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Earnhardt carries on tradition

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran from the back of the pack to victory in the final eight laps of The Winston, adding his name to the family's rich history in the all-star race.

Earnhardt Jr., the only rookie to win the event, pitted for tires after a crash took out Steve Park, Joe Nemechek, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in Turn 1 on the third lap of the final 10-lap dash.

He roared back through traffic and passed Dale Jarrett for the lead with less than two laps to go. Dale Earnhardt wasn't too far back in third.

"We thought about it and thought about it and decided to come in and take four tires," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We didn't come here to run third. We came to take all the money."

He did just that despite hitting the wall coming off Turn 4 late in the second 30-lap segment. He got a big break when a crash on the backstretch came out as he was pitting for a loose tire early in the segment, keeping him in the hunt for the $500,000 payoff.

The final yellow came out when Park, running third, hit him in the rear. Park hit the wall hard and Stewart and Gordon wrecked behind him.

"We had the best car out there, the car to win the race," Nemechek said.

"Some of my emotions took over, the lap before he almost turned me sideways. I guess he let off going into Turn 1."

Park had a different view.

"It's just uncalled for some of the excessive beating and banging out there. It was a friendly discussion. I just wanted to clarify what happened because I just thought it was uncalled for," Park said.

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