Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s second place finish last Sunday at Auto Club Speedway vaulted him into the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead for the first time since August of last year. It marks the first time that the series most popular driver has led the points in consecutive seasons.
Earnhardt also led the points in 2004. Earnhardt’s best championship finish, third, came in 2003. He has two more top fives and a top-10 championship finish – seventh in 2011 – his best since joining Hendrick Motorsports.
That he is atop the standings now as the series takes an off week shouldn’t be surprising. Earnhardt is the only driver to have top 10 finishes in each of this season’s five races. Sundays second place run was the second of the season for the Hendrick Motorsports driver the first coming at the season opening Daytona 500. MORE>>>