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Dale Earnhardt Jr. emotional in postrace interview

The wait was well worth it for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 car.

It's been 10 years since Dale Earnhardt Jr. knew what it felt like to take the checkered flag at Daytona and the 39-year-old veteran was a lot more reflective on his place in NASCAR following the win on Sunday.

Earnhardt said he didn't know if he'd ever experience another win in the 500, saying this win may be better than his first given years of struggles and near-wins. He was highly complimentary of the team that put the No. 88 car around him and teammate Jeff Gordon who gave him a vital bump on the final lap white flag restart that ensured Earnhardt would take home the win.

The season is one race old, but Earnhardt was ready to talk about the Chase for the Championship, before walking back and saying it was too early to worry about that. Ultimately it was a stellar start to the season for the No. 88 car and Hendrick Motorsports.