178.681mph. He's gonna get the pole unless bad luck strikes, be nice to see that #36 on the outside pole. 7/31/98 Practice - Ernie and team were probably palying with their race setup and ran 29 laps(72.5 miles) with a fast speed of 170.830mph. Conditions today were much hotter and slicker with the sun out. Fastest was Morgan Shepherd in the #91 LJ Racing Chevy with a speed of 174.159mph and he barely made the race.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Indy: 7/30/98 - Ernie went out first and set the benchmark: 179.394mph and WON THE POLE!! The second part of the season really shows promise, and Ernie will now be in the Bud Shootout at Daytona in Feb 1999. Oh yeah, the speed is a new track record for the Brickyard 400!! Pole Winner: Ernie Irvan, #36 Skittles Pontiac, 179.394mph(Track Record)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Indy: 7/31/98 - Ernie ran 32 laps and was 22nd fastest with a speed of 169.223mph. Kenny Scharader was the fastest in the #33 Skoal Chevy with a speed of 171.382mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Indy: 8/1/98 - Ernie ran in the top 10 all day and led the race twice for 24 laps, but slower pit stops just could not get him back to the top spot. Ernie hung around that first top 5 of 1998 but fell back and finished just short in the 6th spot, plus he missed out on being eligible for the next No Bull 5 race in Darlington. This Skittles team looks like it is geared up for a strong second half. It sure was nice to see Ernie running up front again. Ernie won $159,260 at Indy and surpassed $1 million in winnings for the year and also passed the $10 million mark in career winnings. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(6th)


POCONO
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Pocono, PA for the Pennsylvania 500: 7/24/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 5 laps and was 13th fastest at 165.314mph. Ward Burton was fastest in the #22 MBNA Pontiac at 166.809mph. Practice #2 - Ernie was in the same area in the 2nd preactice, he was 14th fastest at 166.518mph in 11 laps. Mark Martin was fastest in the #6 Valvoline Ford at 167.794mph. 7/25/98 Practice #3 - The team must have been working on their race setup as Ernie ran 26 laps with a speed of 163.919mph in 26laps. Jeremy Mayfield was fastest in the #12 Mobil One Ford at 166.688mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Pocono: 7/24/98 - Ernie went out 16th and cut a lap of 166.846mph which means he will start 16th. At least he made it in first round. Pocono is not one of Ernie's better tracks, so a nice finish would be good. Pole Winner: Ward Burton, #22 MBNA Pontiac, 168.805mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Pocono: 7/25/98 - Ernie ran 30 laps and was the 27th fastest with a speed of 163.809mph. Jeff Gordon was the fastest at 165.792mph.

ERNIE's RACE at Pocono: 7/26/98 - Ernie was back in the 15-25 range most of the race, then towards the end of the race was able to move up into the top 10 and finish 9th. Ernie won $42,390 and moved up one spot to 16th in drivers points. Gordon just dominated the race. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(5th)


LOUDON
ERNIE's PRACTICE at New Hampshire International Speedway(NHIS) in Loudon, NH for the Jiffy Lube 300: 7/10/98 Practice #1 - Not too shabby, Ernie ran 9th fastest with a fast speed of 128.441mph in 26 lpas. Mark Martin was the fastest at 129.467mph. Practice #2 - Not as good in the afternoon practice. Ernie was 31st fastest with a lap of 127.704mph in 15 laps. Kenny Schrader was the fastest at 129.037mph. 7/11/98 Practice #3 Ernie ran 51 laps with a fast speed of 127.457mph and was 24th fastest. Ken Schrader was fastest in the #33 Skoal Chevy at 129.339mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at NHIS: 7/10/98 - Hey-Hey! Not too bad! Ernie had his best qualifying effort of 1998 with the 7th fastest run of 126.057mph. My new Ernie T-Shirt, never worn until today, will be worn again on Sunday! And how about Ricky Craven crushing everyone to win the pole in his first race back from his injury. Fantastic. Pole Winner: Ricky Craven, #50 Budweiser Chevy, 128.394mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at NHIS: 7/11/98 - Not bad Ernie was 12th fastest during Happy Hour with a speed of 127.078mph in 47 laps. Mark Martin was the fastest with a lap of 127.979mph in the #6 Valvoline Ford.

ERNIE's RACE at NHIS: 7/12/98 - Not sure what happened as Ernie was close to the top 10 all race until around 50 laps to go when he faded back to finish 20th. On the plus side, Ernie moved up to 17th in the drivers standings. Winner: Jeff Burton, #99 Exide Ford.


SEARS POINT
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Sears Point in Sonoma, CA for the Save Mart/Kragen 350k: 6/26/98 Practice #1 - Not so good, Ernie was 33rd with a speed of 96.405mph in 26 laps. Jeff Gordon was fastest with a speed of 98.532mph. 6/27/98 Practice #2 - Much better, Ernie was 10th fastest in the morning practice with a speed of 97.192mph in 19 laps. Mark Martin was fastest with a speed of 98.982mph. 6/27/98 Practice #3 - hmmm...Ernie was 32nd fastest in the afternoon practice with a speed of 95.360mph in 18 laps. Jerry Nadeau was the fastest at 97.139mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Sears Point in Sonoma, CA for the Save Mart/Kragen 350k: 6/26/98 - Well, almost made the top 25 but Ernie just missed and was 27th was fastest with a speed of 96.930mph. No idea if he will sit on his speed or attempt second round. He is amoung seven drivers guaranteed to make the race at least thru a provisional as he is 15th in oners points. Ernie ran faster in second round qualifying but fell to 32nd starting position with a speed of 97.034mph. Fastest during 2nd round was Ernie's best friend, Mark Martin at 98.147mph. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 98.711mph(5th)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Sears Point in Sonoma, CA: 6/27/98 - Ernie ran 36 laps at Sears Point and ran the 27th fastest speed at 95.282mph. Jerry Nadeau was fastest at 96.888mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: at Sears Point in Sonoma, CA for the Save Mart/Kragen 350k: 6/28/98 - Wow, what a mess of a day for Ernie. Was slowly getting towards the top 20 when he blew a right front tire around lap 32 and lost a lap, then later in the race got off course and did some more damage. But he managed to keep the car running and finished 36th. The poor showing today dropped Ernie down in the points to 19th. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy.


POCONO
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Pocono, PA for the Pocono 500: 6/19/98 Practice #1 - GoRacing times: Ernie was 15th in AM practice with a speed of 165.253mph, Jeff Gordon was fastest at 166.750. NASCAR Online times: Ernie was 31st fastest at 165.349mph with Jeremy Mayfield fastest at 167.788mph in the #12 Mobil One Ford. 6/19/98 Practice #2 - Ernie was 22nd of 45 cars with a speed of 165.253mph. Joe Nemechek was fastest in the #42 BellSouth Chevy with a speed of 167.370mph. 6/20/98 Practice #3 - Ernie picked it up some on Saturday morning and was 11th fastest at 165/037 in 21 laps. Jeff Green was fastest in the #46 First Union Chevy at 166.281mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Pocono, PA for the Pocono 500: 6/19/98 - Not too good, Ernie ran 32nd fastest in 1st round qualifying with a speed of 164.805mph. Ernie is guaranteed of making the race since he is 14th in owners points and in the cars 26th or worse, only Jeff Burton(8th) and Jimmy Spencer(9th) are ahead of him. Ernie ran in the 2nd round and ran a speed of 165.651mph and will start 31st. Jeff Green ran the fastest lap at 166.463mph. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 168.042mph(4th)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Pocono, PA: 6/20/98 - Ernie ran 32 laps at Pocono(80 miles) and ran the 21st fastest speed at 162.843mph. Jeremy Mayfield was fastest at 164.591mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: at Pocono, PA for the Pocono 500: 6/21/98 - Ernie started 31st and didn't really do much better. Around lap 30 or so his transmission got stuck in 4th gear which meant they had to push the #36 Skittles Pontiac during a pit. Then on lap 57 Ernie and Derrike Cope got together and ended up on pit road. It looked to me like Ernie was heading into the pits and Cope got together with someone on the track and spun into Ernie. Ernie's right front was slightly damaged. Then on lap 84 Ernie's clutch totally gave out and the Skittles Pontiac died on the track causing a caution. Ernie was able to get back out on the track at lap 137 and finished 34th, 52 laps down. Ernie dropped to 15th in driver pointsand only won $20,255 for his tough day. But congrats to Jeremy Mayfield for winning his 1st Cup race! At least Ernie didn't DNF. Winner: Jeremy Mayfield, #12 Mobil One Ford(1st ever).


MICHIGAN
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Brooklyn, MI for the Miller Lite 400: 6/12/98 Practice #1 - Yikes, Ernie ran 27 laps and was 37th of 47 cars with a speed of 178.989mph. Ward Burton was fastest in the #22 MBNA Pontiac with a speed of 181.460mph in just 12 laps of practice. 6/13/98 Practice #2 Wow! Watch out! Ernie was third fastest in the Saturday morning practice with a speed of 181.396mph in 30 laps of practice. Fastest was...ready...Morgan Shepherd in the #8 Circuit City Chevy with a speed of 182.107mph. Be nice to see Ernie get 2nd round fastest!

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Brooklyn, MI for the Miller Lite 400: 6/12/98 - well Ernie ran a tad slower than practice and qualified 34th of 47 cars. Ernie ran in 2nd round qualifying and posted a speed of 180.764mph quite a bit slower than practice but it was warmer. Ernie will start 32nd in the Miller Lite 400 . Fastest 2nd round qualifier was Morgan Shepherd in the #8 Circuit City Chevy who cut a lap that would have sat him on the pole in 1st round, 182.927mph, wow! Pole Winner: Ward Burton, #22 MBNA Pontiac, 181.561mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Brooklyn, MI: 6/13/98 Ernie ran 17th in happy hour with a speed of 178.142mph. Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace had an accident during the practice with Earnhardt having to go to a backup car. Jeff Burton in the #99 Exide Ford was fastest at 180.067mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Brooklyn, MI for the Miller Lite 400: 6/14/98 - Ernie started 32nd(not 34th like I had) and charged up into the top 20 and stayed in the 10-15 area for most of the race. Ernie finished 14th and move up to 14th in Drivers points. Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford(4th).


RICHMOND
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Richmond, VA for the Pontiac Excitement 400: 6/5/98 Practice #1 - Ernie ran 17 laps and was 23rd fastest of 45 cars with a speed of 123.006mph, Kenny Schrader in the #33 Skoal Chevy was fastest at 124.826mph. 6/5/98 Practice #2 - not so good, Ernie ran 21 laps and was 33rd fastest of 45 cars with a speed of 122.922. Kenny Irwin was fastest at 124.705mph. 6/6/98 Practice #3 The Afternoon practice saw speeds way doen from Friday night. Ernie's speed of 120.433mph with 93 laps of practice was 29th fastest. Darrell Waltrip was fastest at 122.061mph, which would have been 45th fastest on the day in 1st round qualifying.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Richmond, VA for the Pontiac Excitement 400: 6/5/98 - Didn't expect much as the practice runs were not too good. Ernie was 23rd fastest with a speed of 123.361mph. But Ernie is in the top 25 and will not have to worry about 2nd round qualifying. Some huge surprises included Jeff Green in the #46 who qualified 6th and how about Rich Bickle in the #98 will start 2nd. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 125.558mph(3rd pole)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Richmond, VA: 6/6/98 Ernie did much better during the final practice session known as Happy Hour. Ernie ran 27 laps with a top speed of 121.244mph which was 9th fastest. Ricky Rudd in the #10 Tide Ford was fastest at 122.282mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Richmond. VA for the Pontiac Excitement 400, 6/6/98. Not sure what happened, Ernie never really ran good in the race, got wacked by Michael Waltrip and did a great job saving the Skittles Pontiac. Ernie finished 29th and stays at 14th position in the Drivers Points. Winner: Terry Labonte, #5 Kelloggs Chevy.


DOVER
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Dover, DE for the MBNA Platinum 400: 5/29/98 Practice #1 - Ernie was 11th fastest with a speed of 153.042mph at the Monster Mile of 46 cars. Rick Mast was the fastest with a speed of 154.633mph. 5/29/98 Practice #2 Ernie was 12th fastest in the afternoon practice with a speed of 153.883mph while Mark Martin was the fastest with a speed of 155.386mph. 5/30/98 Practice #3 - Ernie ran 66 laps with the 20th fastest speed at 152.983mph, was setting up for the race and long runs. Geoff Bodine was the fastest in the #7 Philips Ford with a speed of 152.983 and backed it up by being the fastest second round qualifier at 153.803mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Dover, DE for the MBNA Platinum 400: 5/29/98 - Not too bad. Ernie was the fastest Pontiac and qulaified 8th for the MBNA 400 with a speed of 153.813mph Pole Winner: Rusty Wallace, #2 Miller Lite Ford(2), 155.898mph(new track record)

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Dover, DE: 5/30/98 Ernie ran 52 laps with a top speed of 148.951mph and was 15th fastest. Mark Martin in the #6 Valvoline Ford was fastest at 150.507mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Dover, DE for the MBNA Platinum 400, 5/31/98. Ernie ran very consistent all day running as high as 7th and as low as 14th but finally finished in the top 10 with a 9th place finish. Now the team needs to run consistent up front. Ernie has moved up to 14th in points! Winner: Dale Jarrett, #88 QC Ford(2nd)


CHARLOTTE 600
ERNIE's PRACTICE at the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC: 5/20/98 Practice #1 - Ernie was 3rd fastest with a speed of 178.843mph, Lake Speed in the #9 Cartoon Network Ford was fastest of 51 drivers with a speed of 179.551mph. Practice #2 - Not bad Ernie ran 5th fastest of 51 drivers with a speed of 179.796mph in the early practice. Ward Burton was fastest in the 1st practice at 180.608mph in the #22 MBNA Pontiac. 5/21/98 Practice #1 Ernie must be working on his race setup, out of 45 cars Ernie was 25th fastest at 173.829 Fastest: #10 Ricky Rudd 177.236mph. Practice #2 Ernie was 21st of 42 cars with a speed of 173.232mph. Fastest: #77 Robert Pressley 175.993mph. Practice #3 was at dusk and Ernie was only 38th fastest of the 43 cars that will start the Coke 600, Jeff Burton was the fastest at 177.444mph. No practice on Friday 5-22-98. 5/23/98 Practice - Ernie was 15th with a speed of 176.114mph, fastest was Mark Martin at 178.065mph

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC: 5/20/98 - Ernie did ok and qualified 18th with a speed of 180.210mph, Ernie slipped a bit in turn 1 and it cost him a better run. Oh yes, Kenny Irwin failed to put the #28 Texaco Ford in the show, the team that let Ernie go at the end of 1998. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 182.976mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Charlotte, NC: 5/23/98 Ernie had set-up problems and changed two rear shocks, right front shock and sway bar during Happy Hour. He ran 30th fastest of 42 cars with a speed of 170.810mph. Joe Nemechek, who blew a motor in the morning practice was fastest at 174.661mph in the #42 BellSouth Chevy.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Charlotte, NC for The Coca Cola 600, 5/24/98. While Ernie didn't have a very exciting night and didn't charge to the front, he ran a very steady race and was able to finish 11th after starting 18th. Ernie broke into the top 10 a few times early and was as far back as 24th but worked his way back up to 11th. He fell a lap behind early and was never able to make it up. Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy(3rd)


THE WINSTON
ERNIE's PRACTICE at The Winston in Charlotte, NC: 5/15/98 - Practice #1 - Not bad Ernie ran 4th fastest of 19 drivers with a speed of 177.626mph in the early practice. Mark Martin was fastest in the 1st practice at 178.654mph in the #6 Eagle One Ford. Practice #2 - 176.973mph, fastest Mark Martin 179.712mph. Practice #3 listed the same speeds for Martin and Ernie, but Ernie dropped to 12th. Practice #4 has Ernie 10th at 175.370mph with Martin still the fastest at 177.282mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at The Winston in Charlotte, NC: 5/15/98 - Ernie didn't fare so well in qualifying and ran a lap of 138.126mph with the pit stop. Ernie will start The Winston 15th. For the rules and who qualified for the Winston see Jayski's Stats Page. Pole Winner: Bill Elliott, #94 McDonald's Ford, 142.084mph

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Charlotte, NC for The Winston, 5/16/98. Oh well. That was short lived. Ernie made it two laps then tangled with DW, spun and backed into the wall. Either Ernie or the team decided to park the car for the night. It was a brand new car also. So Ernie finished 20th or dead last. Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Eagle One Ford


CALIFORNIA
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Fontana, CA for the California 500 presented by NAPA: 5/1/98 - Ernie ran 15th fastest in Friday's practice with a speed of 180.610mph. Ward Burton was fastest in the #22 Pontiac at 182.140mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Fontana, CA for the California 500 presented by NAPA: 5/1/98 - Ernie ran slower in qualifying at 178.408mph and will start 22nd. Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy, 181.772mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Fontana, CA: 5/2/98 - Ernie ran 39 laps with a fast speed of 176.700mph. Mark Matin in the #6 Valvoline Ford was the fastest with a lap of 178.389mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Fontana, CA for the California 500 presented by NAPA: 5/3/98. Ernie had a very steady race. He started 22nd and got to the top 10 a few times and stayed around the top 10 all day. Ernie's Pontiac faded a bit and he finished 13th. Ernie moved up to 17th in the Drivers Points Standings. Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford(3)


TALLADEGA
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Talladega, AL for the Diehard 500: 4/24/98 - Ernie ran 10th fastest in Friday's practice with a speed of 192.979mph. Bobby Labonte was fastest in the #18 at 194.888mph. Saturday morning practice had Ernie 10th fastest at 194.031mph. Fastest was Derrike Cope in the #30 Gumout Pontiac at 194.806mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Talladega, AL for the Diehard 500: 4/24/98 - Not great but not too shabby. Lost some speed from practice but I expected more of a run at the pole. Ernie qualified 19th with a speed of 192.216mph. Pole Winner: Bobby Labonte, #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, 195.728mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Talladega, AL: 4/25/98 on Ernie was right up there again with the 5th fastest speed of 194.685mph. Fastest was Wonder Boy II, Kenny Irwin at 195.237mph in the #28 Texaco Ford.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Talladega, AL for the Diehard 500, 4/26/98. Wow! Not to bad. It wasn't a win, but Ernie avoided THE WRECK and pulled out a 6th place finish. The #36 just didn't seem to have the muscle to stay up with the lead pack at the end, but's two top 10's in a row and gets Ernie back in the top 20 of drivers points. Winner: Bobby Labonte, #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac(2)


MARTINSVILLE
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Martinsville, VA for the Goody's Headache Powders 500: 4/17/98 - Ernie was able to get in 34 laps during practice and turned the 13th fastest speed at 92.832mph. Dale Jarrett was fastest in the #88 at 93.515mph and Gary Bradberry was the slowest in the #78 out of 46 cars with a speed of 90.447mph. Saturday Morning practice: 4/18/98 - Ernie had the 5th fastest time in AM practice with a speed of 92.488mph. Joe Nemechek was fastest at 92.859mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Martinsville, VA for the Goody's Headache Powders 500: 4/17/98 - Whew! Just made it. Ernie qualified 22nd with a speed of 92.070mph. With 22 pit stalls on the front stretch, it was very important to get one up there, no driver has won from the backstretch at Martinsville since Lee Petty won in 1959. Pole Winner: Bobby Hamilton, #4 Kodak Max Chevy, 93.175mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Martinsville, VA: 4/18/98 - Wow, Ernie ran 121 laps in Happy Hour practice and was 20th fastest with a speed of 92.316mph. John Andretti was fastest at 93.088mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Martinsville, VA for the Goody's Headache Powders 500, 4/20/98. After a one day postponement because of rain, the Goody's 500 was run. Ernie ran strong all day and was a high as second after a great pitstop. He ended up fading a bit at the end and pulled off a much needed 9th place finish. The pit crew got him out quick and cut a few sub 19 second pit stops. Ernie won $34,600 and picked up 138pts. Ernie moved up tp 21st in driver points, up from 23rd. Winner: Bobby Hamilton, #4 Kodak Max Chevy


TEXAS
ERNIE's Thursday/Friday PRACTICE at Fort Worth, TX for the Texas 500: 4/2-3/98 - Ernie was a tad slow in the first practice session, he was 34th(of 48) at 177.567mph. The second practice had Ernie picking up quite a bit and placing 13th(of 48) with a speed of 182.130mph. On Friday, Ernie was 11th(of 48) fastest at 183.280mph and only ran 6 laps.(No predictions this week, I'm done jinxing Ernie). Joe Nemechek had the fastest lap at 185.039mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Fort Worth, TX for the Texas 500: 4/4/98 - 10:15am/et(postponed from Friday due to seepage in turn on the track. Not a great lap but since Ernie was the second driver out after the postponement, I am sure he took it a tad easy since the track was a mess. Anyhow, Ernie qualified 19th with a speed of 183.187mph. Pole Winner: Jeremy Mayfield, #12 Mobil 1 Ford, 185.906mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Fort Worth, TX: 4/4/98 Happy Hour was seeped out. Meaning the seepage returned to turn 1 and turn 4, so NASCAR canceled Happy Hour practice. The teams were able to practice before the BGN event and Ernie was 15th fastest at 180.536mph. Kyle Petty paced practice with a speed of 182.605mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Fort Worth, TX for the Texas 500, 4/5/98. Didn't even get to see Ernie race more than one lap. There was a huge 10 car accident on lap two and Ernie got hit in the back and went sideways and collected John Andretti. Not sure, but I guess they felt the car could not be fixed. This will really hurt Ernie in the points as he finished last in 43rd and only got 34 points. Winner: Mark Martin(2), #6 Valvoline Ford


BRISTOL
ERNIE's A.M. PRACTICE at Bristol, TN for the Food City 500: 3/27/98 - Hey, this is the Ernie we are used to seeing. Ernie was third fastest in morning practice at Bristol with a lap of 123.094. Rick Mast had the fastest at 123.284mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Bristol, TN for the Food City 500: 3/27/98 - Not sure what happened, Ernie was over a half mile slower in qualifying and qualified 26th and will be on the back stretch pits again for the third time this year. Second Round 3/28/98 - Ernie did not attempt a second round qualifying lap and dropped two positions and will start 27th. Pole Winner: Rusty Wallace, #2 Miller Lite Ford, 124.275mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Bristol, TN: 3/28/98 Looks like we and Ernie may be in for a long day at Bristol on Sunday. Ernie was only 32nd fastest in Happy Hour practice with a lap of 117.935mph. Fastest: Terry Labonte, #5 Kelloggs Chevy, 119.673mph

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Bristol, TN for the Food City 500, 3/29/98. Well, as usual, Ernie charged up thru the pack from his 27th starting spot and led 16 laps from 169 to 184, for the first time in 1998. But between being on the back stretch pits and having a flat(when he and Bobby Hamilton got together on lap 318), Ernie fell three laps down and finished 20th. Ernie won $31,175 and is now 20th in the points. Winner: Jeff Gordon(2), #24 DuPont Chevy


DARLINGTON
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Darlington, SC for the TranSouth 400: 3/20/98 - Ernie didn't practice so well at the track 'too tough to tame'. He was 38th in the AM practice at 164.210mph and 35th fastest in the PM practice at 164.369mph. The #28 was fastest in the AM at 167.618mph and Bobby Labonte was fastest in the #18 Pontiac during the PM session at 167.630mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Darlington, SC for the TranSouth 400: 3/20/98 - Hmmm...another poor qualifying run with a speed of 164.788mph, that was good for 44th. Well Ernie will need to use his patented hard charging style to get up front and win! Still looking to lead his first lap of 1998. If second round qualifying is not rained out, expect Ernie to make a run. Ernie did no better in second round qualifying and had to take his third provisional of the season and will start 39th. Since he is 14th in owners points, he does not lose a provisional. See below for my provisional page link. Pole Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford, 168.665mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Darlington, SC: 3/21/98 - Ernie did better in 'Happy Hour' practice and was 21st fastest at 162.495mph after running 63 practice laps. Fastest: Ted Musgrave, #16 Primestar Ford, 165.253mph.

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Darlington, SC for the TranSouth 400, 3/22/98. Wow, tough race for Ernie. He charged up from his 39th starting spot to as high as 14th when all kinds of things started to occur. Fighting a very loose Pontiac, he smacked the wall around lap 129 which put him down a lap. Then on his next pit stop a broken air wrench cost Ernie another lap. On lap 141 Ernie and another driver made contact which punctured a left side tire and cost him another lap. On lap 164 Ernie got very loose and did a complete spin, costing him yet another lap. After all this stuff, Ernie just fought to finish the race, which he did, in 36th place, 8 laps down. Winner: Dale Jarrett, #88 Quality Care Ford.


ATLANTA
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Atlanta, GA for the Primestar 500: 3/6/98 - Ernie was 18th fastest in practice Friday morning at 189.720mph(would have been 28th in qual). Fastest was Robert Pressley in the #77 Jasper Engines Ford at 191.953mph. Ernie Irvan has an engine expire in Friday morning practice and had a new engine in the car for qualifying and will race the new engine when the the Primestar 500 is run.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Atlanta, GA for the Primestar 500: 3/6/98 - Not too good. Ernie ran a poor lap of 188.783mph or 39th fastest. If 2nd round qualifying gets rained out. Ernie will get the last regular provisional spot which is 42nd. This would be Ernie's 2nd provisional used in 1998, so he has two left. Well, 2nd round qualifying was rained out and Ernie squeaked into the Primestar 500. He got the last provisional and will start 42nd. After the Primestar 500 provisionals will be awarded based on 1998 owners points and Ernie and the team should be in better shape for the rest of the season. Pole Winner: John Andretti, #43 STP Pontiac, 192.956mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Atlanta, GA: 3/7/98 - rained out. Fastest: the wind 50mph

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Atlanta, GA for the Primestar 500, 3/22/98. The Primestar 500 has been postponed to Monday at 11:00 a.m. EST. The race will be shown live on ESPN. Ernie started 42nd and ran a steady race and was as high as 6th before fading a bit and finishing 15th. On PRN radio, Ernie said the car was tight but he felt it came to him later in the race. Ernie has moved from 17th to 14th in points. Winner: Bobby Labonte, #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac.


LAS VEGAS
ERNIE's PRACTICE at Las Vegas, NV FIX!!!! for the Primestar 500: 3/26/98 - Ernie ran OK. Posted the 29th fastest time of 50 drivers at 163.795mph. Bill Elliott was fastest in his #94 McDonald's Ford with a speed of 166.384mph.

ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Las Vegas, NV for the Las Vegas 400: 2/27/98 - Not great but Ernie qualified 18th at 165.320mph and now the team can get the M&M's Pontiac ready for the race. Jarrett cut an awesome lap as well as did Geoff Bodine. Pole Winner: Dale Jarrett, #88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit, 168.224mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Las Vegas, NV: 2/28/98 - Ernie ran 32nd fastest in Happy Hour Practice at 161.434mph. Fastest: Jeff Burton, #99 Exide Ford Taurus, 163.651mph

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Las Vegas, NV for the Las Vegas 400, 3/1/98. Ernie started 18th got into the top 10 and had to make an unscheduled pit stop. I do not know why yet as the reason was not mentioned on ABC. Ernie fought a few times to get his laps back but the cautions were not there to help him out and he could not keep up with those Fords. At least ABC showed the M&M's car a few times, it was pretty cool looking, but the Skittles car is better looking. Ernie won $52,100. Winner: Mark Martin, #6 Valvoline Ford Taurus.


ROCKINGHAM
ERNIE's QUALIFYING at Rockingham, NC for the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 400: 2/20/98 - No sure what happened. Ernie qualified very slow at 153.009mph which is good for 41st out of 49 drivers. I would assume he will attempt second round qualifying unless it rains. The Skittles team was 27th in owners points in 1997, and did not improve on his time and will use a provisional and start 40th and have to bit on the back stretch pits. Remember this fact, Only 12 drivers have won a Winston Cup race since 1960 starting from 25th or worse, can Ernie be the 13th! Pole Winner: Rick Mast, #75 Remington Ford, 156.361mph

ERNIE's HAPPY HOUR at Rockingham, NC: 2/21/98 - Not too shabby, Ernie picked it up quite a bit and was 14th fastest at 148.956mph in race trim. Let's hope the back stretch pits don;t hurt too bad and my new Ernie Skittles shirt can bring some good luck! Fastest: Johnny Benson, #26 Cheerios Ford Taurus, 150.381mph

ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Rockinghm, NC for the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 400, 2/22/98. Ernie started 40th and got as high as 7th, but everytime he pitted on a caution he lost 10 or so spots because of pitting on the back stretch. Anyhow, Ernie showed that hard charging style and got thru the pack. On lap 365 Ernie and Steve Park tangled as they both seemed to get loose in a corner and Park hit the wall. I hear that Ernie's power steering was going when he and Steve Park got together on lap 365. Luckily Ernie did not but lost a ton of positions and wound up finishing 19th, 2 laps down. Ernie drops back to 10th in points. Next week he is of to Vegas, were he ran last November in the Winston West race. Winner:Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevy


THE DAYTONA 500
ERNIE's LAST RACE: At Daytona, FL for the Daytona 500, 2/15/98. Ernie started 10th and ran up front all day. Ernie ran as high as 2nd but could get to the lead. He fell back somewhat toward the end of the race but was able to get back to the lead draft and finish 6th. If not for the final caution, there was a good chance he could have got back in the top five. Ernie served notice today that the Skittles team is a team that will run up front in 1998! Ernie raked in $204,500 in winnings at Daytona. Winner: Dale Earnhardt. #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevy


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These are unofficial statistics that were compiled from many magazines, yearbooks, newspapers, web pages and other sources. For entertainment purposes only.