'Fantastic' day for DEI
When the green flag waved for the two-lap overtime finish, Dale Earnhardt Inc. drivers were running second, third and fourth. It didn't end up quite that rosy.
crossed the finish line first, but was placed 18th in the box score for passing below the yellow line. Rookie Aric Almirola
got shuffled back to 13th, but Paul Menard
had a career-best second-place showing.
All in all, it was a positive ending to a difficult week at DEI. Menard announced Tuesday that he is going to Yates Racing next season, along with the primary sponsorship money of his father's home improvement company.
"It's done," Menard said. "I'm looking forward to next year. I looked at everything on paper and I'm very confident in my decision."
DEI has only one primary sponsor heading into 2009, but DEI president Max Siegel remains optimistic about the future.
"Today was fantastic for our company," Siegel said. "It's really exciting seeing our younger guys working together, competing with those pros out here. We've just got to stay focused and push forward, and I think we're going to be great as an organization."
Not so fantastic for Chasers
Eight of the 12 Chase drivers were involved in an accident Sunday -- Edwards, Biffle, Kevin Harvick
, Kyle Busch
, Denny Hamlin
, Jeff Gordon
, Matt Kenseth
and Dale Earnhardt Jr
Seven of the playoff drivers finished 20th or worse, including six who failed to finish. Busch finished 15th.
Six of the Chasers now are at least 200 points behind Johnson, including Amp Energy 500 winner Tony Stewart
, who is 203 points back in seventh.