Dale Earnhardt Junior has claimed the poll position for Sunday’s Daytona 500 and he is filling his legions of fans with hope for the up coming season. Given that this is the 10thanniversary of his fathers death at Daytona, he will have to answer questions all week long about it.
Coming off two poor seasons and questions about his ability to be a competitive driver, Dale Jr needs to get himself in position to compete on a weekly basis and prove he is worth the hype that he has been afforded by his last name. This was an off season of change for the team and has bred new life into Jr. But with all the hope and questions about can he win, this is going to be the year that he needs to put up or shut up. Claiming the poll position for the seasons biggest race is a great boost, and could be the momentum builder that he and his team need to find victory lane.
While Sunday will be emotional for most fans and people who knew and respected Dale Earnhardt, it could be even more emotional if there is a victory celebration for Dale Jr. While one race can’t make or break your season, it can set the bar on how your season will go. This is one race that Jr needs to finish well and build the momentum for the next 36 weeks. But how will he handle all the questions and reminders about his father’s death this week? We won’t know until next Monday.