DOVER, Del. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is hoping to pick up the next memorable victory for Hendrick Motorsports.
First, Jimmie Johnson raced to owner Rick Hendrick’s 200th win. Then Kasey Kahne earned his first victory with Hendrick in the Coca-Cola 600.
Next? Well, Earnhardt brings his bewildering 141-race winless drought into Sunday’s Sprint Cup stop at Dover International Speedway.
While his teammates take turns playing hot potato with the checkered flag, Earnhardt is stuck wondering when his time will come.
“I’m not competitive on the race track with my teammates at all,” he said, “but when you see those guys win, you do wish it was you going to Victory Lane.”
He can stop the streak with his first win on Dover’s 1-mile track since 2001. Much like the overall arc of his career, his more recent runs on the concrete have been cruel. He did post a third-place finish in the May race last season, but otherwise failed to finish better than 20th in four of the last five races at Dover.
Earnhardt takes some solace in the fact he’s been consistently strong this season and is parked in fourth place in the points standings.
He has two runner-up finishes in the No. 88 and nine top 10s in 12 races – after he had 12 top 10s all of last season.
TRUCKS SERIES: In Dover, Del., Todd Bodine took advantage of being in the lead when the rain came, winning the shortened Trucks Series race at Dover International Speedway.
Bodine celebrated in a makeshift Victory Lane after the race was called with 147 of 200 laps completed on the 1-mile track.
Parker Kligerman was second and Kevin Harvick was third. Nelson Piquet Jr. and Cale Gale round out the top five.