[media-credit name=”Dan Sanger” align=”alignright” width=”240″][/media-credit]Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended his 143-race winless streak on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in the Quicken Loans 400 in dominating fashion.
“I know you guys have been waiting on that one. I know I have.” Earnhardt Jr. radioed to his crew after winning.
After the cycle of pit stops, on lap 171 Earnhardt Jr. regained the lead by almost 2 seconds and was able to build up a lead of 5.393 seconds in route to his 19th career Sprint Cup series victory. Earnhardt Jr’s last win was here at Michigan on June 15, 2008.
“That was a great race. We just had a really good car. Those last 15 laps were the longest laps ever.” Earnhardt said.
Earnhardt Jr. also narrowed the lead in the series standings and now trials Matt Kenseth by four points.
“This [win] was for them. We appreciate their loyalty. We wouldn’t have made it back to victory lane without them.” Earnhardt Jr. added.
Tony Stewart led some near the middle of the race and was “taking no prisoners”. He finished second.
“Dale had the fastest car all day.” Stewart said. “It’s not a national holiday, guys. This morning they were celebrating his fourth anniversary of his last win, so I guess we’re all in a state of mourning now, because he’s broke that string now, so I don’t know what we’re all supposed to think.” Stewart added.
Kenseth finished third, Greg Biffle fourth and teammate Jimmie Johnson finished fifth.
“It was kind of a long day. We were pretty good in the beginning of the race and got shuffled back and it was tough to work traffic today. They got the setup good on the last two runs and had good pit stops and we were able to stand on the gas and work our way up there to third.” Kenseth said.
Biffle ran of front for most of the race and traded the race lead with polesitter Marcos Ambrose but kept having tire issues.
“I am a little disappointed because we couldn’t run the car as hard as we needed to. The right rear kept coming apart on us. I could only run it as hard as I could. I am really excited for Junior. What a great day for him to win on. There has been a lot of pressure on him and I am glad he won.” Biffle said.
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Quicken Loans 400, Michigan Int’l Speedway|
|1||17||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||48|
|12||16||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||32|
|42||30||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||2|