For most of the race at Chicagoland it was a test for the Earnhardt Nation. Dale Jr, who started in 19th stayed around there for about two hundred laps and it caused a great deal of anxiety among his fans and I am guessing great joy to his detractors.
Then the magic began.
Whether it was Steve LeTarte’s adjustment or Junior taking advantage of drivers saving fuel I don’t care. What ever it was it worked.
I believe Dale, when he said his car was one of the fastest towards the end of the race. Sure other drivers were saving fuel but obviously so was Dale, while kicking their butts or he wouldn’t of finished third.
Now the bad news; Junior actually is now one point farther out of first than he was at the start of the race. On face value this looks bad. It isn’t!
Dale Earnhardt Jr started today twelve points back with eight drivers having more points. Now he is thirteen points back with only four drivers with more points.
Cutting the field in front of him in half far out weighs him being one measly point farther back. Plus remember on the next eight tracks Dale has the best average finishes this year.
Trust me when I say, 2011 is going to be a NASCAR Chase worth watching, if you are an Earnhardt fan.
Welcome back momentum!