Dale Jr. Battles to 12th-Place Finish at Charlotte

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 10/8/2017

Charlotte Dale Jr. NASCAR Nationwide News

Dale Jr. used a quick pit stop and nifty moves on an overtime restart to rally from 17th to 12th late in Sunday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Race: Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 334 laps
Weather: Cloudy, 80 degrees
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 12th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. rallied late in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 to finish 12th in his final start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The No. 88 Nationwide team remains 22nd in the series standings with just six races remaining in Earnhardt’s full-time NASCAR Cup Series career.

After an accident early in Friday’s practice session sent the No. 88 team to a backup car, Earnhardt started 23rd and worked his way forward early in the race despite reporting that his Nationwide Chevrolet was extremely loose. That loose condition would prove to a recurring theme throughout the 500-mile event as Earnhardt and crew chief Greg Ives continued to try numerous adjustments to improve the car’s handling. By the end of the first stage, Earnhardt was scored 19th.

The second stage was much of the same as Ives and company attempted major adjustments that dropped Earnhardt as low as 28th at one point, but Earnhardt ultimately charged back to 21st by Lap 180.

During stage three, Earnhardt ran inside the top 20 throughout as the race ran green for an extended period. At one point, Earnhardt fell off the lead lap, but Ives kept his driver on track for the wave around under caution at Lap 279 to rejoin the lead lap.

Earnhardt ran 17th when the caution waved at Lap 326. An incredible stop by the No. 88 pit crew vaulted Earnhardt four positions to restart 13th at Lap 331. Over the last few laps, Earnhardt picked up another position to end the race 12th.

Martin Truex Jr. claimed his sixth win of the season over Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray.