Earnhardt cuts it close

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. came out of
nowhere to nearly pull off a surprise Daytona 500 victory.
Earnhardt Jr. somehow charged from 10th to second in the final
two laps Sunday, but couldn't run down winner Jamie McMurray as
they raced to the finish line.
It was NASCAR's second attempt at a "green-white-checker"
finish, an overtime-like provision intended to make it less likely
that races will end under caution. The rule was tweaked this week
to allow for up to three attempts at a green-flag finish - instead
of just one.
It wasn't a win for Earnhardt, but the runner-up finish was a
healthy shot of momentum for a driver facing intense pressure to
perform for Hendrick Motorsports this season.

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

AP-NY-02-14-10 1955EST


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