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Dale Jr. Practices for Nationwide Series on Thursday

By Mike Davis, JR Motorsports | Article Published 2/23/2012
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THURSDAY, FEB. 23 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the only two NASCAR Nationwide Series practices of 2012 Daytona Speedweeks this morning, dialing in his No. 5 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet for Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300.

Earnhardt Jr. ran only nine laps in the first session and 12 laps in the second, practicing both single-car runs and drafting but limiting his track time to preserve the car.  He topped out with a speed of 193.715 mph (46.46 seconds).

“Everything seems to be in order.  I’m happy,” said Earnhardt Jr.  “We didn’t want to do too much today.  We know we have a fast car.  (Crew chief) Bruce (Cook) worked on a few things that he wanted to address.  We’ll be ready to go for qualifying tomorrow night.”

The Nationwide Series cars won’t return to the track surface until Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Friday at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2).  The race is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, with ESPN providing live television coverage.  ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown pre-race show will start at Noon.

Click here for full race preview for JR Motorsports teams, including Earnhardt Jr. notes and quotes leading into the DRIVE4COPD 300.

Standings
After GEICO 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Joey Logano 3121 0
2 +1 Kevin Harvick 3117 -4
3 +1 Ryan Newman 3117 -4
4 +3 Denny Hamlin 3100 -21
5 +4 Matt Kenseth 3099 -22
6 -1 Carl Edwards 3099 -22
7 -1 Jeff Gordon 3093 -28
8 -- Kasey Kahne 3090 -31
9 -7 Kyle Busch 3086 -35
10 -- Brad Keselowski 3085 -36
11 -- Jimmie Johnson 3053 -68
12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3045 -76
Full Standings