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Earnhardt Starting 23rd at Phoenix

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Article Published 11/9/2012
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 23rd in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. The No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet posted a lap of 135.547 mph (26.559 sec.) around the 1-mile tri-oval in Avondale, Ariz. Kyle Busch, the final driver to take time in Friday’s qualifying session, set a new track record with a fast time of 138.766 mph (25.943 sec.) to score the Coors Light Pole Award.

“We’ve got a completely different setup than we ran here earlier this year,” Earnhardt told reporters on Friday. “So right now I’m just anxious to get in the car and see what we can do.”

Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola filled spots two through five for Sunday’s grid, followed by Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin in positions six through ten.

Two final practice sessions at Phoenix International Raceway are scheduled for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET. Both sessions will be televised live on SPEED.

Coverage of Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Standings
After AAA 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Brad Keselowski 2140 0
2 -- Joey Logano 2136 -4
3 -- Kevin Harvick 2123 -17
4 -- Jimmie Johnson 2121 -19
5 +2 Jeff Gordon 2117 -23
6 -1 Kyle Busch 2111 -29
7 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2104 -36
8 -- Matt Kenseth 2097 -43
9 +3 Ryan Newman 2091 -49
10 -1 Carl Edwards 2091 -49
11 +2 Denny Hamlin 2081 -59
12 -1 Kasey Kahne 2079 -61
Full Standings