Earnhardt Jr. ends drought with win in Michigan

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., stands by his car before the Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

June 17, 2012 3:11:24 PM PDT
Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Earnhardt's win came almost exactly four years to the day after his last trip to Victory Lane in a Cup race. That also was in Michigan on June 15, 2008. He led for 36 laps last weekend at Pocono but made a late stop for gas instead of trying to stretch the fuel to the end.

On Sunday, it wasn't even close. He pulled away over the final 25 laps of the 400-mile race, and led by over 5 seconds in the final laps before his black Chevrolet with the green No. 88 crossed the finish line well ahead of Tony Stewart.