Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s resurgent season has him leading the Sprint Cup standings (Getty Images Photo)
INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time since 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the Sprint Cup Series point standings.
Earnhardt's fourth place finish in Sunday's Brickyard 400 coupled with Matt Kenseth's misfortune added up to the Hendrick Motorsports driver taking over the top spot of the standings.
"I'm proud of that because it says a lot about our body of work," said Earnhardt. "All season of long we've been working hard and finishing well. That is symbolic of how well we've done. I'm proud of that. I have felt that way about our position in points all season long."
Earnhardt's run Sunday was his best in a last decade of Indianapolis starts and added to his confidence level working with crew chief Steve Letarte.
Although he was still disappointed by not winning the race, Earnhardt was still pleased at his performance as well as watching teammate
"We were looking forward to this race," he said. "Wanted to run well here. Want to win this race. Want to get a trophy here and go to victory lane. One of our teammates was able to do that so we are proud for the company. We're happy with a finish. We want to win races; we want more. We are ready to start seeing a little bit more materialize for us. We're really happy with what we are doing. Trying to keep our minds focused on what is working for us. Try to figure it out."
However Earnhardt reiterated that in order to win the title, he'll need to add more victories to the one he scored at Michigan last June.
"We need to win more races," said Earnhardt. "If we want to win the championship, we have to. I imagine we can win a couple races in Chase. I don't know if finishing fourth or fifth is going to do it. We'll just have to see. We'd like to step it up just a little bit more."