Daytona International Speedway is excited to welcome back two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the 2017 DAYTONA 500 on February 26.
The 59th running of “The Great American Race" will be his first start after an eight-month absence and comes, quite appropriately, in an event strongly connected with his family’s legacy.
With 16 career victories at DAYTONA, tied for third most all-time, Earnhardt Jr. has plenty of proud moments at DAYTONA. He should be right at home when he climbs behind the wheel on February 26, 2017, looking to add to his remarkable record of success at the “World Center of Racing."
Below are what stand out as some of Junior’s most memorable moments at Daytona International Speedway.
2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
Driving the No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, Earnhardt Jr. dominated much of the 2015 race, leading 40 of the race’s first 80 laps and a race-high 96 total laps en route to the 16th DAYTONA victory of his career. Earnhardt Jr. solidified himself as one of the most prolific drivers ever at DAYTONA, with his second Coke Zero 400 victory, to go along with his two DAYTONA 500 victories.
2001 Rolex 24 at DAYTONA
In his very first Rolex 24 At DAYTONA appearance in 2001, Earnhardt Jr. and his father co-drove together for the only time in their careers. Along with sports car veterans Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins, the team drove the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, finishing fourth overall and finishing on the podium in the GTS class with a second place finish.
2001 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
At the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 26 years old and in his second full-time season in the NASCAR's top series, coming to DAYTONA that summer on a 39-race winless streak. The race’s sentimental favorite, Dale Jr. led 116 laps in the 160-lap race to claim his first career DAYTONA win. The win came 11 years to the day that his father got his first Cup Series win at DIS.
2014 DAYTONA 500
Following three runner-up finishes in the previous four DAYTONA 500s and 10 years after his first DAYTONA 500 victory, Earnhardt Jr. drove a dominating No. 88 Hendrick Chevrolet in leading a race-high 54 laps of the 200-lap race. He joined Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth as the only drivers since 2004 to win multiple DAYTONA 500s.
2004 DAYTONA 500
While his legendary father needed 20 starts to win the DAYTONA 500, Junior won “The Great American Race” in 2004 in just his fifth career DAYTONA 500 start. The victory came exactly six years to the day that his father won his first and only DAYTONA 500. Earnhardt Jr., who already won a Can-Am Duel earlier in the week, used a late lap pass to slip past Tony Stewart to take the checkered flag.
What's your favorite Dale Jr. moment at DAYTONA? Let us know by leaving a message in the comments box below! Be a part of the next chapter of history by attending the 59th running of the DAYTONA 500. Tickets are on sale now and going fast! Buy now or call 1-800-PITSHOP for tickets and information.