Mar. 1, 2013; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr during qualifying for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr Shows No Signs of Slowing Down


He is off to the best start of his career and it’s not looking like he is slowing down any time soon. Dale Earnhardt Jr made the Chase in 2012 but lost the hope of winning the Championship when he was sidelined for two races due to a concussion. You could say that Earnhardt Jr has some unfinished business this season and he is well on his way to making his dreams of being a Sprint Cup Series Champion come true.

We may only be four races into the season, but Dale Earnhardt Jr is on a mission. He came out of the gate hot with this new Gen-6 car by just barely missing out on a Daytona 500 win. That second place finish, along with three other top-10 finishes leaves him 2nd in points going into Fontana, just nine points behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Earnhardt finished fifth in Phoenix after leading 47 laps in the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The next weekend at Las Vegas, he finished seventh followed by a sixth place finish on Sunday at Bristol. Dale Earnhardt Jr is known for being shy and quiet outside of the car; his on-air interviews are filled with “ums” and long pauses (which is what makes people fall in love with him), but when he is behind the wheel of his No.88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, you better not underestimate him.

So the real question is, can Dale Earnhardt Jr win the Chase in 2013? My opinion is, yes he can. He is in some of the best equipment out on the track and has some of the smartest teammates to feed off of and learn from. Add that in with his own undeniable talent and skill and Dale Jr is definitely a Championship contender. He is off to one of the best starts of his racing career and he and Crew Chief Steve Letarte show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

As the series heads to Auto Club Speedway, it isn’t known to be one of his best tracks. He has only three top-10 finishes there in fourteen starts but if he continues to perform like he has been, then I wouldn’t be too worried. Dale Earnhardt Jr may be quiet and reserved away from the car, but he might just be the one to watch for in 2013 as a favorite for the Sprint Cup Series Championship.

Tags: Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series