Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag in the Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Earnhardt led 67 of the 188 laps to capture his sixth victory at the 2.66-mile tri-oval in Alabama.
Earnhardt’s main concern while racing towards the checker was his teammate Jimmie Johnson in pursuit.
"I didn't know what he had up his sleeve,” said Earnhardt on FOX Sports. “Maybe they got busy behind him and he couldn't form a charge.”
Earnhardt will walk away with his 24th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. The North Carolina native shared some emotions following the win in victory lane.
"Just real emotional man. Everything is just so good for me now,” continued Earnhardt. “My personal life. My racing. The team I am with. I don't know why. I don't feel like I deserve it. I just feel overcome with a lot of emotion. It has been a long time since I won here. I've run so good here, and not to win here in so many races has bothered me.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his father now own 14 victories combined at the superspeedway.
Jimmie Johnson didn’t have enough to get around the fast ride of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the closing laps. Johnson, who started the event from the fifth position, came home in the runner-up spot after leading 50 laps. The California native will leave the Talladega Superspeedway with his sixth top 10 finish of the year.
Paul Menard captured his second top five finish of the season on Sunday afternoon. Menard brought home a third-place finish after starting the Geico 500 from seventh.
Jeff Gordon earned his 80th career Sprint Cup Series pole on Saturday afternoon for the 46th annual event. Gordon was spun on the final lap over on the back straightaway that caused him to finish 31st. In a separate but similar situation, Edwards also spun just off the exit of turn-two on the final lap. Edwards finished one spot behind Gordon in 32nd.
Ryan Blaney showed some strength all afternoon throughout the race in his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford. The North Carolina native will take home his first top 10 finish of his Sprint Cup career. Blaney took the green flag in the third starting position.
The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be in the Midwest at the Kansas Speedway. Live coverage of the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1. The Motor Racing Network will carry live flag-to-flag radio coverage.