Gas 'N' Go: Winning Season for Jr?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr's last multiple winning season came in 2004. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

Untitled Document

The pits are open again and the editorial staff answers this week’s featured question in "Gas 'N Go.”

Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. win multiple races this season?

MRN Staff Answer
Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

Yes. In fact, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will challenge for the championship right down to the wire. The switch to the Gen-6 car will give Junior the feel he's been missing during the COT era. He was one of those drivers that never was fully comfortable driving the machine that replaced the old "Twisted Sister." The new Cup car is a lot more like what Earnhardt was so successful in before. This year is also the third for Earnhardt and crew chief Steve Letarte, who have gotten better every year since Rick Hendrick paired them up after the 2010 campaign. The duo is completely on the same page and I expect big things in 2013, including multiple victories for the No. 88 Chevrolet.

Pete Pistone
Tony Rizzuti

There's no reason to think that 2013 can't be a banner year for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Given the fact that we have a new-generation car, all the drivers have had to hit the reset button on how they adapt their driving styles. Junior has been vocal about the fact that he hated the old car and that this new car feels very similar to the car in which he won 17 times. Hendrick Motorsports proved with the last-generation car that they're the quickest to develop new technology, something that will give Dale a head start on the field. He looked relaxed and happy at Daytona Speedweeks for the first time in several years. I think he can go to Victory Lane at least three times in 2013.

Pete Pistone
John Singler

No. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not win multiple races this year in the Sprint Cup Series. He may not win one. Reason(s): I'll give you twelve … starting with the eleven drivers who finished ahead of "Junior" in last year's Chase, then throwing Joey Logano into that mix for good measure. As a group, these guys accounted for 32 race wins a year ago and that number isn't expected to fall off a lot among the likes of Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart. I also believe Martin Truex Jr. is ready to snap that 203-race winless streak after knocking on the door a bunch in 2012. Carl Edwards will not go winless again this year, by the way, and we may see a resurgent Jamie McMurray. So that leaves only one or two opportunities for Earnhardt to find a path to Victory Lane. The best chances seem to be superspeedways at Daytona and Talladega, and maybe a shot at Richmond. But realistically, I'm wondering if he'll even make the Chase. It gets crowded at the top in September and I'm not certain that Earnhardt will be able to repeat the consistency he showed in 2012.

Jeff Wackerlin
Jeff Wackerlin

The move to the Gen-6 car will be the perfect medicine for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Since the Sprint Cup Series moved to the COT car full-time in 2008, Earnhardt was only able to capture two wins. But Earnhardt's 17 previous career wins came in the generation-five car - one that he says, at least in the early stages, has similar sensations to this year's new Chevrolet SS. Now in his third season with Steve Letarte, the duo continue to gel ... coming off a solid regular season in 2012 - never falling lower that fifth in the standings - to place him in the Chase. Along with the same outlook for a solid foundation in the regular season and a brand new racecar for 2013, I think Earnhardt Jr. is poised for his winningest season since joining Hendrick.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Next MRN Broadcast

Upcoming Cup Broadcasts

© 2018 MRN. All Rights Reserved

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

ISC Track Sites