NASCAR and Earnhardt need a win and they need it now

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The opening salvos of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season haven’t exactly been thundering. Tony Stewart has staged some surprising wins; Greg Biffle leads the points but the highlights have been few. There seems to be a lot of empty seats, lower television ratings and general malaise than in years past.

One of the brighter spots of the season so far has been Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR’s most popular driver has been in the mix nearly each and every week.  Earnhardt has scored four top five finishes, including two second places, in the first nine races. After being at the bottom of the pecking order at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011, Earnhardt is the top dog, leading the stats for the team so far this season. He just has yet to win.

Earnhardt’s most recent second place finish came Saturday night at Richmond. It was a finish that left Earnhardt grinning from ear to ear after it was over. 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.