BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his second trip to victory lane last weekend at Pocono and arrived at Michigan International Speedway with an extra badge on his No. 88 Chevy’s livery.
The familiar ‘S’ of DC Comics’ Superman is next to the numbers for the second time this season, but Earnhardt is hoping this weekend’s outing is better than the last with the superhero’s logo.
“We’ve got to prove to the fans that Superman is not bad luck for me,” said Earnhardt, who finished 19th at Charlotte May 25 with the livery. “We’re here to prove this weekend that he belongs on the hood and that we can do some great things and hopefully win this race.”
It’s shaping up as a magic season for Earnhardt, who already has cemented a spot in the Chase and entered the weekend third in the Sprint Cup points standings. This also is his first season since 2004 – when he won six times – that he has recorded multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup victories.
Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 hardly seems like a track that would break his rhythm.
In 29 career starts here, he has 15 top-10 finishes and two wins, both in the June race. His June 17, 2012, victory at MIS ended a 143-race winless streak.
“I think we can be quick,” Earnhardt said before Friday morning’s first practice session. “We came here and tested for Goodyear and had some time and opportunity to work on our car a little bit while we were here and maybe learn some things we needed to learn.
“Hopefully that will give us an edge.”