On any given Sunday Dale Earnhardt Jr. was due to end his winless streak, and end it he did during Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
He is to date the only driver to have completed every lap so far in the 2012 season, and has six top fives and twelve top ten finishes so far this year. It’s that kind of consistency that put Dale Earnhardt Jr. in victory lane on Sunday.
With 70 laps to go, junior’s car was hooked up and drove as if it were on rails. He was just flat-out fast on the restarts and was able to pull away from the pack on the high line.
With around 20 to go Tony Stewart was running second and said to his crew chief “Don’t worry, he ain’t going nowhere”. That statement proved to be wrong as Dale put a hurtin to the rest of the field with a five second lead on the second place car which was Stewart.
Dale crossed the finish line and all of Junior Nation rose to their feet in the grandstand to show support for Dale Earnhardt Jr.; It brought cheers and tears to many fans wearing green that day as their driver did a nice smokey burnout past the grandstand.
When he crossed the finish line in true Dale fashion, he radioed into crew chief Steve Letarte and said “I don’t know what to say”, Steve replied “You Really won it Dale!”.
On his way to victory lane he was meet win high fives and praise from his follow competitors, and also got on his cell phone to call team owner Rick Hendrick. Dale thanked him for standing by him and not giving up hope during the tough times. He was also greeted by president of NASCAR Mike Helton who congratulated Dale.
Dale’s win on Sunday wasn’t just a win, it was just a great “feel good moment” for NASCAR in which many fans banded together to celebrate with NASCAR’S most popular driver.
Photo Credit Hendrick Motorsports
If you watched the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night like I did, more than likely you were at the edge of your seat for the entire race. NASCAR has done a great job with all of the changes that they made in the off-season to their super speedway package.
They worked hard to get the cars back to pack racing that the fans have longed for over the past couple of seasons, and by golly it’s BACK! The two car tandem seems to be gone and we’re back to pack racing!
The Budweiser Shootout Saturday night was one of the best that I’ve seen in years. A guy could push the guy in front of him, make a charge for the lead and then pull out of line with enough horsepower to control his own destiny. That was what we were missing and what seemed to be back during the Budweiser Shootout. That race was so good I’d watch it again.
How about that Kyle Busch save. Halfway through the race he all but lost the car in the middle of the pack. He turned to the left and then to the right, sparkes were flying everywhere off the front air dam and somehow he gathered her up and kept on cruising along at 200 mph.
If that wasn’t enough for you, on the green-white-checkered restart Kyle Busch pushed Tony Stewart towards the front as they created a 200 MPH freight train that took off from the pack; coming out of turn 4 Busch broke formation, made the slingshot move around the right of Stewart and took Stewart right at the finish line winning the Bud Shootout by half a fender!
If this is a preview as to what’s going to take place during the Daytona 500 next Sunday, I think the race fans are in for a treat. This should be one of the best Daytona 500’s in years.
Video Borrowed from YouTube:
Kyle Busch Save During The Race…THIS IS CRAZY!
When Darian Grubb left Stewart-Haas Racing as the top dog, he wasn’t exactly sure where he would end up.There he sat as a champion crew chief for the 2011 season, and also without a job, as he was told that he would be let go at the end of the season by Tony Stewart.
Rumors had it that he might even stay at Stewart-Haas Racing but in a different role. Then there was an offer from Rick Hendrick at Hendrick Motorsports, who said that he would be more than happy to create a position for Darian.
After all of this, Darin Grubb has landed himself a position over at Joe Gibbs Racing as the crew chief for Denny Hamlin who drives the # 11 FedEX machine.
Denny Hamlin lost the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 2010 by only a few points to Mr. “Five Time” Jimmie Johnson. He wasn’t a factor for the chase in 2011, so Joe Gibbs decided it was time to change things around a bit, and plucked Darian from the unemployment pool, then decided to put him to work as Denny’s crew chief for the 2012 season.
Darin made some great calls during the Chase Race, and netted Tony Stewart 5 wins with 12 races to go in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. This enabled Tony Stewart to inch out Carl Edwards, who ultimately tied with Stewart for the championship, however the crown went to Stewart for his 5 wins of the season to Carl Edward’s 1 win.
I think that this pairing with Darian Grubb and Denny Hamlin will really turn the 11 team around for the 2012 season. It’s going to be pretty interesting to see how all of this pans out.
Kasey Kahne drove the Red Bull machine to a victory last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway; Kyle Busch is at bay and on probation for his truck racing incident, and if you’re not on Brian Vickers bad side, and your name is Tony Stewart or Carl Edwards, you might just win the Nascar Sprint Cup Chase this weekend at Homestead.
Just three points… yes that’s right THREE!, separate first and second place Chase contenders Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.
Last weekend at Phoenix, both contenders traded positions back-and-forth, like two heavy weight titans battling for every inch of real estate to get that extra point.
Edwards has been great all season, and Stewart has really started to pour it on at the end of the year, to make it not so easy for Edwards. Both guys went back and forth all race long last week, and still three points are all that remain for Stewart to over take Edwards.
This has to be the closest battles in Sprint Cup history. The race this weekend should be a great one to watch.