The 2017 Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola will mark a milestone celebration of Dale Jr.’s career and legacy as he takes the wheel for his final race at Daytona International Speedway.
From his emotional victory in July 2001 to his two DAYTONA 500 victories, his 2015 Coke Zero 400 victory and his 13 other DAYTONA victories, Dale Jr. has countless special moments at The World Center of Racing.
Below are a few that stand out among the rest.
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.
2003 Coca-Cola Firecracker 250
Returning to DAYTONA just a few months after making his mark on Speedweeks 2003 with season-opening victories in the Can-Am Duel and the PowerShares QQQ 300, the budding star had an even bigger showcase in store for fans. Starting on the pole in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Dale Jr. went on to lead all 100 laps in the most dominant DAYTONA victory to date. In addition to being the only driver to lead every lap of a DAYTONA race, he remains the only driver in history to sweep both XFINITY Series races at DAYTONA in a single season.
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.
2010 Coca-Cola Firecracker 250
On a mission to honor his father’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Dale Jr. took the wheel behind a No. 3 Chevrolet with a Wrangler paint scheme. Against the backdrop of an 85-race winless streak, Earnhardt Jr. added a new page to his proud legacy, leaving many with a sight they thought was lost with time – the No. 3 back in Gatorade Victory Lane. To this day, the victory remains the last time Dale Earnhardt Jr. has wheeled the No. 3 car.
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.
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.
2017 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
Fans from all over are invited to share in a truly momentous experience top celebrate Dale Jr.'s career and legacy at DAYTONA. Be here to witness this emotional farewell as the third-winningest driver in Daytona International Speedway history takes to the hallowed ground one last time on Independence Day weekend at the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
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.
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