"Little E" is Ready to Shine: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Lights Up Daytona

Cale JonesCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2008

After the first two weeks at Daytona, it appears that Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a brilliant move by signing with Rick Hendrick.

Earnhardt won the first two Sprint Cup races at Daytona in the new number 88 Mountain Dew Chevy Impala.

Earnhardt knew what he was talking about when he said that Hendrick simply had better equipment. Last year, Hendrick driver Jeff Gordon dominated the points throughout all of the first part of the season. His teammate Jimmie Johnson ran in second, and won the Chase for the Cup.

This year at Daytona, Johnson had a car fast enough to qualify on the pole, and Earnhardt and Gordon had the horsepower to move through the field late in the race.

As well as having a faster car, Earnhardt appears to be working well with his new teammates. At the end of the Budweiser Shootout, the Hendrick cars were running in positions two through five, with Earnhardt in second. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, who were in the spots behind Earnhardt, moved into the slower middle line and the outside line, respectively, to help Earnhardt take the lead. After that, the two cars would not draft behind the second place car of Tony Stewart, guaranteeing Earnhardt the win.

With this combination of driver teamwork, and outstanding cars on all types of tracks, it is a fairly safe bet that a Hendrick car will win the Sprint Cup this year. But whether or not Earnhardt wins a championship this year, he has the best chance of his career now that he is working with Hendrick Motorsports.   

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