by Ryan Isley Sometimes in sports, timing can be everything. And timing just may not get any worse than this week for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This was the season in which people thought Earnhardt, Jr. might just be able to finally win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and lift the trophy that his father raised a record seven times. Along with ending a 143-race winless drought at Michigan earlier this season, the 37-year-old from Kannapolis, North Carolina has had one of- if not his most – consistent season in his 13th full season in NASCAR’s top circuit. His 10 top-5 … Continue reading Could Distractions be the Undoing of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.?
by Ryan Isley
Before the 2012 NASCAR season started, I fought the urge to pick Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to win the Sprint Cup Championship, as I predicted he would finish 4th in his quest to win his first title. I was being a little cautiously optimistic but I felt that he would have one of his best seasons yet in the Sprint Cup Series.
With the All-Star Race in the rear view mirror and the Coca-Cola 600 upcoming this Memorial Day weekend, there are 11 races gone and 15 left until we have the 12 drivers who will make up the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In those 11 races, Earnhardt, Jr. has made a strong case that he is actually a championship contender, heading into the weekend 3rd in points. It is the best position for Earnhardt, Jr. heading into the Coca-Cola 600 since 2008, when he was also 3rd headed into the season’s longest race.
While I know that people will see what Earnhardt, Jr. has done this season and just chalk it up to early season success that he may not be able to sustain, I see it as a sign that he has possibly turned the corner at Hendrick Motorsports and will now be a legitimate contender from here on out.