Now, can Earnhardt go all the way?

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. left Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday with a fourth place finish, something he’s done four times this season. But he also left with something he hasn’t had since October of 2004, the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship.

After a season filled with top five finishes and his first win in three years, Earnhardt has been in the championship mix for most of this season.  His fourth place finish Sunday was his career best at Indy; it was a finish that left Earnhardt feeling good when it was over.

“It does. We were looking forward to this race,” Earnhardt said. “Wanted to run well here. Want to win this race. Want to get a trophy here and go to Victory Lane. One of our teammates (Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson) was able to do that so we are proud for the company. “ 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.