Junior Finishes 23rd in Final Bristol Night Race

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 8/19/2017

Axalta Bristol Dale Jr. NASCAR News

Dale Jr. and the No. 88 Axalta/Ducks Unlimited team posted a 23rd-place finish in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Race: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Specs: .533-mile concrete oval / 500 laps
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 23rd

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 23rd in Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. With the finish, he remains 22nd in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with only two races remaining before the Playoffs.

Sporting a unique black and True Timber camo paint scheme to promote Axalta’s partnership with Ducks Unlimited, Earnhardt made an early charge from 31st to 18th in the opening laps. By the time the first caution waved at Lap 61, however, the No. 88 was scored 22nd. The former Bristol winner reported that his Chevrolet was very good running the bottom early in the run, but too loose as green-flag stints ran longer and the fast groove moved up to the high lane. Adjustments from crew chief Greg Ives and the Axalta team swung the balance of Earnhardt’s car from loose to tight as he ended Stage One in 21st.

Stage Two was much of the same for Earnhardt and company. His Chevrolet continued to showcase incredible speed on restarts, but that pace progressively waned off over the course of a run. By the end of the stage, the No. 88 was scored 19th.

Earnhardt continued to search for grip throughout the final stage as his running position fluctuated between 15th and 20th for much of the final 250 laps. As green-flag runs increased in duration, Earnhardt eventually fell off the lead lap and ultimately ended his final run on the World’s Fastest Half-Mile with a 23rd-place finish.

Kyle Busch won the race to complete a weekend sweep of the truck, Xfinity and Cup races at Bristol. Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.