Juniors Turnaround Continues

28934Jpg
It didn't end in a trip to victory lane, but Dale Earnhardt, Jr. knows Sunday's third place finish at Michigan was still a triumph.

As most everyone knows, Earnhardt, Jr.'s struggles on intermediate tracks like MIS have plagued him during his entire NEXTEL Cup Series career.

But in a season that has been a remarkable turnaround from last year's dismal campaign, Earnhardt, Jr. was able to bring his Budweiser Chevy home to its best finish ever at Michigan.

"This is a moral victory for me and (crew chief) Tony (Eury) Jr.," Earnhardt, Jr. said. "It's like a personal victory for us because we've never had a car that good here. And, it makes us really excited about coming back here again and tracks like Chicago where we will be just as good. We've found some things and I think we've really turned the corner. Today is a sign of things to come."

Earnhardt, Jr. was strong all weekend, from the first practice session on Friday to a surprisingly strong qualifying effort.

And once the rain started after a nearly one hour rain delay, Earnhardt, Jr. ran upfront, at one point thrilling the crowd with a side-by-side battle with Jeff Gordon for the lead.

"We had a good car all weekend, from the first practice to the race," he said. "The weather was different obviously, so we weren't as good when the race started, but we made some changes and hauled butt. It was so much fun racing for the lead with Jeff - you can run side-by-side here and having a good car really made it fun."

Earnhardt, Jr. didn't get the chance to challenge Kasey Kahne for the win when rains came in a shortened the race to 129 laps. But taking home his first-ever Michigan Top 5 wasn't a bad way to celebrate Father's Day.

"We were too tight on the last run so I couldn't catch the 9, but I told them I needed to be tighter and they made those changes," he said. "Who knows if we could have caught him if we would have been able to finish the race, but the car was good all weekend."

Photos

  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Coke Zero 400
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Barney Hall
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites