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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 Oral-B USA 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 872 0
2 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 851 -21
3 +2 Matt Kenseth 794 -78
4 -- Joey Logano 791 -81
5 -2 Brad Keselowski 782 -90
6 -- Jimmie Johnson 766 -106
7 +1 Carl Edwards 755 -117
8 -1 Kevin Harvick 748 -124
9 -- Ryan Newman 747 -125
10 +1 Greg Biffle 728 -144
11 +2 Kasey Kahne 708 -164
12 -2 Clint Bowyer 705 -167
Full Standings