Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the garage before qualifying for the Brickyard 400… (Andy Lyons / Getty Images )
INDIANAPOLIS --Dale Earnhardt Jr. sees no reason why his strong showing this year shouldn't continue during the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, although he didn't qualify particularly well.
The popular NASCAR driver has never won at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 12 previous races; his best finish was sixth in 2006.
But his No. 88 Chevrolet has been stout this season and the Hendrick Motorsports driver is second in the Sprint Cup Series points standings.
"I think I could come in here and probably have my best finish here in quite a while," Earnhardt said before he qualified to start 20th in the 43-car field.
"I feel like I know how to get around here," Earnhardt said. "I'm just looking for the right balance in the car and just putting together a good race. That's something we've been able to do this year."
Denny Hamlin won the pole position for the Brickyard 400 with a lap of 182.763 mph, while Carl Edwards qualified second and Joey Logano was third.
Earnhardt's father, the late seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, won the second Brickyard 400 in 1995.
"When he didn't win the first race I think that disappointed him," the younger Earnhardt said. "He wanted to be first. I knew it meant a lot to him when he did eventually win here."
The 1994 winner was Jeff Gordon, who is now Earnhardt's teammate, and Gordon went on to win the Brickyard 400 three more times.
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