Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs into his car during a practice session Friday.
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It's been years since Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a non-factor during Speedweeks.
He finished second in the Budweiser Shootout and the Daytona 500 last year. He was the pole-sitter for the 500 in 2011, the 10-year anniversary of his father's death at Daytona International Speedway. He started second and finished second in 2010, weaving his way through traffic in a frantic final lap.
He typically garners headlines and the majority of the attention leading up to NASCAR's "Great American Race," an event forever linked to his family name because of triumph and tragedy. ...