Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiling after runner-up finish at Phoenix

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 02: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, leads Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, leads Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, AZ – MARCH 02: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, leads Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There was no wiping the grin off the face of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sunday night at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR’s most popular driver, fresh from his victory tour after winning the season opening Daytona 500, showed that his win at Daytona was no fluke.

After starting fifth Earnhardt moved his way forward and was in second by lap 90. Unlike years past when he faded late or suffered pit road issues that left him back in the field, Earnhardt maintained second for most of the 312 laps and finished the day in the runner-up spot, second to  race winner Kevin Harvick.

“I would have loved to have won the race, am a little disappointed to have come that close,” Earnhardt said. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.