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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 Bojangles Southern 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 297 0
2 -- Matt Kenseth 296 -1
3 -- Carl Edwards 278 -19
4 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 271 -26
5 +2 Jimmie Johnson 270 -27
6 -1 Kyle Busch 269 -28
7 +1 Brad Keselowski 246 -51
8 -4 Joey Logano 245 -52
9 +2 Ryan Newman 236 -61
10 +2 Austin Dillon # 235 -62
11 +5 Greg Biffle 227 -70
12 +2 Tony Stewart 224 -73
Full Standings