Friday, April 1, 2011

All-Star Race votes for Dale Jr. have begun

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR
Junior Nation is once again coming together to help their favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. This year he’s out of the Sprint All-Star Race. It’s been 10 full seasons since he won the All-Star Race, which was once known as the Winston in 2000. Sure, he has won the 2004 Daytona 500, but that’s not enough to keep him in the race.

Earnhardt Jr.'s last win was in June 2008. Winning before the May 2011 Wild Wild West themed All-Star race will secure him a spot, but what are his chances?

Aside from the Daytona 500, Earnhardt Jr. has been running well. Finishing in 10th, 8th, 11th and 12th in the last four races, there’s a strong possibility he could find victory lane soon.

In his previous Martinsville starts, Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top 5 eight times and lead 848 laps; 236 of those laps were in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. In the fall race last year Dale Jr. led 90 laps - nearly half of the 185 laps he led all season - before settling for a seventh-place finish.

Earnhardt Jr. told a writer for the Hendrick Motorsports website that he does like racing at Martinsville a lot. “There’s something about trying to get around the corner of that place that’s a lot of fun, and it’s just an interesting racetrack. Martinsville is a good short track, and there is a little bit of roughness to it.”

Earnhardt Jr. has also scored personal best results at upcoming racetracks Talladega Superspeedway and Richmond International Raceway. He has five Cup wins at Talladega and three at Richmond, the tracks where he has won the most.

With the strong communication with his crew chief Steve Letarte, there’s also trust and a regained confidence on the No. 88 team. Junior Nation has never lost faith in their favorite driver and they are at work, voting as often as possible because they know an All-Star Race without Dale Jr. isn’t an All-Star Race to watch.

To vote for Dale Jr. or your favorite driver, log on to NASCAR.com. You can vote every hour every day.

In other voting news, voting for the Most Popular Driver Award is under way, with Wheaties Fuel sponsoring the award this year. You can help Dale Jr. win his 9th consecutive award or you can vote for another driver. Last year, Jeff Gordon came in second place; with him tweeting and connecting with his fans on Facebook, could he step up to first place? How about our five-time champion Jimmie Johnson - will his time on Twitter help him move up to being awarded the MPD? Vote now for your guy and vote every day until November at www.wheatiesfuelmostpopulardriver.com.

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