Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins The 30th Running of the Budweiser Shootout DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 9, 2008 ----- Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the story of the night for the 30th Running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Making his Hendrick ...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins The 30th Running of the Budweiser Shootout
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 9, 2008 ----- Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the story of the night for the 30th Running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Making his Hendrick Motorsports debut, Earnhardt Jr. led 47 of 70 laps in a hard-fought battle of two- and three-wide racing to capture the win in the 2008 edition of the race. Finishing out the top five was Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Reed Sorensen, respectively.
Earnhardt Jr. becomes a two-time winner of the Budweiser Shootout and brought back some 'old style' passing with the new car.
"I got [the slingshot] used a couple of times on me -- and I was able to make it happen -- so it looks like it's back," Earnhardt said in victory lane. "I had a blast. I had a really great race car. That was 50 percent race car and 50 percent teammate. Jimmie Johnson gave me a push there at the end when he and Kasey were lined up on the outside. That was great for us and I want to thank them for that.
"I want to thank my team for building a beautiful race car," Earnhardt continued. "They did such a great job all winter. Everyone at Hendrick has worked so hard. This is great for us. This is exactly what we needed coming out of the gate. I hope the fans enjoyed that race because it was so fun for me, the National Guard and Tony, and everybody that has helped us in the off season. This makes it all worth it. "
Friday's accident-filled final practice session left many teams with wrecked race cars and flared tempers. But when the field took the green for the Budweiser Shootout, tempers were in check and there was two- and three-wide racing all night. Tony Stewart, one of the drivers to find trouble during final practice for the Shootout, finished second and enjoyed racing side-by-side racing with Earnhardt Jr. all night.
"That was awesome," Stewart said. "I don't know how you can ask for a better race than that. Dale Jr. is one of the best there's ever been in a restrictor-plate car. He drove his butt off tonight and put his car where he wanted. So I don't know how I could be disappointed with second tonight."
There were 17 lead changes and three cautions for 15 laps. Only five of the 23 cars in the starting field failed to finish the event.