Three weeks ago, as he prepared to enter the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemingly had everything to lose and little to gain.
Now, just two races into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's most popular driver seemingly has a lot to gain and virtually nothing to lose. Funny how only a little time can radically change how a driver and team approach the business at hand.
Unlike at Richmond, where Earnhardt needed to merely avoid disaster to achieve his objective - a berth in the Chase - the Hendrick Motorsports driver finds himself in a totally different situation entering Sunday's third Chase round at Dover International Speedway.
Instead of being on the defensive and trying to protect what's his, Earnhardt and his No. 88 Chevrolet team are on the offensive and willing to take more risks than they often would to get a win.
"You look at your position in the Chase and you see, all right, we're way behi...