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Martin Truex’s Stellar Season May Help Fill the Great Dale Earnhardt Jr. Void

Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award winner for the past 13 seasons, is out for the rest of this one. As the Sprint Cup regular season ends and the annual Chase format determines a champion, just where do the Earnhardt fans go? Hendrick Motorsports brought back retired Jeff Gordon to sub. For most of the rest of the season, young Alex Bowman draws the assignment. Neither will be in the Chase. Who picks up the slack? Perhaps Martin Truex Jr., the guy with the common touch who won the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway Sunday night. At the NASCAR track most steeped in tradition and lore, Truex stopped to kiss the finish line on the way to Victory Lane. A familiar site at Indianapolis, planting a kiss on the nasty...

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