I have trouble believing it’s been a year already since Dale Earnhardt Jr has visited Victory Lane. It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the end of a win-less streak that lasted four years, but here we are again, wondering why NASCAR’s most popular driver can’t find the magic of 2006 when he was a regular on the checkered board tile that marks the winners circle.
I’m sure that The Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday is a day that all of the Hendrick Drivers, including owner, Rick Hendrick would like to forget, because for the first time in recent history, no one in NASCAR’s number one race team finished in the top 25.
Dale Jr lead for 34 laps, and looked strong before blowing a cylinder late in the race, finishing 37th. Jeff Gordon got taken out in an early wreck, and Kasey Kahne cut down a tire while leading the race, succumbing to a 38th place finish. Even Pocono winner, and current Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson fell to mechanical problems, and finished 28th.
Dale Jr is currently in seventh position in the points standings, and has finished well in most races this season. He has four top 5 finishes to go along with nine top 10’s, but has yet to find victory lane. He finished runner-up to teammate Jimmie Johnson at Daytona in February, and third last week at The Party in the Poconos presented by Walmart, but no checkered flag.
I’m not a member of Junior Nation, but I would like to see Dale Jr. visit victory lane again soon. He is good for a sport that is struggling to find an audience this season, and I think it would be a crime for us to have to wait for another four years for his next win. Oh..it’s only three years, it’s already been a year, only three more to go?
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