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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Got His First Pole Position Ever At Talladega For His Last Race There

Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

In a retirement season where little has gone right for him, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be starting from pole position for today’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Despite having won at Talladega six times before, this is his first-ever pole position at the track.

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Earnhardt lapped the 2.66-mile superspeedway in just 50.256 seconds with an average lap speed of 190.544 mph.

Earnhardt told the Associated Press just how special this pole position was:

This place has meant a lot to me. It’s awesome to hear those fans happy for us and hopefully we’re going to give them a lot more to cheer about before this weekend is over.

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Earnhardt’s last win was in 2015 and he failed to make the playoffs this year, so he told the AP that he feels like he owes his fans another win before he retires. He only has six races left until the season is over, and Alex Bowman takes over Hendrick Motorsports’ No 88 car.

Maybe this week’s gift of his father’s race car lifted his spirits somehow. Racing on “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day” certainly can’t hurt, either. Either way, it’s good to see Dale Jr. doing Dale Jr. things like kicking ass at restrictor plate tracks.

Today’s race starts at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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DISCUSSION

As I said on the story about Parker Kligerman winning yesterday, the only better feel good story of the year would be Dale Jr winning today.

The last time the fall race was on October 15th was 17 years ago and his dad won that race. Will the stars align for Dale Jr today? Will he get a win at his final race at Talladega in his final season as a NASCAR driver?

It’ll be a shame if he doesn’t get a win this season, but today his best chance.