Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn't held the points lead in a major race in about eight years, a fact that hasn't escaped the attention of his fans (affectionately dubbed "Junior Nation") now that he's taken the lead after placing fourth in the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, moving him 14 points ahead of Matt Kenseth. In fact, his fans are ecstatic, because that 2004 victory was short-lived after he was stripped of enough points to lose the lead when he let an expletive slip out during a post-race interview on camera.
But Earnhardt isn't letting the good news go to his head; he's got bigger fish to fry. Namely, finishing as high as he can in the next few races in order to get to the big payoff and, ultimately, the title.
"You run in the top five or top 10 enough you'll get enough points," said Earnhardt. "We'd like to win some races. I know our fans would like us to win some more races, too."
Junior is having a great season all-around this year, carrying a career-record high of nine top-5 spots. It would appear it's all downhill from here, and his run of good luck has Junior Nation asking themselves if they're caught in a dream. But the all-American favorite does have some stiff competition this season, and his fans know he's worked hard to get where he is. If Twitter is any indication, it looks like he won't have any shortage of people cheering him on over the next several weeks.
#NASCAR It appears momentarily as if everyone I know is standing behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With 4th place win yesterday at Brickyard, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is your new points leader in the Sprint Cup Series. Keep it up! #TeamHendrick