Dale Earnhardt Jr. Not Sweating It Over Lack of a Race Winby Kyle Pokrefky June 3, 2016 0 comments
As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls past the halfway point to the Chase cutoff, some drivers not yet locked into the Chase may be feeling the pressure heading into this weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., however, is not one of those drivers.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400, the driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet said that he holds no anxiety heading into this upcoming summer stretch.
“No, I’m not feeling any anxiety, at 41 years old you kind of get over that stuff, I’m not going to worry about it,” Earnhardt Jr. stated. “I spent the first 18 years worrying myself to death.”
Earnhardt Jr. is still yet to reach victory lane this season despite several close calls earlier in the year and sits in the 13th position in the points standings with 13 races to go until the first race of the Chase.
While he has slid down the standings in recent weeks after comfortably sitting in the top-10 as recently as Kansas four weeks ago, Earnhardt Jr. is confident that he should be able to lock up a Chase spot with his Hendrick Motorsports team.
“I think we are a good enough team to make it whether we get a win or not we are a good enough team,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “That is not a guarantee, I just feel confident that we will get in. A win would be what we expect, not just to lock ourselves in the Chase, we just expect to win.
“We’ve got a couple of years now of multiple win seasons and we expect to go and win races… We’ve got some understanding and ideas on why things have gone the way they have went in several situations and you learn from your mistakes and move forward.”
Speaking on his team’s recent string of unlucky finishes – a 40th at Talladega, a 15th at Kansas, a 32nd at Dover and a 14th at Charlotte – Earnhardt Jr. reiterated that his recent slump isn’t leaving him overly worried.
“I’m not too worried about where we are right now,” Earnhardt Jr. noted. “We are not running bad. We took off at the start of the year, had some second-place finishes, thought we were right on the verge of winning and we struggled this month. It’s been a rough month, but I think we can turn it around here.”
He also points to Pocono, a track he swept in 2014, as an excellent venue for him to return back to his top-10 form from earlier in the year.
“I think we should run great here,” he continued. “I’m not so much worried about end of the race results. I’m more concerned with consistent speed in the car and running up front throughout the day and having consistency on pit road and in the race car.
“I think we can do that this weekend and going forward.”
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