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Junior Ends Up 14th in Rain-Shortened Race at Daytona

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 7/6/2014
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Race: Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile superspeedway
Weather: Rainy, 81 degrees
Race Winner: Aric Almirola
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 14th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded a 14th-place finish in Sunday’s rain-shortened race at Daytona International Speedway. The finish came after Earnhardt Jr. was involved in an early-race accident.

Following a rainout Saturday night, the field took the green just after 11 a.m. Sunday morning. Earnhardt held down a top-10 spot in the early laps before Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 17 slid loose in turn four on lap 21. In the check up behind Stenhouse Jr., Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart made contact triggering a 16-car wreck that swept up Earnhardt Jr. and other contenders like Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.

Earnhardt Jr. fell a lap down as crew chief Steve Letarte orchestrated a series of repairs to the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet. Restarting as the only car one-lap down, Earnhardt Jr. received the free pass from NASCAR under the race’s next caution.

After a lap-98 restart, Earnhardt Jr. found himself 31st when a 26-car pileup on the backstretch blocked the entire track. With the help of spotter T.J. Majors, Earnhardt Jr. successfully navigated his way through the carnage without damage.

The race was ultimately called due to rain at lap 112 with Earnhardt Jr. in 14th.

Aric Almirola was declared the winner with Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five.

Daytona Race Report
Start 7th
Finish 14th
Laps Completed (Led) 112 of 112 (0)
Standings (From Leader) 2nd (-27)
Condition Running

 

Standings
After Brickyard 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 717 0
2 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 693 -24
3 -- Brad Keselowski 666 -51
4 -- Matt Kenseth 661 -56
5 -- Jimmie Johnson 628 -89
6 +2 Kyle Busch 609 -108
7 -- Ryan Newman 606 -111
8 -2 Carl Edwards 603 -114
9 -- Joey Logano 591 -126
10 -- Clint Bowyer 577 -140
11 +1 Denny Hamlin 572 -145
12 +1 Kevin Harvick 565 -152
Full Standings