Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the 2014 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
Andrew Weber/Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
There is no doubt that so far Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having one heck of a year. As you know, he won our season opener — the Daytona 500. He leads the series in top-five finishes. He’s also tied for the lead in top-10 finishes. I’m really not surprised to see how well Dale Jr. is doing.
We all know the variable coming into the 2014 season was the rule changes. I am talking about the no ride-height rule, the aero changes, etc. So we knew that was going to be a bit of a variable. I would remind everyone to go back to the last nine races of 2013. The No. 88 car’s worst performance in those last nine races was only a 14th- or 15th- place finish.
So my point is we saw this trend of great performances start to develop of last year. They are simply carrying it on through so far after six races this year.
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So it isn’t like what he has done so far in 2014 just fell out of the sky. I really believe one of the biggest keys to Dale Jr. is keeping his confidence high. I think to have the year he had last year and to especially finish the year the way he did set the stage for them to come out of the gate so strong this year, and boy have they.