Daytona Speedweeks: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2-for-2, Toyota Gets First Win

Jared LillyCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2008

For those of you who weren't satisfied with his first Daytona win during the Bud Shootout, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., gave you another one, pulling in a win after a shootout with Reed Sorenson in the first session of Thursday's Gatorade Duels.

After going two years without a win, Junior has now won twice within the span of five days.

This win allows Earnhardt to start the upcoming Daytona 500 race in third place. He is just behind his friend, new teammate and champion of the past two seasons, Jimmy Johnson.

So, what is Earnhardt's secret?

The power behind Junior's new Hendricks team has obviously worked wonders for him, but is there something more?

Could it be a motivational push that this is the 50th anniversary of the event, along with the 10th anniversary of his father, Dale Earnhardt, Sr.,'s only Daytona 500 win? 

Or maybe even a non-publicized desire to show Theresa Earnhardt what she has lost?

Either way, Junior is "amp'd" and it doesn't look like he's letting up anytime soon.

Earnhardt isn't the only one making a statement.  Denny Hamlin has racked up Toyota's first win in the Cup series in the second session of the Duels.

I must admit, I was a skeptic about Toyota's success in NASCAR, but I guess when you take a team that is used to success such as Joe Gibbs Racing, it was bound to happen.

If you give Tony Stewart, or apparently Denny Hamlin, anything with four wheels, they  can make it win.

Will the trend keep up for Junior and Toyota?

Only time can tell.

By the way, Atlanta Motor Speedway will be selling tickets with prices based on the number of the Daytona 500's winner. So if Kurt Busch were to win, tickets would be $2.

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