Dale Earnhardt Jr. was bidding to become only the second driver to begin a NASCAR Sprint Cup season with four consecutive first- or second-place finishes. Richard Petty did it in 1974.

Starting 14th and finishing 24th, Earnhardt was never in serious contention after developing handling problems midway through the race. He dropped all the way to 33rd when his team raised his hood in the pits on Lap 338.