May­on­naise de­clares vic­tory

Earn­hardt Jr. wins Xfin­ity se­ries race in Hell­mann’s car

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - SPORTS - By Hank Kurz Jr.

RICH­MOND, Va. — Dale Earn­hardt Jr. dom­i­nated all day and re­gained the lead on a late restart to win the NASCAR Xfin­ity Se­ries race at Rich­mond In­ter­na­tional Race­way Satur­day, earn­ing his 24th ca­reer vic­tory in the se­ries and first in more than six years.

It also was the first time he’s ever won in one of his own cars, which he said “makes it a lit­tle bet­ter.”

The vic­tory capped off a lu­cra­tive few days for JR Mo­tor­sports. Earn­hardt said Unilever, the maker of Hell­mann’s may­on­naise and a team part­ner since 2009, has signed on to spon­sor the team’s Xfin­ity cars for 20 races in 2017-18.

“To be able to come and win a race in that car is in­cred­i­ble,” Earn­hardt said about the car that bore the Hell­mann’s colours. It was his fourth se­ries win at Rich­mond. Earn­hardt built a lead of more than 5 sec­onds as the first 125 laps were run cau­tion-free. When a cau­tion fi­nally flew with 15 laps to go, he and the other 10 cars on the lead lap headed for the pits, and chaos en­sued, caus­ing the race to go nine ex­tra laps.

Earn­hardt led 128 laps but was beaten off pit road by his JR Mo­tor­sports team­mate Justin All­gaier, one of four driv­ers con­tend­ing for a $100,000 bonus. But Bren­nan Poole, an­other con­tender for the bonus, stayed on the track on old tires, and when Earn­hardt dove un­der­neath him head­ing into Turn 1, Poole’s car nudged the back of All­gaier’s, send­ing

STEVE HELBER / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Dale Earn­hardt Jr. gets a hug from his fi­ancée Amy Reimann as he cel­e­brates win­ning Satur­day’s Xfin­ity se­ries race at Rich­mond In­ter­na­tional Race­way.

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