Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s number one spot is groundbreaking

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second last Sunday in Fontana. (Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second last Sunday in Fontana. (Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second last Sunday in Fontana. (Getty Images)

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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.