NASCAR: Dale Jr. has to be pretty excited right now

Dale Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Dale Jr.’s JR Motorsports pulled off a historic feat in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been in the news a lot recently. He made his annual one-off appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series a few weeks ago at Martinsville Speedway, and he made an unprecedented (but not controversial) move to occupy the third seat in the Fox broadcast booth for the Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway two Sundays ago.

Additionally, two consecutive Xfinity Series races have now been won by JR Motorsports. Noah Gragson earned his second win of the season at Talladega Superspeedway. He pulled it off ahead of Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dale Jr.’s nephew, in second place, with Earnhardt driving a #3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing that resembled the car driven by “The Intimidator”, Dale Sr.

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Larry McReynolds even returned to serve as the crew chief for Jeffrey in this race, and he replaced Dale Jr. in the Fox booth for the race at Dover Motor Speedway this past Sunday/Monday.

But the big highlight for Dale Jr. might have come in Saturday afternoon’s Xfinity Series race at Dover Motor Speedway.

JR Motorsports pulled off something that only one other team had ever pulled off in Xfinity Series history: they took four of the top five spots.

Josh Berry earned the third win of his career and his first win of the 2022 season ahead of Justin Allgaier in second place. Noah Gragson finished in fourth with Sam Mayer in fifth.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs broke up the party in third place.

Ironically, Joe Gibbs Racing are the only other team that had pulled off this feat prior to Saturday. They pulled it off in May 2013 at Darlington Raceway.

But the way in which JR Motorsports pulled it off was still a first.

Joe Gibbs’s team pulled it off with a quartet which included two full-time Cup Series drivers; JR Motorsports pulled it off with four full-time Xfinity Series drivers, making them the first team to ever do so.

Kyle Busch won the May 2013 race ahead of Elliott Sadler in second place and Brian Vickers in third. Matt Kenseth finished in fifth. The only non-Joe Gibbs Racing driver who finished in the top five was Team Penske’s Joey Logano in fourth.

Busch and Kenseth competed full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup Series at the time, while Sadler and Vickers competed full-time in the Xfinity Series.

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Interestingly, Dover Motor Speedway, then known as Dover International Speedway, was the site of a similar feat last year. It produced the fourth ever top four sweep by a single Cup Series team. Hendrick Motorsports pulled it off with Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and William Byron, in that order.