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Race Report: Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Sonoma

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DALE EARNHARDT JR.

NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET

RACE REPORT

Date: June 24, 2012

Race 16 of 36

Start: 19th

Finish: 23rd

Points: Third

RECAPPING THE RACE:

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, was running 13th when the field restarted for a green-white-checkered finish at the road course in Sonoma, Calif., on Sunday. Shortly after the green flag was waved, another competitor made contact with Earnhardt and sent his No. 88 Chevy spinning with heavy damage. Earnhardt held on to finish the NASCAR Sprint Cup race 23rd.

Earnhardt dropped one position in the Sprint Cup championship standings to third. He trails leader Matt Kenseth by 14 points after 16 races in the 2012 season.

Earnhardt lined up 19th for Sunday's 110-lap event and immediately reported to his team that the handling of the green-and-silver Chevrolet was loose throughout Turns 1, 8, 9 and 10. Green-flag pit stops began on Lap 32 with Earnhardt running 23rd. Two laps later, crew chief Steve Letarte called his driver to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.

The day's first caution flag was displayed on Lap 83 with Earnhardt running 22nd. Letarte called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, and the No. 88 team sent Earnhardt back to green-flag racing on Lap 86 running 19th.

The adjustments seemed to improve the handling, and Earnhardt was running 15th when the days final caution flag waved on Lap 108, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Letarte called his driver down pit road for fresh tires for the restart and Earnhardt lined up 13th for the restart. During the restart, a competitor made contact with Earnhardt causing heaving damage to the No. 88 Chevrolet. Earnhardt crossed the finish line 23rd.

QUOTING DALE EARNHARDT JR.:

EARNHARDT (ON THE LATE-RACE WRECK ON SUNDAY.): "We were all restarting there, and we went through Turn 3, and we came over 3A, and I just got hit in the back and spun around. I'm sure there's a bunch of people running into each other there to have made that happen. I don't think it was anything intentional; it is just the way green-white-checkers are here. We see it every year."

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Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports.
Media Relations | No. 88 AMP Energy / National Guard Racing

*****

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Official Site - www.dalejr.com


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