Dale Earnhardt Jr had a pretty rough day at the Brickyard 400 last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver managed to bring his car in for another top-ten finish. While coming in ninth at Indy is no small feat the seasoned veteran, and fan favorite, has been fired up all season with eyes on victory lane every time the green flag drops.
This is true even after Earnhardt qualified poorly and ended up starting in the 23th position. Within 30 laps he had managed to power to the front. After a series of pit stops and going a lap down later in the race he restarted 29th and once again drove hard to get back in the top-ten. The effort kept him in second place in the standing.
He’s driving hard this season to make up to fans, his team, and himself for some poor performances from the past The last couple of seasons Dale Jr. fans have been disappointed in some of the finishes and seemingly a lack of effort. Apparently the driver of the No. 88 car agrees with them. He was also very disappointed in his performance the last couple of years. He has made it clear this year that finishing in the top-ten is great but victories are better and his team is a huge part of the equation.
“We all have to thank our team when we win,” Earnhardt said after his earlier win at Pocono, his first on the speedway in his career. “But when I talk about my team, I really mean it. I’ve never won here. This is amazing. I can mark this one (Pocono) off.”
Heading Back to Pocono
It only feels like a few short weeks ago that NASCAR and the ARCA Racing Series were driving their haulers into the track garage areas. Now it’s time to come back to a track where Earnhardt captured his second win of the 2014 season.
Earnhardt says that he thinks that Pocono is a speedway where some drivers just seem to run well after they have figured out the speedway also known as the “Tricky Triangle.” Back in June the driver piloted his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet to victory lane and hopefully he will be among those drivers who have finally figured things out at the superspeedway.
"It seems like guys that run well there can sort of sustain it," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've seen guys sweep there, or at least have opportunities to sweep and come close. And I like the track, and we have run well there since the repave, and I anticipate us being competitive again."
Strong This Season
Heading into Pocono for the running of the GoBowling.com 400 you would have to think that Earnhardt has one heck of a chance to grab his second win at Pocono, both this season and in his career as a Sprint Cup Driver. The numbers for the season show that he will almost certainly be up front fighting for the win. Over the course Earnhardt has two wins, nine top-five finishes as well as fourteen top-ten finishes.