Earnhardt’s Points Lead Breaks New Ground
Being No. 1 is nothing new for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
But becoming the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader, which he accomplished with a second-place finish on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, broke new ground for Junior.
It’s the first time the 10-time Most Popular Driver has headed the standings in consecutive seasons. Earnhardt last held the points lead after last August’s race at Pocono Raceway. He also sat atop the points in 2004.
Retaining the ranking, qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ and winning an elusive championship definitely are in Earnhardt’s sights.
Sunday’s finish kept a magical season rolling. He’s now finished second twice, at Auto Club and behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt is the only competitor to have finished among the top 10 in each of this season’s five races.
That Earnhardt overcame several problems – notably a 22-second pit stop – and still contended for ...