News

Find the Latest News on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Junior Finishes 11th at Atlanta

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Race Report Published 9/1/2014
Picture

Race: Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.54-mile quad-oval
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 76 degrees
Race Winner: Kasey Kahne
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 11th

Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway was another test of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 National Guard team’s resilience. Earnhardt Jr. ended an eventful night 11th as the Chase for the Sprint Cup looms two weeks away.

After starting 20th, Earnhardt Jr. slowly crept his way inside the top 15 early on despite battling a car that’s handling shifted from being too tight to too loose throughout long green-flag stints. Just past the halfway point, Earnhardt Jr. had worked his way to 12th when a split-second decision to stay on the track an extra lap because of an impending caution allowed the No. 88 to move inside the top 10.

Unfortunately the decision, while temporarily helpful for track position, kept Earnhardt Jr. on a track littered with debris that punctured the grille opening on the No. 88 car. After multiple trips to pit road under caution, Earnhardt Jr. rejoined the field in 19th and began his second climb up the leaderboard.

Earnhardt Jr. lined up 11th for a pair of green-white-checkered restarts. On the first attempt, with help from spotter T.J. Majors, Earnhardt Jr. maneuvered through a multi-car accident. The second attempt saw Earnhardt Jr. in the midst of an intense battle for a top-10 finish. Ultimately, the No. 88 would end up 11th on the night.

Earnhardt Jr.’s teammate Kasey Kahne darted from third to first on the final restart to earn his first win of the season and qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.

Atlanta Race Report
Start 20th
Finish 11th
Laps Completed (Led) 335 of 335 (0)
Standings (From Leader) 2nd (-21)
Condition Running

 

Standings
After Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +6 Jeff Gordon 4044 0
2 +1 Ryan Newman 4041 -3
3 -2 Joey Logano 4040 -4
4 +1 Matt Kenseth 4039 -5
5 -1 Denny Hamlin 4037 -7
6 -- Carl Edwards 4024 -20
7 +1 Brad Keselowski 4013 -31
8 -6 Kevin Harvick 4011 -33
9 -- Kyle Busch 2230 -1814
10 +2 AJ Allmendinger 2198 -1846
11 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2196 -1848
12 -2 Jimmie Johnson 2186 -1858
Full Standings