Dale Jr. Finishes 20th
No. 5 Fastenal Team / Earnhardt Jr.
Start – 9th / Finish – 20th / Laps Led – 0 / Points – 103
Earnhardt Jr. began the 200-lap race in ninth-place after a solid qualifying effort in the No. 5 Fastenal Chevrolet. Early in the event, Earnhardt Jr. settled back into 12th place as a result of the loose chassis of the No. 5 Chevy.
The Fastenal team saw its race quickly take a turn for the worse after the first round of green-flag pit stops on lap 55. The team was nearing the end of its stop when the jack dropped early, sending Junior onto the track before all the lugnuts were fastened on the left-front wheel. The mishap caused a severe vibration, and Earnhardt Jr. had to slowly nurse the call around the 1.5-mile oval before returning to pit road. In all, the team lost three laps in the process.
He spent the remainder of the race trying to regain the lost positions. By the end of the day, Earnhardt Jr. had muscled his way to a 20th-place finish. He fell short of earning his third top-10 of the Nationwide Series season.
“It was a rough one today,” Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. “I felt bad for everyone from Fastenal who was here rooting for us. But with that loose tire, it put us so far behind that there was no way we could get those laps back. (Brian) Campe and the guys brought a strong Fastenal Chevy this weekend. If it weren’t for the loose tire, I think we would have had a top-10 car.
“I’m really pumped for Brad and the 88 team. Those guys have seen their share of setbacks this season and hopefully this is the momentum boost they need to begin turning things around.”
Next Up for JR Motorsports:
Event: NASCAR Nationwide Series 300 at Nashville Superspeedway
Date: Saturday, April 11
TV/Radio: 4 p.m. ESPN, 4 p.m. MRN Radio
JRM Entries: No. 88 GoDaddy (Brad Keselowski)