Earnhardt Jr. not depending on fan vote

There's little doubt that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leading the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote and that should he not earn his way in during the Sprint Showdown he'll still be racing with the best of the best Saturday night. But, like any racer, Earnhardt isn't depending on that fan vote. He wants to earn his way into the race on his own merit as a driver, not a popularity contest.

During his media availability Friday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Earnhardt Jr. addressed those in attendance saying, "We're going to work on trying to win our little races tomorrow afternoon to try to make it in without the fan vote. We'd like to get in and allow someone else to have the fan vote."

Backing up that desire to earn his admittance to the All-Star Race, Earnhardt Jr. was fastest in the single Sprint Showdown practice held shortly after. His time of 188.114 was the best of the 22 car field who must either win or finish second to earn a transfer spot. Other fast cars included Allmendinger, Cassill, Labonte, and Truex Jr., but the most attention is focused on Earnhardt Jr., who won the All-Star event in his rookie season.

Dressed in at bright orange JR Motorsports t-shirt supporting his own Nationwide Series team and his paint scheme for the weekend which supports the Dale Jr. Foundation, the driver of the No. 88 touched on the current bill which passed in the House to ban military spending for sports saying, "I would encourage them to do more homework, get more facts, understand the situation a little more...I think their NASCAR sponsorship is a great way to reach a lot of people.

Getting a laugh from the crowd he went on remarking, "just because he's a Republican from Georgia he should have seen a NASCAR race by now."

Earnhardt Jr. will hit the track last for his qualifying run later this afternoon.

Follow @SkirtsandScuffs writers @NASCARKaty and @AmandaEbersole as they bring you the action from the track this weekend.
Earnhardt Jr. not depending on fan vote Earnhardt Jr. not depending on fan vote Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Friday, May 18, 2012 Rating: 5