2013 Quicken Loans 400: Dale Earnhardt Jr. looking for another Michigan win

Will Schneekloth

One year since his last victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is looking for a repeat in Michigan.

The only two Sprint Cup Series races Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won with Hendrick Motorsports have come at Michigan International Speedway, the site of Sunday's NASCAR event.

His first victory on the 2-mile oval came in 2008, his first year driving for Hendrick. The consensus at the time was more victories would inevitably come. However, more trips to the winner's circle never materialized, and it would be four years before Earnhardt's next triumph.

That 143-race winless streak was finally snapped a year ago this weekend, when Earnhardt won by a hefty 5-second margin. But yet again, he hasn't won since and heads into the Quicken Loans 400 looking to end a skid.

"We want to win more races," Earnhardt said Friday. "We want to win numerous races and multiple races in a season. We want that to be the status quo. We want that to be the norm. We want that to be what is expected.

"When we first started working together we were trying to figure out how to get a 15th-place combination into the top-10 and we were happy when we did. Now when we run in the top-10 it's just another weekend and what do we have to do to win."

Earnhardt has come close several times this season to getting back to Victory Lane, including runner-ups at Daytona and Fontana this season, but has been unable to breakthrough.

"We started the season off so promising the best that I had ever started a season," he said. "It just seemed like things were going so perfectly and it's the way it is in this sport. You will think you have everything going in the right direction and then odds and fate and everything else get in the way."

Earnhardt seems to be replicating the same formula from a year ago where he entered Michigan coming off a solid result (eighth) the week before at Pocono. This time around, Earnhardt finished third at Pocono and is hoping the similarities don't end there.

He will even have a superhero paint scheme again, this time with Superman on the side of his No. 88 car; last season, it was Batman.

All that's missing is another Michigan win.

"We are just hoping for another good weekend. We would love to get a win. If we can get a good run and put two in a row together and give us more momentum, give us more confidence. This is a great race track.

"We are a better team and we are able to do a better job than we were last year. ... We ran good this past weekend and I feel like we will be competitive this weekend."

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