Earnhardt Jr. ends slump with victory

Sunday, August 29, 2004

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. found the perfect cure for his struggling team's ills: winning.

Earnhardt broke out of a six-week slump Saturday night with a convincing victory in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt led 295 of the 500 laps for his first Nextel Cup win at Bristol. He beat Ryan Newman to the finish line in a race that didn't shake up the championship standings as much as had been predicted.

Newman, fighting to become eligible for NASCAR's 10-race championship chase, moved into contention by jumping three spots to the cutoff position of 10th. It came at the expense of rookie Kasey Kahne, who finished 21st and fell to 11th in standings.

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