Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended a four-year winless streak with a win at the Michigan International Speedway, winning for the first time since June 15, 2008.
Going 143 races since his last win, Earnhardt realizes what this win means to his fans and his crew after such a long drought of winless races that began to take a toll on the driver.
“To do it for my fans — they stuck behind me for all these years. I know exactly what they’ve been thinking about and how long they’ve been wanting us to get to Victory Lane,” Earnhardt said.
“This was for them. I appreciate their loyalty and their support. We wouldn’t have made it back to Victory Lane without it.”
With an average speed of 139.144 mph, Earnhardt was able to pull away in the final 25 laps of the 200 lap Sprint Cup Series race, winning by a comfortable 5.393 seconds.
“Dale had the fastest car all day,” said Tony Stewart in the #14 car.
“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.”
Winning in the same fashion as he did 4 years ago, Earnhardt Jr. finished ahead of the pack once again on Father’s Day as he did in 2008. After the passing of his own father in the final-lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001, a victory at Michigan on Sunday just felt right for the #88 car.
Sunday’s win at Michigan International Speedway was Earnhardt’s 19th Cup victory of his career.
The top 10 for the 2012 Quicken Loans 400 can be found below.
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet
2. Tony Stewart, Chevrolet
3. Matt Kenseth, Ford
4. Greg Biffle, Ford
5. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
6. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
7. Clint Bowyer, Toyota
8. Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet
9. Marcos Ambrose, Ford
10. Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet