Speeding penalty costs the No. 88 a shot at solid finish
DOVER, Del.. — Having speed is a bonus — unless a driver is too fast on pit road.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. accepting responsibility for his 14th-place finish at Dover International Speedway after he was busted for speeding on Sunday.
Although the No. 88 Chevy started at the rear of the field for changing the rear gear prior to the FedEx 400, by Lap 6, Earnhardt had battled his way to 31st. Fourteen laps later, the Hendrick Motorsports driver climbed up to 26th.
Due to the quick pace of the race, Earnhardt was lapped by Martin Truex Jr. on Lap 57. But it was the pit strategy by crew chief Greg Ives that enabled Earnhardt to go from last to first in 163 laps as he called for the driver not to come in for service and gamble on fuel. As the rest of the field pitted, it enabled Earnhardt to return to the lead lap.
The team’s good fortune did not last long. Earnhardt was busted for speeding in section one coming onto pit road on Lap 247. After serving the pass-thru penalty, he was forced to line up 22nd and finished 14th.