Can Dale Jr Win Starting Last?

Filed under: Dale Earnhardt 

Starting the Daytona 500 From the Back of the Field Will Be No Problem for Dale Jr

Dale Earnhardt Jr will start the Daytona 500 in the back of the pack even though he was fastest in qualifying with a pole winning speed of 186.089 mph.  Following a crash involving Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr Earnhardt had to go to a backup car for the race and according to the NASCAR rulebook he must forfeit his top starting spot because of it.

“We were coming around three and four and some of the guys on the inside moved up into the top lane” according to Earnhardt. “Me and Jimmie checked up. We didn’t know if they were coming into our lane. We got run over from behind.  Just a tough deal.  The same old stuff that always kind of happens here.”

That doesn’t diminish Earnhardt’s chances to win the race one bit. His team has consistently made his car fast during practice and qualifying for the Daytona 500. And nit just fast, but fastest.

Dale Jr didn’t seem worried about dropping to the back with a new car. “We’ve got plenty of race cars,” said Dale Jr.  ”I ain’t worrying about how fast we’ll be. We’ll be fine.

There is no reason to believe that the backup car will not be just as fast, if not faster, It will take a few laps for Earnhardt to work his way through traffic at the start of the race, but he will be at the front soon enough.

Earnhardt did not see a need to participate in the practice session to begin with given the fact he already had a fast car. But crew chief Steve Letarte put him on the track. “I didn’t feel good about being out there practicing,” said Earnhardt. “I didn’t think I needed to be out there practicing. I just had a bad feeling about it.”

Dale Jr seems pretty confident, but what do you think. Can he make it from last to first in this race?




15 Comments on Can Dale Jr Win Starting Last?

  1. AZomah on
  2. Sure he can if he picks up the right people to bump draft with. Also, I don’t know what is done with the engines, hopefully they pull the heads and check the valves etc, after the 150′s. Valve springs are made out of a really crappy metal that just does not hold up, so I worry about it. I know that the engine guys are smarter than me, but I still have friends involved in building racing engines, so I worry about Jr., mainly cause Jeff had to go to the garage early because of a blown valve and that was at PIR, a short track. I saw the interview where he said he wsn’t comfortable with participating in practice. Too bad he was made to. The fact that he didn’t feel the need to drive, meant the car was set up good, and that has not happened over the past 2 years. With you all the way Jr., hang in there, this Omah is with you!

  3. REGAN on
  4. JR can win from anywhere he starts. You can go from worst to first or first to worst in a lap or 2 at Daytona. JR nation aint worried!! 88 will be there when it counts as long as no one wrecks him.

  5. Helen on
  6. Yep, No worries he will be fine… He learned from the Master
    Dale Sr… Jr knows how to get to the front he will be fine and
    hopefully he won’t get wrecked again! That will be the only
    thing that can stop him is being wrecked! Go Jr #88 :)

  7. Tom on
  8. When I heard that Jr. was on the pole for Daytona 500, it was great to hear. But, I ‘ve always felt that whoever was on the pole, chances are they ll never win the 500. Jr. has a much better chance of winning the race from the back then he would from the pole. I just hope that the backup car will be just as good as the primary car. It will be a challenge for him, but he’ll have a better year this year for sure.

    After the 150s all the teams will be allowed to change engines without penalty.

  9. Rita on
  10. Sure he can no doubt about it! He needs good equipment to get it done.
    Junior is a good driver, he knows Daytona but so far luck is not on his side.

    So far what has happened to him at Daytona this years is unbelievable.

  11. NancyEliz Maldonado on
  12. Dearest Junior (Mr. Earnhardt), I believe in you and you’ll do just fine. I’m coming from the back in my own personal life and it will be a race to the finish and I definately intend to be at the front of this life/race/journey. Spritually, you are devine and have overcome so very much. I, too, had a Taurus daddy, April 21 who is no longer in my presence and he set a blazing path for me to follow. He was very special. I got off my track and now I’m back on and intend to turn my life around. No more walking alone, so I believe in you. Go get em Junior and my spirit will be right there with you. Peace NancyEliz

  13. Glenn on
  14. I have no doubt that Dale can and will not be in the back for long and has as good if not better chance then anyone of winning the race too. True Jr fans roll like that. Given the record of 500 winners and them going on to win the cup I would rather he not win this. But it would be great print given all the hype with his dad and all and starting from the rear. Would be, even though a little eartly to say, it would be great to see him win the cup this year too.

  15. Mavis on
  16. Sure he can win – if he gets the right partners and doesn’t get wrecked again.

  17. lady red on
  18. They say winning is part car, part driver, and plain old fashioned luck. Jr. sure hasn’t had any luck the last two years but I think his luck is going to change and he will be right back in the thick of things. It was good to see
    his crew chief at his window encouraging him this afternoon, something you didn’t see with Lance. Jr. has always needed encouragement, something he hasn’t had a lot of since his dad died. As long as they give him good cars and people quit wrecking him I think this will be a good year for Jr. He is different this year, more upbeat and he looks happy for a change. It would certainly be great for him to win Sunday on the 10th anniversary, what a fitting tribute to dad. And no, the race can’t be fixed. With the thousands of Nascar people and all the drivers how in the world would that be kept a secret. I
    think these reporters that write this rubbish ought to find a new beat, write something they know something about, they sure don’t know Nascar. Rooting for #88 Sunday and every other race till November.

  19. REGAN on
  20. Aint no problem!!!

  21. Faye on
  22. Jr knows how to get around that track better than anyone and he will WIN!!! The 10th anniverary of SRs death what better time to break that losing streak than Daytona!! GO GET ‘EM JR!!!!! JUNIOR NATION LOVES YOU!

  23. SouthernGuy8503 on
  24. He still has a chance, I was actually thinking that he has a better chance to win now because there’s not many times where the pole sitter wins the 500 or any other race. They did say if the backup car isn’t good enough they’re sending another car from Hendrick.

  25. AZomah on
  26. Glad to know that there is another car on the way. He wants more speed before the race, so that means practice tomorrow. So glad racing has started. A week before PIR!

  27. AZomah on
  28. Hey Gang, I suppose most of us watched Jr. qualify for the Nationwide race tomorrow. Since he is on the second row behind another Chevy the race might be fun to watch for a little while anyway. Go Jr. Go!!!

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