DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After two Hendrick Motorsports teammates earned points by finishing in the top 10 in Stage 1 of the Daytona 500, the drivers were looking for more in Stage 2.
However, the top 10 eluded the teammates at the conclusion of the second 60-lap segment. Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne took the green checkered flag back-to-back-to-back in 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.
Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had taken the lead on Lap 97 and held it more than halfway through Stage 2. But he was caught up in a multiple-car incident that caused a red flag to be displayed after Lap 108.
The No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS suffered damage and Earnhardt was forced to head to the garage, ending his day prematurely.
“I really enjoyed the whole week. We had a lot of fun," Earnhardt said. "Just sorry we weren’t able to deliver a better result today for all our fans and everybody that was looking forward to today."
“We had a great car -- at least we went out leading the race.”
He was scored 37th after Stage 2.
With no drivers inside the top 10, no extra points headed the way of the Hendrick Motorsports teammates in Stage 2.
“A long way to go,” No. 24 team crew chief Alan Gustafson said during the red flag. “We’ve got a good car, we’ve just got to get back on track and put ourselves in position.”
The Daytona 500 will finish up with a final, 80-lap stage.