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Feb 25, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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Newly Crowned Daytona 500 Champ Earnhardt Jr. To Celebrate In Austin
Posted by: newsla on Feb 25, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Newly Crowned Daytona 500 Champ Earnhardt Jr. To Celebrate In Austin


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Earnhardt Jr. secured his second career victory in the Daytona 500, 10 years after his first victory in NASCAR's marquee season-opening race. He led a race-high 54 laps en route to winning the 56th running of the Daytona 500 and becoming just the 12th driver with multiple Daytona 500 crowns. The win also snapped a 55-race winless streak that dated to his last victory at Michigan International Speedway in 2012.

Earnhardt Jr.'s victory in Sunday night's Daytona 500 has all but solidified his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with NASCAR's new championship format that was announced in January. The revamped Chase system nearly guarantees that a victory during the first 26 races of the season earns one of 16 berths in the Chase, providing there are not 17 or more different winners during that span. Earnhardt has qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup six times in his career since the format was first instituted in 2004.

Earnhardt Jr. returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday, April 6. The spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is annually the largest-attended, single-day sporting event in Texas with crowds in excess of 150,000 since the speedway opened in 1997.

Texas Motor Speedway has played host to two significant career milestones for Earnhardt Jr. In 1998, he secured his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in the Coca-Cola 300 and two years later he earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the DirecTV 500.

Texas Motor Speedway has been one of Earnhardt Jr.'s more dominant tracks as he has 13 top-10 finishes in 23 career starts. During his most recent visit to Texas Motor Speedway for November's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Earnhardt Jr. finished runner-up to his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson. It was Earnhardt Jr.'s best finish at TMS since his victory in 2000 and gave him his fifth top-10 finish in his last six starts at Texas.

Carrying the momentum of a victory in the Daytona 500 to Texas Motor Speedway for April's Duck Commander 500 has proven difficult. No driver has won the Daytona 500 and Duck Commander 500 in the same season in 17 attempts.

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