DALE EARNHARDT JR.
NO. 88/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET
Date: Sept. 8, 2012
Race 26 of 36: Richmond International Raceway
RECAPPING THE RACE:
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, earned his first pole position of the season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and went on to finish 14th in the final race of the regular season. The field was reset according to regular season performance for the 10-race playoff, and Earnhardt currently is seeded seventh as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
Rain in Richmond delayed the start of Saturday's 400-lap event by 90 minutes, and Earnhardt lined up on the pole position when track dried. Earnhardt, at first, battled a loose-handling condition but battled the No. 11 car for the lead for the first 150 laps.
On Lap 152, the race was red flagged for precipitation and halted competition for just under an hour.
When racing resumed, Earnhardt continued to note that the car was loose in and off the corners but maintained his footing inside the top 10. On Lap 277, the evening's sixth caution flag waved with Earnhardt running fifth. Letarte was one of a handful of crew chiefs that brought his driver down pit road in an attempt at a fuel strategy and hoping for a late caution flag.
The race remained green for the remainder of the race and Earnhardt was running fourth on 375 when he had to come back down pit road for fuel. He crossed the finish line 14th.
This is the first time since the Chase began that all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers clinched a spot in the 10-race playoff.
QUOTING DALE EARNHARDT JR.:
EARNHARDT (ON CONTENDING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.): "I feel we've got a good shot at it. We've been consistent all year long. We just hope we can keep that up. I think it's going to take a couple wins to win a championship outright. We've run well everywhere. I'm looking forward to getting the thing started off on the right foot."
Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports.
Media Relations | No. 88 AMP Energy / National Guard Racing
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Official Site - www.dalejr.com
NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc.
Online since July 3rd, 1998