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Dale Jr. Finishes 4th in 150, Starting 9th in 500

JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 2/21/2014
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Race: Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile superspeedway
Weather: Clear, 65 deg.
Race Winner: Matt Kenseth
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 4th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag in fifth-place in the first of two Budweiser Duel races on Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway. Post-race inspections determined second-place Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 car illegal; therefore, Earnhardt Jr. was credited with fourth and will start ninth in Sunday’s Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET on Fox).

Starting in the fourth position, Earnhardt Jr. raced his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet to the front of the field at lap 15. After taking the lead, the field went single file behind him for the next 13 laps. Crew chief Steve Letarte elected to give Earnhardt Jr. right-side tires when many leaders hit pit road under green at lap 38. The cycle of pit stops shuffled Earnhardt Jr. to seventh in the final 20 laps.

With the entire 60-lap race running caution-free, Earnhardt Jr. regained several positions to run fourth on the final lap. An unsuccessful move to the inside on the last lap forced Earnhardt Jr. to battle Marcos Ambrose’s No. 9 car coming to the checkered flag. Matt Kenseth and Harvick waged a side-by-side battle to the finish line with Earnhardt Jr. crossing the line fifth.

DALE JR. QUOTES
“We had a great race, thought we would have had more for them at the end there, but we were unable to get a run, or any help, when we needed it most. This car is really good, and I’m excited about our chances leading into Sunday for the Daytona 500.”

Daytona Race Report
Start 4th
Finish 4th
Laps Completed (Led) 60 of 60 (14)
Condition Running

 

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