Earnhardt Jr. claims Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his second Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his second Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won his second Daytona 500 with a classy performance in a race that included a six hour plus rain delay.

NASCAR’s most popular driver was near or at the front for the majority of the race, leading a total of 54 of the 200 laps run. Denny Hamlin finished second with Brad Keselowski in third.

The only major drama for Earnhardt Jr. came just prior to the final re-start with three laps remaining when he got tape caught on his grill after it fell from the repaired car of Ryan Newman. Hamlin just as impressive after losing his radio with 100 laps to run meaning he had no communications with his crew or spotter.

Let the celebration begin

Let the celebration begin

The results all but seals Earnhardt Jr in the Chase for the Cup under the new rules which reward the top 15 drivers based on race wins over the first 26 races of the year.

In a race that featured six separate caution periods, including three for multicar wrecks, none of which caused the driver of the #88 as he was always in front of the dramas.

“Winning this race is the greatest feeling you can feel in this sport, besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said Earnhardt Jr who last won the race in 2004.

“This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m not taking this for granted.”

Crew Chief Steve Letarte collected his first win in ‘The Great American Race’. “If you’re going to win one, this is the one you want to win. Dale drove a great race,” said Letarte.

Australia’s Marcos Ambrose finished the race in 18th after running as high as fourth. He got caught up in two of the big wrecks after cars crashed in front of him.

“We had a fast car today. The Stanley Ford was good all week and the car was fast tonight. That is encouraging,” said Ambrose.

“We were caught in the wreck close to the end. From there we survived the other ones and finished the race on the lead lap. It’s just a shootout, but we had a chance for the majority of the day.”

 

VIDEO: Race finish and Victory Lane


VIDEO: Wreck number #3 of the race

VIDEO: Kyle Larson Wrecked by Austin Dillon and Marcos Ambrose gets involved

VIDEO: First big wreck of the race

 

 RESULTS: Daytona 500

POS 

Car # 

Driver 

Make 

Start Pos. 

Laps 

Laps Led 

Final Status

Points

Bonus Points

1

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 9 200 54 Running 48 5

2

11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 4 200 16 Running 43 1

3

2 Brad Keselowski Ford 33 200 13 Running 42 1

4

24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 6 200 0 Running 40 0

5

48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 32 200 15 Running 40 1

6

20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 3 200 0 Running 38 0

7

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 34 200 0 Running 37 0

8

16 Greg Biffle Ford 25 200 8 Running 37 1

9

3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 1 200 1 Running 36 1

10

13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 28 200 0 Running 34 0

11

22 Joey Logano Ford 35 200 2 Running 34 1

12

40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 18 200 0 Running 0 0

13

4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 38 200 0 Running 31 0

14

1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 22 200 0 Running 30 0

15

52 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 26 200 0 Running 29 0

16

36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 39 200 0 Running 28 0

17

99 Carl Edwards Ford 30 200 8 Running 28 1

18

9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 7 200 0 Running 26 0

19

18 Kyle Busch Toyota 37 200 19 Running 26 1

20

32 Terry Labonte Ford 24 200 0 Running 24 0

21

41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 8 199 15 Running 24 1

22

31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 19 199 0 Running 22 0

23

23 Alex Bowman Toyota 29 198 0 Running 21 0

24

98 Josh Wise Ford 11 196 0 Running 20 0

25

33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 12 196 0 Running 0 0

26

47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 15 194 1 Running 19 1

27

51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 40 193 4 Accident 18 1

28

26 Cole Whitt Toyota 23 193 0 Accident 16 0

29

30 Parker Kligerman Toyota 41 193 0 Accident 15 0

30

55 Brian Vickers Toyota 31 192 0 Running 14 0

31

5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 5 192 2 Running 14 1

32

27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 10 184 29 Running 13 1

33

21 Trevor Bayne Ford 14 183 2 Accident 0 0

34

34 David Ragan Ford 43 176 0 Running 10 0

35

14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 21 174 0 Running 9 0

36

38 David Gilliland Ford 17 171 0 Running 8 0

37

7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 36 161 0 Accident 7 0

38

42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 16 160 0 Accident 6 0

39

43 Aric Almirola Ford 13 146 5 Accident 6 1

40

10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 27 145 2 Accident 5 1

41

66 Michael Waltrip Toyota 42 144 4 Accident 4 1

42

15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 20 127 0 Engine 2 0

43

78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 2 30 0 Engine 1 0

 

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