POINTS AFTER KENTUCKY: After finishing 12th last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. currently ranks sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 98 points going into this weekend’s race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
KENTUCKY POLE POSITION: Earnhardt captured his first pole position of the season last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. He toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.406 seconds at roughly 183.636 mph to set a new track record.
AT DAYTONA: In 27 Sprint Cup starts at Daytona, Earnhardt has recorded two wins, 10 top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and has led 396 laps. Earnhardt notched his first pole position at the 2.5-mile superspeedway during 2011 Daytona 500 qualifying. He averages a starting position of 11.1 and an average finish of 14th in points-paying events at Daytona. Earnhardt has finished all but three Cup events at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
IN THE 400: Earnhardt has scored one win, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s during 13 appearances in the annual July event at Daytona. Earnhardt, who will drive the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS this weekend, led 116 laps during his July 7, 2001, win. He has led a combined 243 laps during the summer event.
DAYTONA DOMINANCE: Earnhardt has 13 NASCAR wins at Daytona — two in the Sprint Cup Series, six in the Nationwide Series, three during qualifying events and two during exhibition events. He has won the 2004 Daytona 500, the 2001 Pepsi 400, plus two Sprint Unlimiteds (2003 and 2008) and three Budweiser Duel qualifying races (2003, 2004 and 2008). Earnhardt won the four straight Nationwide events he entered between 2002 and 2004 at Daytona.
STRONG ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: In 54 combined Cup starts on Daytona and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Earnhardt has recorded seven wins, 19 top-five finishes and 28 top-10s. He has a 13.3 average starting position and a 14.6 average finishing position on these tracks.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-773 for Saturday’s race. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 17th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in May and to a second-place finish in February at the Daytona 500.
HENDRICK AT DAYTONA: In 59 points-paying events (190 starts) at Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports has achieved 11 wins, 46 top-five finishes, 82 top-10s and has led 1,428 laps. Most recently, Johnson won his second Daytona 500 crown and Earnhardt scored runner-up honors earlier this year. The last time Hendrick Motorsports swept both Daytona events was 1986 when Geoff Bodine won the Daytona 500 and Tim Richmond went to Victory Lane in the July event.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS (ON DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY.): “I really enjoy racing at Daytona. I’m really excited about what the racing is going to be like. We saw a unique way the race played out at Daytona for the 500. I’m interested to go back and see what, if any differences there are or if we have a similar race. I love the racetrack and love going down there so I look forward to it.”