Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets a starting spot for the Daytona 500 set on February 21 after winning the Can-Am Duel.
The win was Earnhardt’s fifth duel win and will start third in the starting line in the season opening of Daytona 500, which will mark his father’s 15th death anniversary. He dominated the 150-mile race after taking the lead from Denny Hamlin with six laps remaining and from there, Earnhardt cruised his way into the finish line.
Earnhardt, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, was on board his Chevrolet SS sporting the number 88 showed his wares in the race track as he led 43 laps in the 60-lap event. It was also a fitting win dedicated to his father.
Ralph Dale Earnhardt also known as Dale Earnhardt Sr. died on February 21, 2001 when he sustained a fatal basilar skull fracture after crashing in the final lap of the Daytona 500. Earnhardt Sr. was inducted to numerous halls of fame including the inaugural class of NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
With his win, Earnhardt is a man on a mission having won the Daytona 500 back in 2014, he aims to reclaim his title which Joey Logano won last year. He also aims to duplicate his feat in 2004 where in he won the Can-Am Duel and the Daytona 500 on the same year.
On the other hand, defending champion Joey Logano landed second and will be starting fifth in Daytona 500 while Ryan Blaney finished third and also clinched a spot on Daytona 500 that is slated on February 21.
Daytona 500 is a 500-mile long race that is part of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It is the first of two Sprint Cup races with the Coke Zero 400 as the second. The inaugural Daytona 500 was held in 1959 with the opening of the speedway at Daytona Beach in Florida.
The winner of the Daytona 500 will be presented with the Harley J. Earl Trophy with the winning car on display in race winning condition at the Daytona 500 Experience – a museum and gallery adjacent to Daytona International Speedway.
Photo Courtesy: U.S. National Guard/Wikimedia