Dale Jr. Finishes 11th at the Monster Mile


Dale Jr. finished 11th at Dover International Speedway. The No. 88 team remains seventh in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings.

Race: AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway
Track Specs: 1-mile concrete oval / 400 laps
Weather: Clear, 70 degrees
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 11th
Dale Jr.’s Chase Standing: 7th (-39 to Keselowski)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded his third consecutive top-13 finish to start the Chase for the Sprint Cup with an 11th-place effort Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Earnhardt maintained the seventh position in the overall standings, trailing leader Brad Keselowski by 39 points.

Earnhardt, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team put forth a solid effort from their 25th-starting position. With a car that only managed the 41st-quickest time in final practice, many pundits predicted an uphill fight, but Earnhardt’s early progression into the top 15 by lap 60 proved the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet would be a contender at the Monster Mile.

The pivotal moment in the race came early, at lap 67, when Earnhardt hit pit road for a scheduled green-flag pit stop. While the No. 88 Chevrolet made its way down pit road, the No. 36 car of J.J. Yeley experience a catastrophic right-front tire failure along the backstretch littering the track with debris. Knowing the car was already one-lap down, Letarte made a quick call for Dale Jr. to pass through the pits without stopping to prevent the team from falling a second lap behind. Earnhardt returned to pit road under caution at lap 73 and managed to be one of a handful of cars one lap down.

Unfortunately for the No. 88 team, the race was slowed only four more times by caution. Earnhardt never found himself in position for the free pass as the team’s running position fluctuated between ninth and 13th for the race’s final 320 laps.

Earnhardt took the checkered flag 11th, marking his third consecutive finish of 13th or better to open the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Brad Keselowski claimed his fifth victory of the season by conserving enough fuel over the race’s final 85-lap run.

Dale Jr. enters what many consider the Wild Card race of the Chase next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway seventh in the Sprint Cup standings. He has enjoyed five wins at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

Dover Race Report
Start 25th
Finish 11th
Laps Completed (Led) 398 of 400 (0)
Pit Stops Laps 73, 145, 180, 248, 311 and 390 (gas only)
Standings (from leader) 7th (-39)
Condition Running




After Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway | 2/26/2017
1Kurt Busch560
2Ryan Blaney44-12
3Joey Logano43-13
4Kevin Harvick42-14
5AJ Allmendinger39-17
6Aric Almirola37-19
7Kyle Larson36-20
8Chase Elliott33-23
9Denny Hamlin33-23
10Paul Menard32-24
27Dale Earnhardt Jr.13-43