Chase Elliott and Dale Jr. starting 1st and 2nd for the Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be starting first in his Duel race with his 2nd starting spot guaranteed for the Daytona 500 alongside repeat pole sitter Chase Elliott who will take the green flag in the first Duel race.
Weather will be interesting as scattered storms are in the forecast, but the keyword here is “scattered”, it will be interesting whether or not rain will significantly effect these two races. NASCAR VP Steve O’Donnell stated that if the races tonight are rained out then they will take place sometime Friday.
Race coverage begins at 7:00 PM EST on FS1 with the LIVE Leaderboard and NASCAR Drive located at NASCAR.com for companion viewing options.
Dale Jr. is looking for his second career Daytona 500 pole today in Kroger Qualifying for the Daytona 500. Jr. was 11th quick in yesterday’s marathon 4 hour qualifying practice session. The Clash made it clear that you need to be close to the front to have a chance at victory. It’ll be key that Dale Jr. qualifies in the top 15 or top 10 for a solid chance at victory on Thursday and Sunday.
Coverage is LIVE on your local FOX Network at 3 PM EST.
LIVE Leaderboard can be found at NASCAR.com
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Test session speeds
NO. 88 on the track at PIR
How about this!? Earnhardt Jr. topped the Phoenix test session after running 69 laps with a top speed of 135.568 and best lap time of 26.555.
Dale had this to say about returning to Cup racing after 7 months out of the car:
“I’m a little nervous if there’ll be any kind of learning curve. I hope there isn’t. Sometimes you see guys in sports that are away for a while have to adjust to how much has changed since they’ve taken time off, and then there’s some guys who come back and it’s like they’ve never missed a day. I don’t know. I hope there is no rust to shake off. I’m really anxious to get out there and have some success, go out there and run well and check that box and know we’re right where we need to be.”
Jeffrey Earnhardt. 27 years old. Nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale won’t be the only Earnhardt in this years Daytona 500. Nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeffrey Earnhardt (27 years old), will be making his first ever start in the Great American Race with sponsorship from Starter. Circle Sport with The Motorsports Group will be fielding the NO. 33 Chevrolet in not just the Daytona 500, but all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events as they have acquired a charter from NASCAR.
Jeffrey Earnhardt had a total of 22 starts in last years Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and recorded four finishes inside of the top 30.
Exciting news! It was announced this evening that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be joining Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Jeff Gordon for the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona. This will be Dale’s second race in the FOX Sports booth, his first appearance being in an Xfinity Series race at Michigan last June with Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip.
Dale Jr. and Rick Hendrick both agreed to let Alex Bowman have the opportunity to drive the NO. 88 in the Clash because of his strong performances last season when filling in for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Anyone else sense a future broadcasting career for Dale Jr. once he retires? . . . We can only hope.
The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona kicks off the NASCAR racing season on Saturday, February 18th at 8:00 PM EST on FS1.