(AP Photo/David Tulis)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) There was a nearly five-year period for Dale Earnhardt Jr. when being a famous race car driver wasn't all glitz and glamour.
He was a non-factor on the race track, barely even contended at Daytona and Talladega, the two places he was supposed to be unbeatable, and he is the first to admit his confidence had crumbled.
Rebuilding NASCAR's most popular driver was a lengthy process that took a firm commitment from Rick Hendrick and a ton of patience from Earnhardt's rabid fan base. The turnaround was slow - some laps led here, a win there - until he finally hit his stride last season with a Daytona 500 victory and three other wins.
|Dale Earnhardt Jr. captures sixth career Sprint Cup victory at Talladega|
TALLADEGA, Ala. – It's a toss-up which is greater, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s passion for Talladega Superspeedway or the Talladega fan base's passion for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
On a glorious afternoon, Earnhardt offered a one-word order to his team over the radio, a message that could be shared with the thousands of his devotees in the stands: "Celebrate!" he proclaimed. (MORE)