Getting points lead is a big confidence boost for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is your points leader.
That's right. The man who has the most fans in NASCAR, yet very few wins in recent years, is now your most consistent driver of the season.
It's pretty symbolic on one level, as once the Chase starts Junior and his one win will go down toward the bottom of the top 10. But it's still a nice confidence boost and a good reward for his solid runs so far this year.
Even his haters have to admit that Dale Jr. is doing well this year. Even though he doesn't always have the car to compete for a win, he's pretty much always up front. You couldn't say that at any point of his previous years with Hendrick.
The fact is that this year, Jr. is a contender that his fellow drivers and fans are once again expecting to do well regularly, like he used to do with DEI when he racked up most of his wins.
And as I've said all along, Jr. doing good is not just good for him and his team; and it's good for the sport.
With this confidence boost, I would bet he keeps up his hot streak, though i don't know if he's the guy to beat in the Chase (that would be that pesky Jimmie Johnson).