Dale Earnhardt Jr is NASCAR’s most popular and polarizing driver in the circuit today. He is known as the golden child of the sport and has been given lofty expectations to fill, since the passing of his father. Ever since he was thrust into the spotlight, he has struggled with trying to live up to those lofty expectations. He has gone as far to break out of his fathers shadow by switching teams to Hendrick Motor sports. While this move brought a renewed excitement, the results have yet to be there. Dale Jr hasn’t won a race since June 2008, and until this season, didn’t look like he was close at any point.
Through six races this season Dale Jr has been as good and consistent as the sizable “Jr Nation” wants him to be. He has one top 5 and three top 10 finishes so far this year, and you could have added one more top 10 to that had he not gotten caught in a late wreck at Daytona. While the season is in it’s infancy and a lot can change over the next 30 races, it is looking like every week that Dale Jr is improving and is close to getting that much needed win. After last weekends 2nd place finish at Martinsville, Dale Jr and his fan base can be excited as the circuit rolls into Texas Motor Speedway, which has been a good track for Dale Jr in the past.
At Texas Dale Jr has averaged a finish of 14th, but after last weekend there is a lot of momentum to find a way to win at this track. Even if he doesn’t win at Texas, there is a building momentum that has fans and drivers alike agreeing that it will only be a short time until the number 88 is back into victory lane. Anyone in NASCAR understands that as long as Dale Jr is running good, then the sport will be more popular and run better. Dale Earnhardt Jr is standing at the door step of victory lane, and he will kick the door in to take his spot soon enough.
[box]Kody’s Sports Korner is on Twitter: @kodysportskornr[/box]