Junior Turns In Top-10 Run in Final Dover Race

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 10/1/2017

Dale Jr. Dover NASCAR Nationwide News

Dale Jr. raced inside the top 10 throughout the NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway on his way to a seventh-place finish.

Race: Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway
Track Specs: 1-mile concrete oval / 400 laps
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 7th

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover International Speedway was a strong one as the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet driver recorded a seventh-place finish after running inside the top 10 for the majority of the 400-mile event.

After starting seventh, Earnhardt quickly moved forward at the drop of the green flag. Early in the opening stage, the No. 88 ran as high as third while Earnhardt turned in laps as fast, if not faster, than the race leaders. Late in the stage, a caution waved during a round of green flag pit stops and pinned Earnhardt a lap down. When the leaders pitted under the caution, Earnhardt was one of many cars to take advantage of the wave around and rejoin the lead lap. By the end of Stage One, the Nationwide Chevrolet was scored 12th.

Earnhardt established himself back inside the top 10 during the second stage. As the race ran green, the former Dover winner crept forward and landed himself in seventh by the end of Stage Two at Lap 240.

A quick pit stop by the Nationwide crew between the second and third stages vaulted Earnhardt to sixth for the ensuing restart. Earnhardt leveraged the preferred outside lane on the restart to jump back inside the top five while battling a loose handling condition with his Chevrolet.

Crew chief Greg Ives called Earnhardt to pit road for the final time at Lap 332 and sent Earnhardt back on track in seventh.

The race continued to run green through the checkered flag and Earnhardt maintained his position in seventh to notch his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

Kyle Busch claimed his second consecutive victory, and fourth overall this season, over Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson.