Mar 1, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT
His last-lap efforts to win a second Daytona 500 may have fallen short, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. still got his season off on the right foot.
A second-place finish in the season-opening race has him, of course, second in the Sprint Cup standings at five markers behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Daytona winner Jimmie Johnson. With Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway looming, he also won’t have to worry about the unappetizing prospect of starting the 2013 campaign with two bad races in a row.
“I think it’s important to get a good start points-wise,” Earnhardt Jr. said after the ‘500.’ “It’s important to put a good foundation of points together. If you get behind early, it seems like you’re still chasing that [Chase for the Sprint Cup] spot at Richmond. It’s good to get a good start, get a couple points on some guys.
“We’re a good team. Hopefully, we can keep the pressure on them and stay up in the top five in the points and win some races. I want to really try to win some more races this year. That’s our focus.”
Earnhardt Jr. has won twice at PIR in his career (2003 and 2004), but his fortunes in the Valley of the Sun have varied since then with him collecting just one top-10 finish in his last eight races at Phoenix.
That said, a solid result this weekend will have him sitting in a pretty good spot early on in the championship – and while the Earnhardt Nation would’ve loved to have seen their guy hoist the Harley J. Earl Trophy last weekend, you know they’ll gladly celebrate a Sprint Cup title for Driver #88 as well.
Mar 12, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
One of IndyCar’s most improved 2013 drivers could advance even higher than fifth in points with a few more things turning around.
Mar 12, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT
Michael Schumacher’s manager says there are slight signs of improvement.
Mar 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Third, fourth drivers for teams at Sebring add strength to 12-hour race field.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Sports car racing meets “It’s a Wonderful Life.” With dinosaurs.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
NBCSN’s Leigh Diffey and Wally Dallenbach discuss the team’s quiet start to the 2014 Sprint Cup season.
Mar 11, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT
Cooling units are now allowed on pit road and cool-down laps on track are banned.
Mar 11, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
All the notes and numbers to keep in mind going into Thunder Valley.
Mar 11, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified for access to the Live Extra stream.
Mar 11, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT
The saga continues as Smoke and Darrell Waltrip head for Texarkana.
Mar 11, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer will take part in pre-race duties for the Food City 500.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
RBR’s team principal also tags Merc’s Lewis Hamilton as the favorite for the world title.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:26 PM EDT
All TV times for this year’s F1 on NBC Sports schedule.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Eddie Irvine became a Grand Prix winner 15 years ago this month, at Melbourne.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
Paul Wolfe notes that Bristol’s tight confines could lead to more issues in qualifying this weekend.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Twice in eight years, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth have been contact magnets at Bristol.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Two strong Tudor teams make driver announcements going into Sebring.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Two of IndyCar’s rising stars welcome the 1995 series and Indianapolis 500 champion back to open wheels.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
How cars handle series-issued BoP changes and Sebring’s punishing layout will likely determine who wins Saturday.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
The team had recently signed Collection Auto Group and Castrol as sponsors late last month.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
IndyCar star looks to go one better after four straight class runner-ups at Sebring.
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