It’s undoubtedly the biggest story heading into this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at Michigan International Speedway: can the most popular driver in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr., make a repeat of last season’s Quicken Loans 400 and get his first win of the year?
When he won this race last year, it was to the elation of the majority of NASCAR fans and also a relief to Jr., who had been on a huge winless streak. Earnhardt has a good season going so far this year, just as he had last year in the early goings. He even led the points standings for a week after the Fontana race.
Regardless of his starting streak of five top-10 finishes though, the question is: can he bring this No. 88 Chevy into victory lane?
Among the drivers of Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt is the most consistent yet weaker driver of the stable. It is easy for him to be overshadowed though with Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne on the team, both drivers no stranger to victory on a regular basis with four wins already between them this year.
Earnhardt does thankfully have momentum to ride from last week into Michigan. Last week at Pocono Raceway, he was able to finish in third while teammate Johnson took the win. Riding on that momentum, he might just have a better chance than usual.
Las Vegas odds has Jr. with 8/1 odds, which is pretty good. If Jr. can drive aggressively and use the right strategy, he can get a win here this weekend and send the fans into uproarious joy and celebration.