Phoenix Raceway likely Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s final chance at a win before retirement
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after 18 seasons in NASCAR and he has just two races left in his career to attempt to end a winless drought.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after 18 seasons in NASCAR and he has just two races left in his career to attempt to end a winless drought which dates to 2015.
Luckily for the future Hall of Famer, the penultimate race in his career returns to site of his last win on Sunday — Phoenix Raceway. Junior led 22 laps in the 2015 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 en route to his 26th career Cup Series win.
The one-mile desert track has seen Earnhardt in victory lane three times. He was fifth at the spring race last year and even though he missed the 2016 fall race due to a concussion, his replacement, Alex Bowman, won the pole and led 194 laps before finishing sixth.
Earlier this season, Junior's Chevrolet had the speed during practice and qualifying en route to starting third in the Camping World 500 before finishing 14th at the end of the day.
“Phoenix is a good track for us. We have certainly had a great car there the last several times," Earnhardt said in a statement Wednesday. "Knowing we have won there helps you just go in there with a good attitude.
"I don’t think that we’ve lost hope on winning a race by any means. So, we’ll go in there with a solid attitude and see how it works out for us.”
How many wins does Dale Earnhardt Jr. have?
In addition to his 26 Cup Series wins, which include four wins at Daytona and six at Talladega, Earnhardt has 24 Xfinity Series wins and back to back titles in the second-tier series (then the Busch Series). A 14-time most popular driver award recipient, Earnhardt has won the exhibition All-Star Race twice and is a five-time winner of the Daytona 500 qualifying race.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 will likely be the final race of Earnhardt's Cup Series career. Given he's never won at Homestead and has just three wins at 1.5-mile tracks in his career, Sunday's race at Phoenix is likely Earnhardt's last shot at a victory.