Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins his first Pole for Daytona 500

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his 400th career start at the Daytona 500 on February 20th and he’s starting on the pole, his second pole win this weekend.

On February 12th, Earnhardt Jr. started the Budweiser Shootout on the pole and was hanging onto the top 5 until Carl Edwards and Regan Smith spun him out. He hit the wall and the damage to the car knocked him out of the race.

His qualifying run clocked in at 186.089 mph in 48.364 seconds and his teammate Jeff Gordon is starting second. With those two cars up front, it looks as though Hendrick Motorsports is off to a great start.

Earnhardt Jr. is looking optimistic and confident. He’s ready to race and with a strong start to the season, hopes are high in Junior Nation for a very successful year.

Even though it's his first career pole for the Daytona 500, it’s realistic to believe that Earnhardt Jr. can win this year’s event. In his 22 Cup starts at Daytona International Speedway, Earnhardt Jr. has a record of two wins, eight top five finishes, 13 top-10s and has led 386 laps. Over all, Earnhardt Jr. has a total of 13 wins at DIS, two in the Sprint Cup Series, six in the Nationwide Series, three during qualifying events and two during exhibition events.

Last year, during the July 3rd Nationwide race, he drove his dad's #3 Wrangler car to victory lane. Maybe, next weekend, he'll drive his #88 AMP Energy car to victory lane.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins his first Pole for Daytona 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins his first Pole for Daytona 500 Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, February 13, 2011 Rating: 5