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Earnhardt Takes 5th in Texas Nationwide Race

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 4/5/2014

Race 6 of 33: Texas 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees
Race Winner: Chase Elliott
Earnhardt Jr.’s Finish: 5th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took home a fifth-place finish in Friday night’s Texas 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The finish marked Earnhardt Jr.’s second top-five finish in only three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season and his fourth consecutive top-five in NNS competition on 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.

Earnhardt Jr., along with his JR Motorsports teammates, held a stranglehold on four of the top-seven positions early in the race with the No. 88 Ragu Chevrolet showing as high as second. After fluctuating between second and fifth while fighting an ill-handling car, Earnhardt Jr. began his climb to the top spot after the halfway point.

Earnhardt Jr. bypassed Chase Elliott for the race lead at lap 154 and cruised to a nearly three-second lead before the race’s final caution at lap 170 brought teams to pit road for the final time.

Earnhardt Jr. entered the pits as the leader but left in third for the final 23-lap stint to the checkered flag. On the ensuing restart, Kyle Busch found room under Earnhardt Jr.’s Chevrolet in turns one and two, forcing the No. 88 into the middle of a three-wide situation. The move resulted in Earnhardt Jr. dropping to fifth where he would finish the race.

Elliott raced to his first career NNS win in only his sixth career start followed by Busch, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver No. 88 Ragu team
“We just got too tight there on that last run. I’m pretty disappointed we weren’t able to get up there and race with Chase and Kevin for the win. I’m really proud of Chase getting his first win and everybody from JR Motorsports. We unloaded four great race cars and really performed well tonight.”

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