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Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Season in Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NBC SPORTS

  
Michigan International Speedway - Day 1
   Dale Earnhardt Jr.

CREW CHIEF: Greg Ives

TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports

POINTS: 12th

WINS: 3  (Talladega I, Daytona II, Phoenix II)

LAPS LED: 287 (fewest since 2011)

Top 5s: 16 (tied for most since 2004)

TOP 10s: 22

POLES: 1 (Daytona II, by practice speed)

WHAT WENT RIGHT:

 Won multiple races in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2003-04 … Earned a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the fifth straight year … Rain helped give Earnhardt his third win of the year at Phoenix. He never led a green-flag lap … Won his sixth race at Talladega after leading his most laps at the track (67) since 2004 … Got engaged to girlfriend Amy Reimann .. Named Most Popular Driver for 13th consecutive year.

WHAT WENT WRONG:

 Joey Logano‘s splitter and a caution flag are all that kept Earnhardt from advancing to the third round of the Chase. The No. 88 team had its championship hopes end before the third round for the second straight year … Only recorded one DNF (Phoenix I), but multiple incidents at Texas II kept Earnhardt from competing for a win …
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2016:

 Earnhardt enters his 17th full-time season still seeking his first Sprint Cup championship, now as one of the top two drivers at Hendrick Motorsports … Will likely still be the man to beat at restrictor-plate races.