DAYTONA, Fla. — It was a return trip to Victory Lane for Dale Earnhardt Jr. as a car owner for JR Motorsports.
This time it was Kasey Kahne in his #5 Hellman’s Chevy Camaro rolling into the winners circle for the Subway Firecracker 250.
In February, Dale Jr. had Regan Smith bring home the trophy. Friday night’s three-wide, white-knuckle racing saw Kahne barely edge out teammate Smith. The margin of victory was .021 seconds.
It marked Kahne’s first Nationwide victory since his 2007 win at Bristol for Ray Evernham.
On the final lap Kahne charged from eighth place, took the outside lane and nipped Smith at the stripe.
The victory was the sixth of the season for JR Motorsports, and second consecutive following Kevin Harvick’s win at Kentucky last week.
Dale Jr. was all smiles again in Victory Lane.
“I’m happy for the company and frustrated for the 7 team (Smith). I’m proud of the company and what they’ve accomplished this year,” he told reporters following the win.
Ryan Sieg finished third, Ryan Reed had a career-best fourth place finish, followed by Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace. The top 10 was rounded out by Jeremy Clements, Trevor Bayne and Mike Wallace.