Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued his newfound success with Hendrick Motorsports yesterday, winning the first qualifying race for Sunday's Daytona 500. Coupled with his win in last Saturday's Shootout, Earnhardt must now be considered the favorite at the 500, and is on the cusp of a sweep no driver has yet managed to complete, according to ESPN.
"Nobody is boastful enough...to come in here and claim that," Said Earnhardt, when asked if he believed he could run the table, adding "But I think we've got a great shot." Junior came extremely close to accomplishing a sweep of Speedweek in 2004, when he won the 500, but placed second in the Shootout. His reinvention with HMS may prove the difference this year.