NASCAR officials, marketers and those with licenses to sell Sprint Cup merchandise celebrated Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s return to Victory Lane in the rain-delayed Daytona 500. By winning the race, Junior has already put a huge stamp on the 2014 season and has ardent supporters talking “Chase” and “Championship.”
But, there are still plenty of events to be run in the regular season. We can’t hit the fast-forward button or skip ahead to the last page of the book. Phoenix International Raceway is next on the docket (Earnhardt Jr. starts 5th), with Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards having each claimed victory twice here in the past five years. Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman have each scored six top-10s during this period.
My squad is at the top of the board. Can you beat it?