Earnhardt overcomes struggles at Kentucky, Johnson blames pit stall

SPARTA, KY - JUNE 28:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

SPARTA, KY – JUNE 28: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

They may not have been in victory lane at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night, but the drivers for Hendrick Motorsports still managed an impressive finish as all four cars ended the night in the top 10.

Uncharacteristic of years past, Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the contingent. He started 29th but thanks to the timing of the final pit stops of the night, he found himself in third. On lap 215, Earnhardt followed Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman in for green flag stops. Just as the stop was completed, Aric Almirola smacked the turn four wall bringing out the sixth and final caution of the night. The lead group pitted and suddenly Earnhardt found himself third.  He didn’t have the speed to hold off eventual winner Brad Keselowski but was able to hold on and finish fifth.

The speed he found Saturday night was something not present during practice and qualifying the day prior. MORE>>>

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