Earnhardt drives No. 3 to Daytona victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first NASCAR victory since 2007, driving a retro paint scheme to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt entered Friday night's Nationwide Series race in a No. 3 Chevrolet with a Wrangler paint scheme to honor his father's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap accident in the 2001 Daytona 500.

Earnhardt Jr. bided his time most of the race, then moved to the lead following a pit stop under yellow with 26 laps remaining. He did not pit when Paul Menard brought out the final caution with four laps remaining.

Earnhardt then held off Joey Logano over a two-lap sprint to the finish to win his first Nationwide race since Michigan in 2006. It was Earnhardt's first victory in any NASCAR race since a Sprint Cup Series win at Michigan in 2007.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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