Defending Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt became the first repeat winner of the year Sunday, outdueling Kyle Petty to capture the Hanes 500 and close in on the series points lead.

Different drivers, including Earnhardt at Richmond, Va., had won each of the first seven events, tying a record for NASCAR's premier stock car division set in 1963. Earnhardt recorded his 50th career victory.The victory, combined with series leader Ricky Rudd's 11th-place finish, helped runner-up Earnhardt move within 42 points of the top spot.

Earnhardt led the last 37 laps, driving his Chevrolet Lumina across the finish line 3.4 seconds ahead of Petty's Pontiac Grand Prix. Earnhardt averaged 75.139 mph.