CONCORD, N.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. claimed the lead on the first lap of the NASCAR Sprint Showdown and paced the field for the entire 40-lap event on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As a result, Earnhardt earns his way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star event, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET tonight on SPEED.
The driver of the No. 88 The Dale Jr. Foundation/Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, lined up third for the qualifying event, but moved into the leader position after pole sitter AJ Allmendinger had to report early to pit road for a flat left-front tire. Earnhardt immediately took advantage of the opportunity and outran outside pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. to take the lead.
Earnhardt opted against pitting at the halfway point and maintained the lead after the ensuing restart.
“The guys do such a good job every week,” Earnhardt said. “This is all about just going fast right out of the gate, and all the credit goes to the guys who put the car out on the line with a great setup underneath it.”