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Feb 18, 2014 - 06:44 PM
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2014 Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 18, 2014 - 06:43 PM
2014 Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview

Quotes | Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I feel like JR Motorsports is poised for great things this season. Having TaxSlayer.com on my car at Daytona is always special. Those guys have been huge supporters of our program for a long time. Winning this race for the TaxSlayer folks would be really cool. With the team we have this year, I think anything less than a win by one of our three cars would be a disappointment.


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"The new drafting rules in the Nationwide Series should make the racing really exciting for the drivers and fans. I wasn’t a fan of the tandem drafting we had the past few years so I’m glad to see NASCAR make a change away from that this year."

Notes | No. 88 Team

10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Ten years ago (February, 2004) Earnhardt Jr. joined elite company by sweeping both the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) events at Daytona International Speedway. Only Bobby Allison (1988), Darrell Waltrip (1989) and Kevin Harvick (2007) have accomplished the feat since the NNS began competing at the track in 1982.

SPEEDWEEKS SUCCESS: Earnhardt Jr. owns nine career victories during Daytona Speedweeks, including three consecutive victories in the NNS event at the 2.5-mile superspeedway from 2002 through 2004. He also accumulated a pair of Sprint Unlimited victories, three Duel victories and a Daytona 500 victory in 2004.

EARNHARDT’S 2014 NNS PLANS: In addition to the full Sprint Cup slate with Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to compete in a trio of NNS events. After Daytona, Earnhardt Jr. will drive JRM’s No. 88 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 1) and Texas Motor Speedway (April 4) with sponsorship from TaxSlayer.com and Ragu, respectively.

NO. 5/88 TEAM: Led by veteran crew chief Ernie Cope, the No. 5/88 team currently plans to run a part-time schedule with Earnhardt Jr. and Harvick. The entry will carry Earnhardt Jr.’s familiar No. 88 for the season’s first three races with Earnhardt Jr. competing at Daytona and Las Vegas. Harvick takes the wheel of the No. 88 at Phoenix before the team makes the change to No. 5 beginning at Bristol. The team is working to fill out inventory for the remainder of the season with additional drivers.

IN-RACE REPORTER: Earnhardt Jr. will serve as ESPN’s In-Race Reporter during the NNS event at Daytona. He and Cope will share their insights with the ESPN broadcast crew before and during the race. Fans can submit questions for Earnhardt Jr. by visiting ESPN.com and searching ‘In Race Reporter’.

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