Junior’s fans wish him well
JOLIET, Ill. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. received a stamp of approval from fans wanting to write letters to the retiring star, wishing him luck.
Jennifer Hoger has attended races at Chicagoland Speedway for 15 years and penned similar farewell notes to former NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in their retirement seasons. She stopped at the red mailbox with No. 88 on the door to drop off her letter: Dear Dale, Thank you for all the memories here (at) chicagoland Speedway!! Good luck in your future endeavors!!!
The Hoger Family Bridgeview, Illinois “It’s just something I really wanted to do for him,” she said. “He’s just a regular guy when you see the way he interacts with people on pit road. He’s just a great guy.”
Moments later, a track employee picked up the latest haul from the stuffed mailbox — she estimated 200 letters already had been written by Saturday morning — and promised they would be delivered to Junior by the end of race weekend.
Randy Dunn had a simple note for NASCAR’S most popular driver: Hi Jr. Let’s Go Racing Randy Dunn
Dunn wrote his Marion, Illinois, address on the note just in case Junior wanted to write back and maybe spend some time with him.
“I hope so. I’m a very big fan,” Dunn said. “Whatever he wants to do is fine with me.”
Fan enthusiasm hasn’t waned for Junior even as he’s stumbled through a disheartening final season that will end without a NASCAR Cup championship in his 18-year career. Earnhardt, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, has just one top-five finish this season and hasn’t finished better than 12th in his last 10 races in the No. 88 Chevrolet. When NASCAR’S version of the playoffs open today at Chicagoland, Earnhardt starts with a more modest goal of finishing the season inside the top 20 in the standings.
“We should’ve run well all year and gotten ourselves into the playoffs for all of our fans,” he said.
allgaier wins Nascar
Xfinity series race
JOLIET, Ill. — Justin Allgaier pulled away off the final restart and won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Newgarden in control of title race at sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. — Josef Newgarden led a Team Penske parade in qualifying for the Indycar season finale with a blistering run that put him on the pole and in control of the championship race.