Dale Jr. Closes Out Cup Racing Career at Homestead

Tyler Overstreet | JR Motorsports | 11/20/2017

Axalta Dale Jr. Homestead NASCAR News

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrapped up his NASCAR Cup Series career Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race: Homestead 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 267 laps
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Dale Jr.’s Finish: 25th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. brought his NASCAR Cup Series driving career to an end Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 18-year veteran and his No. 88 Axalta team finished the night 25th, but the result didn’t matter on this night. For Earnhardt, his family and friends that worked tirelessly alongside him celebrated a storybook career that saw Dale Jr. claim 26 victories on the track and countless victories off the track with the effect he had on the sport and its fans.

After being forced to start from the rear of the field due to an engine change Friday, Earnhardt wasted little time whipping his red and black Chevrolet – a similar scheme to the one he ran for his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the 1999 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – around the outside and into the top 25 early on. Earnhardt managed to rally his way to 20th by the end of the opening stage.

Earnhardt reported to crew chief Greg Ives that his Chevrolet was too loose at points of Stage 2, but too tight during other points of the stage. The back and forth from loose to tight resulted in Earnhardt sliding back a few spots to finish Stage 2 in 23rd.

The final stage saw Earnhardt make gains as he climbed his way into the top 15 at one point while he and Ives continued to improve the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet throughout the night. Earnhardt was running inside the top 20 late in the race when a flat right-front tire forced him to break the No. 88 to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop at Lap 250.

In the end, Earnhardt took the checkered flag in 25th to finish the 2017 season.

Martin Truex Jr., who broke into the major NASCAR touring series driving for Earnhardt’s Chance 2 Motorsports team more than a decade ago, won both the race and the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.