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Dale Earnhardt Jr. thrilled the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans at Talladega Superspeedway by winning the GEICO 500 in dominating fashion to capture his first victory of the 2015 season and 24th of his Cup career.
After the final green-flag pit stop, Earnhardt Jr. led the last several laps around the 2.66-mile tri-oval with trash on the grille of his race car, causing the heat gauges to soar. But his R07 engine prevailed, and powered his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS across the finish line. In all, Earnhardt led the race six times for a race-high total of 67 laps.
“With 10 laps to go it was 285 (degrees); the water pressure was pegged,” said Earnhardt Jr. in Victory Lane. “It started pushing water the last couple of laps. The oil got over 300. The oil cooled back down which scared me a little bit. That is usually not a good sign. I had the fan on, and was doing everything I could, just hoping it would last. I have to go see all the boys in the engine shop and shake all their hands because they did a good job.”