After watching yesterday’s Gatorade Duels and last Sundays Budweiser Shootout I feel like it’s 2004 again. Dale Jr has his restrictor plate mojo back and could not have come at a better time.
With a promising seventh place finish in points, during 2011, Earnhardt Jr is looking to end his win less streak on the big oval in Daytona. I believe it will happen. I have been watching him since he first crawled into a NASCAR ride and he has never looked more confident.
Yesterday in the first duel, just like in the Shootout, he did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. He drifted to the back, he came to the front and he took the lead seemingly at will. There never was the urgency of a desperate driver. Just the confidence of a driver who has won the 500 before and wants to win it again.
If it wasn’t for the last lap wreck, featuring a bone jarring crash by Danica Patrick after she was punted across the infield by the 43, I would of liked to seen if reigning NASCAR champ Tony Stewart could of held off Earnhardt to win the duel. I am not saying Junior would definitely of beat him but I am saying, either way, it would of been fun to see and my money would of been on Dale Jr.
If you are an Earnhardt fan this may be a weekend of racing you won’t want to miss. Take the day off, cancel your honey do list, set your DVR but don’t miss this weekends races.
I look for Junior to make another statement in the Nationwide race on Saturday and 500 on Sunday by winning both races. Just like in 2004 it will be an Earnhardt sweep.
If I am right then who knows what 2012 may bring to the 88 team.
I am guessing a big old shiny Sprint Cup.
Remember you heard it here first.
Hail to the Earnhardt Nation!