Earnhardt finally wins…sort of

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Dale Jr. Foundation/National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Dale Jr. Foundation/National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Junior did something Saturday night he hasn’t done since June of 2008; he was in victory lane to actually celebrate winning a Sprint Cup Series race. Too bad it doesn’t really count in the overall season.

The Sprint Showdown is the preliminary race used as a last chance for two drivers to make it into the All-Star race. With no wins over the course of the last year, Earnhardt, like 21 others, would have to race his way into the big show or count on the fan vote.  Of course NASCAR’s most popular driver no doubt had the fan vote locked up, but he wanted to race his way in.

“I never assume I’m going to win the vote,” Earnhardt said after the win. “The fan support to me is a gift, and I don’t ever take it for granted.”

Earnhardt took the lead at the start and led every lap in the 40 lap race, cruising to his first win since 2008.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.