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Earnhardt feels vindicated by Daytona 500 triumph

By Larry Fine (Reuters) - After enduring 55 races without a win and doubts from critics about his competitive fire, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was still bubbling with excitement from his Daytona 500 triumph, a victory he said had vindicated him. "If you look at how happy I was Sunday after winning that race, you'll know how bad I want to win," Earnhardt told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday.

Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500

By Lewis Franck DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his Chevrolet to victory in a rain-interrupted, crash-marred Daytona 500 on Sunday in the season-opening NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway. Denny Hamlin was second in a Toyota and Brad Keselowski took third in a Ford, placed ahead of Jeff Gordon in his Chevrolet after a video review by officials following the jam-packed finish.

Practice day crash tests Daytona safety measures

By Lewis Franck DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Spectator safety measures were put to the test at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday when a seven-car accident ended opening Sprint Cup Series practice for the day ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500 race. A car driven by rookie Parker Kligerman was sent into the catch fence, near the area of a multi-car accident last year in which more than 30 fans were injured, but thankfully this time the spectator area was not breached.

Dillon wins pole for Daytona 500

By Lewis Franck DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Austin Dillon, driving a car bearing the famed number three of late NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, won pole position for the Daytona 500 race on Sunday. Dillon's Chevrolet posted a top speed of 196.019 mph at Daytona International Speedway to claim front row honors for the February 23 race, the first time Earnhardt's number has been used in a top-level NASCAR event since his death on the last lap of the 2001 race.

Jimmie Johnson captures sixth Sprint Cup title

(Reuters) - Jimmie Johnson added another title to his dominant NASCAR career by clinching the Sprint Cup Series championship with a ninth-place finish at the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday. For Johnson, who only needed to finish 23rd or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the Cup, it marked his sixth championship in eight years as he finished 19 points ahead of Matt Kenseth in the final standings.

Johnson earns sixth Sprint Cup title

EditorsNote: adds quotes, agate to NASCAR Wire Service story Johnson earns sixth Sprint Cup title By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service Distributed by The Sports Xchange HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin found redemption for a lost season, as Jimmie Johnson advanced to the threshold of legend.

Kyle Busch wins at Homestead; Crafton claims truck series title

Kyle Busch wins at Homestead; Crafton claims truck series title By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service Distributed by The Sports Xchange

Harvick wins race; Johnson increases points lead

Harvick wins race; Johnson increases points lead AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kevin Harvick was on the short end of the fuel-mileage stick when he ran out of gas en route to pit road under green with about 40 laps to go in the 312-lap Advocare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. But he was able to remain in contention and took advantage of Carl Edwards running out of fuel with about 1 1/2 laps remaining, enabling Harvick to claim the race win.

Busch dominates in win at Phoenix

Busch dominates in win at Phoenix By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service Distributed by The Sports Xchange AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Don't bet against Kyle Busch when he races at Phoenix. Don't bet against him when he wins the pole for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Erik Jones, 17, becomes youngest truck series winne

Erik Jones, 17, becomes youngest truck series winner By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service Distributed by The Sports Xchange AVONDALE, Ariz. -- In a battle between two drivers who had never won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, 17-year-old Erik Jones pulled away from Ross Chastain in the final 10 laps of Friday night's Lucas Oil 150, becoming the youngest winner in series history.
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