Race 8 of 33: Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway
Track Specs: 2.66-mile oval / 117 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy; 86 deg.
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Whitt’s finish: 4th
Earnhardt Jr.’s finish: 5th
Patrick’s finish: 13th
Cole Whitt capped an impressive effort by all three JR Motorsports cars with a fourth-place finish in the No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet following Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Along with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s fifth-place showing in the No. 5 Hellmann’s Chevrolet, the efforts netted team JRM a pair of top-five finishes in the event. Whitt ran a calculated race and occupied the fifth position for the race’s final restart. With a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Whitt spearheaded the second of two tandem-draft packs in the closing laps. Whitt mounted an intense surge on the final lap and came within inches of catching the lead tandem coming to the checkered flag. The finish tied the No. 88 team’s season-best showing (Daytona).
Cole Whitt, driver No. 88 TaxSlayer.com team
“I think that the race went really well for our TaxSlayer.com team. I feel like I learned a lot and learned even more at the end. I’ve never been in that situation – to be pushed for the win at the end. All day we stayed out of trouble. We did a good job with that. Then when we had to go, we went. It was cool to be part of those two tandems racing for the win. I was trying to get out there and side draft the leaders a little bit. I probably got there too soon and our momentum stalled out right next to them. I feel like our team is progressing, and it’s a great thing to be a part of. I’m really proud of everybody’s effort today. It was a great day for JR Motorsports.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver No. 5 Hellmann’s team
On JR Motorsports teammates Cole Whitt and Danica Patrick:
“They did a great job. Talladega is not a big, challenging place. It’s pretty self-explanatory, you just hold it on the mat and try not to wreck. Sometimes you get caught up in things you can’t help. But it was awesome to have JR Motorsports cars 1-2-3 at one time. I know the TaxSlayer, Hellmann’s and Go Daddy people have to be pretty pleased. Danica ran well. She got up there and mixed it up. I hope everybody’s happy.”