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Archive for the ‘Daytona’ Category

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driving a No. 3 car in honor of his late father, won his first Nationwide race since 2006 in Michigan.  

July 2, 2010

Dale Earhardt Jr. is emphatic when he says he won’t be running the No.3 race car again. If so, he gave it a fitting final ride Friday night, holding off Joey Logano in a green-white-checkered finish to win the Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

In winning his first Nationwide Series race since 2006, Earnhardt piloted his Chevrolet Impala, clad in a vintage blue and yellow Wrangler paint scheme, past Kyle Busch on lap 70 of the 100-lap event and held the lead the rest of the way. 

“I feel really lucky,” Earnhardt said. “I was so worried I wasn’t going to win because nothing but a win was good enough. I worked hard trying to win it.” 

Earnhardt’s fans were ecstatic. His long-time crew chief Tony Eury Jr. was choked up when interviewed moments after his driver took the checkered flag. 

“You know we lost everything here,” said Eury, referring to the 2001 crash at Daytona that claimed Dale Earnhardt Sr. “To come back with that number and do this, it means everything.” 

Earnhardt reiterated that he will never run the No. 3 again. He insists it’s not his number. 

“I don’t ever want to do it again and I won’t ever change my mind,” he said. 

Richard Childress, who owned the cars that paved Earnhardt Sr.’s induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year and has retained control of the number 3 in NASCAR’s touring series, said the race was very special to him. 

“To see Dale Jr. in victory lane and the look on his face brought back so many memories of when I’ve seen Dale Sr. here,” Childress said. 

Even Logano, who was applying pressure to Earnhardt’s rear bumper after the final re-start, had to admit it was a special moment. 

“I want to win races … but it was pretty cool to see the 3 back in victory lane,” Logano said. “I probably gained a lot of fans by pushing the No. 3 to victory but I’d much rather be in victory lane.” 

Earnhardt, the Nationwide Series (then Busch Series) champ in 1998 and 1999, hadn’t won in 22 series starts since Aug. 19, 2006 in the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway. 

He remains winless in the Sprint Cup Series in 74 races since his victory June 15, 2008, also at Michigan. That’s his only Cup win in his last 151 starts. 

Earnhardt’s only two Nationwide Series starts this season have come at Daytona. He finished 29th after crashing in the Feb. 13 race. 

The final re-start, which drove the race to 102 laps (two more than scheduled) was necessitated by debris from a Paul Menard crash on Lap 97. Some drivers, including Earnhardt, remained on the track. Kyle Busch, third when the caution came out, elected to pit for fresh tires. He dropped to 13th and finished seventh. 

Friday night’s race also marked the debut of Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series. 

Ricky Stenhouse finished third in a Mustang. Series points leader Brad Keselowski, who started on the pole, finished fourth in a Challenger. 

Keselowski added 30 points to his series lead and holds a 277-point advantage on Carl Edwards who finished 11th. 

Earnhardt elected not to do a burnout, hoping to preserve the engine. 

“We want to tear it down, learn where the wear took place,” Earnhardt said. 

The race featured a fiery crash on Lap 8 when Johnny Chapman tangled with Jennifer Jo Cobb at the back of the pack. 

“It was the first time we had a car running right behind us all week and the rear end didn’t hold,” said Cobb, who was slow to get out of the car but OK despite the flames. from:  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/motor/nascar/2010-07-02-earnhardt-daytona-nationwide_N.htm

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. was born on October 10th, 1974 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Earnhardt,_Jr.

October 10th

10 + 10 +2+0+0+9 = 31 = his personal year (from October 10th, 2009 to October 9th, 2010) = Competitive.

31 year + 6 (June) = 37 = his personal month (from June 10th, 2010 to July 9th, 2010) = Dad.  Father [Dale Earnhardt Sr.].  Deeply emotional.

37 month + 2 (2nd of the month on Friday July 2nd, 2010) = 39 = his personal day = Ideal.  Perfect.  Nice.

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