Dale Earnhardt Jr. prepares to get in his car during a NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Thursday, July 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Terry Renna
July 04, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) It had been 31 years since a driver won both Daytona races in the same season when Jimmie Johnson pulled off the Sprint Cup Series sweep.

A year later, his teammate wants to complete the feat.

But for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Coke Zero 400, he can't race the way he did at Talladega Superspeedway in May.

The Daytona 500 winner went to Talladega thinking he'd win another restrictor plate race, but instead finished 26th in a performance that still haunted him Thursday when he showed up at Daytona International Speedway.

He called his performance at Talladega ''embarrassing.''

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