Earnhardt needs a lift after Talladega setback. (LAT photo)
Happy Birthday to Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet in NASCAR's Sprint Cup, who celebrates his 38th birthday today.
In 14 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Earnhardt has tallied 19 wins, 11 pole positions, 105 top-five finishes and 180 top-10s in 465 starts, but he's hoping for a late birthday present this weekend at Charlotte, after having his hopes for a first Sprint Cup championship seriously dented along with his Hendrick Chevrolet in the last-lap "Big One" at Talladega last Sunday.
After NASCAR sorted out the finishing order skewed by the 25-car pileup, the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet was credited with a 20th-place finish, dropping him to 11th in the standings, 51 points behind leader Brad Keselowski, who placed seventh.
"If this is what we did every week, I wouldn't be doing it – I will just put it to you like that," Earnhardt told reporters after the race. "If this is how we raced every week, I would find another job."