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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The white No. 3 decals are no bigger than a fist and sit just above and behind the driver’s side window of all the Richard Childress Racing team’s Chevrolets. Crew members wore black baseball caps with the same No. 3 logo and driver Tony Stewart strolled through the Daytona International Speedway garage Friday afternoon clutching one of the prized caps himself.
Friday marked exactly 10 years since the driver of the Richard Childress Racing No. 3, seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, was killed in Turn 4 of this track after crashing on the last lap of the Daytona 500. The speedway will remember the NASCAR icon with a moment of silence and fans will hold up three fingers on the third lap of Sunday’s Daytona 500.
But for such an overwhelming event, it has been a subdued, subtle and suiting anniversary.
For the past week, Earnhardt’s competitors, teammates and friends have shared emotional stories about that fateful Sunday afternoon. But the one person you won’t see participate in any contrived memorial this weekend is Earnhardt’s son, Dale Jr. No hat, no decal. None necessary.
“I’d personally rather just watch it and stand on the sidelines,” Earnhardt said of the various tributes and memorials planned for the weekend.
“It’s more fun for me hearing how other people reflect, hearing other people’s stories. I know how I feel in my heart and I don’t feel a real need to discuss that a lot.
“I want to do what’s right and honor him, but I don’t need to do it in front of a bunch of people. I feel like he carries his own weight and he doesn’t need me being a part of the celebration or whatever you want to call it. I don’t want to take away from it in any way.”
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Tags: Childress Racing, dale earnhardt, dale earnhardt jr, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daytona, Daytona 500, Daytona Int'l Speedway, Moment of Silence, NASCAR, three
Categories : Dale Earnhardt Jr, Daytona 500, NASCAR, scanner frequencies, Sprint Cup
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Driving the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet in honor of his late father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke a Nationwide Series drought of almost four years in winning Friday’s Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
The victory, the 23rd of Earnhardt’s career, was his first in the series since Aug. 19, 2006, when he took the checkered flag at Michigan. It was his first points win in any of NASCAR’s top three series since June 15, 2008, when Earnhardt captured the Lifelock 400 Sprint Cup race, again at Michigan.
In a race that saw the debut of NASCAR’s new Nationwide car, Earnhardt held off runner-up Joey Logano and third-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance of 100 laps.
“I was so worried that I wasn’t going to win, ’cause nothing but a win would get it-for everybody,” Earnhardt said after getting hugs from Childress, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and a multitude of others in victory lane. “If we didn’t win, what a waste of time. …
“I worked hard to try to win, not only for daddy-I’m proud of him going to the Hall of Fame, and he would be proud of this, I’m sure — but just all these fans. I hope they enjoyed this. This is it — no more ‘3’ for me. That’s it.”
With a push from Justin Allgaier, Earnhardt took the lead for the first time on Lap 70, surging past Kyle Busch through Turns 1 and 2. On that same lap, NASCAR called a caution for debris on the backstretch. Pitting under the caution, Earnhardt retained his lead, thanks to a quick, problem-free stop by Earnhardt’s No. 88 Cup crew, which volunteered for the race.
Read the Full story at NASCAR Nationwide Series.
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Tags: Daytona, drives, Earnhardt, Jr, No. 3, Subway Jalapeno 250, Victory Lane
Categories : Dale Earnhardt Jr, Nationwide, scanner frequencies