Scorching Earnhardt Looks To Pack On Bonus Points
Call it a comeback.
After a stretch of seasons many would consider subpar for a man 11 times named NASCAR’s most-popular driver,Dale Earnhardt Jr. has catapulted himself to the top of the standings in 2014.
The No. 88 Chevrolet driver is tied for the series lead with three wins, one more than he’s had in the last seven years. And he still has 14 races left this season.
Riding high at the moment, Earnhardt isn’t ready to discuss a potential championship.
“Man, you know, you just don’t want to start thinking too far ahead, said Earnhardt following his last victory at Pocono. “We got the tracks, and the cars, and the job we do, is so technical, you really got to approach it one day at a time to be able to do it right, and do it well. “
Don’t bet against Earnhardt taking another checkered flag in the four races leading to the Chase. Already locked in, Earnhardt can only benefit from the three postseason bonus points rewarded for each win during the regular season.
Following a stretch of eight top-10 finishes in 10 races, including a sweep of Pocono, Earnhardt enters Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 (1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN) with as much momentum as any Cup driver.
“I feel pretty good going to Michigan,” Earnhardt said. “We ran well earlier this year and it is just an excellent race track. It really lends itself to a good motor – good power plant.”
Earnhardt’s track record at Michigan includes two victories (2008, ’12) and 11 top 10s. He has won the pole two times at the track and has the fifth-best driver rating (97.5) and average running position there on the series (12.6).