Dale Earnhardt Jr. is fourth in the Sprint Cup standings this season being 26 points behind Kevin Harvick. Earnhardt is not new to being in the top of the NASCAR standing. He has had numerous seasons in his career being in the top ten and can never be counted out to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship.
Earnhardt has one win with five top five finishes. The win was at Daytona in February for his second career win there. Earnhardt has a total of 20 wins in his career to date ranking him thirty ninth on the NASCAR’s all time winners list. The Earnhardt name has been carried on with pride by Jr. He has carved out his own place in the NASCAR world.
It was thought in the beginning that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be overshadowed by his legendary father in NASCAR but has made his mark on the sport. It is clear he has the skill that can only be attributed to the Earnhardt name. A line of racers that the world hopes will have the opportunity to watch for many years to come.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was rookie of the year in the 2000 season. He shared that privilege with Matt Kenseth. He worked his way up the ladder; it was not just given to him because he was the son of the infamous No. 3. He ran late model stock cars, proved himself in the Busch National Series by winning the Championship in ’98 and ’99. In the 2000 season, he was able to prove he was worthy of the big time, entering the Winston Cup Series, taking the series by storm.
Earnhardt has a distinct driving style. He is aggressive in his driving but knows when to pull up if he has to. He has an ability to know when to make his move and propel himself ahead of any racer he is taking a place from. There is no doubt in his ability and Earnhardt will always give those fantasy players points.
He has been recognized in NASCAR with the most popular driver award for 11 consecutive years. This is only the tip of his popularity; the fans are obsessed with Earnhardt and his brand. He has multi-million dollar a year sales in paraphernalia. Fans scream to have his autograph and picture if they are lucky enough to get close to him.
Earnhardt has two NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Championships and continues to seek that Sprint Cup Series Championship. There is no doubt that once he crosses that obstacle that he will win more. He has five wins in Talladega; only beat out by his father in that feat, four being consecutive from October 2001 to April 2003. He is the only driver in history to win Bristol in both the Busch and Cup series in the same weekend.
The point is that Earnhardt has a resume most drivers aspire to accomplish. He has a number of wins that on the record are just wins but to fans are wins to be talked about for years to come. His first Daytona win was something every fan and driver alike felt emotional over. The man has seen adversary and overcome it, and does it with class and style.
Earnhardt Jr. has many years of racing ahead of him and this year may very well be the year he wins his Championship. The 88 team is a young team and are learning as they go. They mesh well together and undoubtedly will give Earnhardt the best chance possible to win. His desire and drive for the sport can never be questioned. Everyone may very well be watching the making of a legend in Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Commentary by Jabar Morarend