Found October 26, 2013 on Fox Sports:
We all know that despite their man not having won a race in the regular season this year, Junior Nation was pretty jacked up about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s chances entering the Chase again this year. Unfortunately, he goes right out in the first Chase race at Chicago and blows a motor, thus burying himself in a very deep hole. What has been really impressive to me is the mental toughness he and the team have shown. Look, after the Chicago disappointment they could have very easily thrown up their hands and said heck with the rest of 2013. They could have tried new things and combinations to begin preparing for 2014, but they didn't. I think Dale Jr. had a lot to prove going into this year's Chase when you consider how everything played out last year in the Chase. If you remember, he had a good Chase going, but was injured, had the concussion and had to step out of the car for a while thus eliminating any hope of winning last year's championship. The way he and the team ran at Talladega last Sunday was a huge shot in the arm. They hadn't run that well at a track, quite honestly, where he used to dominate in quite a while. He finished second in the race and jumped three spots in the points to sixth position. The downside is, despite being in sixth, Dale Jr. is more than a full race behind in the points (-52) with only four races to go. The one thing that is holding he and this team back is the one thing that dogged them all season. They need to win. Being consistent is great for your program. Having consistently good finishes is great for getting you into the Chase, but as you hear us say time and time again, it won't win you the Chase. You have to win in the Chase to win the Chase, and they simply haven't done that. Winning allows you to make great strides in either separating yourself out front or closing the gap on the guy who is in the front. The No. 88 is just missing that one intangible. It's that one day where you will yourself to Victory Lane. It's that one day that you go up there and take it from the other 42 competitors. I think that's where they are right now. They have a solid program all the way around. It just seems the door to Victory Lane and to a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is locked. They simply need to find it within themselves to kick the damn door in already.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

National Guard extends sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  getty images The Army National Guard will sponsor the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. though the 2014 season. “NASCAR is a critical marketing platform for the National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Michael Wegner, marketing branch chief, Army National Guard. “This program touches recruiters, influencers, our own Citizen Soldiers and those interested in the Guard...

National Guard renews sponsorship of Earnhardt

The Army National Guard has extended its sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. through the 2014 season with Hendrick Motorsports. The Guard will be the primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet for 20 Sprint Cup races, including the Daytona 500. Hendrick Motorsports said Friday the Guard will also have prominent brand placement during all non-primary events. The National Guard has been...

National Guard stays with Earnhardt

The Army National Guard has extended its sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. through the 2014 season with Hendrick Motorsports. The Guard will be the primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet for 20 Sprint Cup races, including the Daytona 500. Hendrick Motorsports said Friday the Guard will also have prominent brand placement during all non-primary events. "NASCAR is a critical...

ICYMI: National Guard Returns With Earnhardt In 2014

The Army National Guard will continue as the majority sponsor of the No. 88 Sprint Cup Series team with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. after extending its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2014 NASCAR season. The National Guard will receive primary paint schemes in 20 Sprint Cup races, including the[...]

NASCAR to mandate concussion testing

NASCAR will mandate baseline concussion testing for its drivers starting next season. NASCAR only recommended the testing this season, but indicated to drivers that a preseason baseline screening could become mandatory as early as 2014. The baseline will be used to measure against test results after a driver has crashed when diagnosing a concussion. The baseline testing will be...

Goody’s Headache Relief 500 from Martinsville Final Practice Times

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led the way with a lap of 19.415 seconds in the final practice for the Goody’s Headache Relief 500 from Martinsville. Rounding out the top five was Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth. Pos # Driver Team Time Behind 1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.[...]

Captain Thunder's Legendary Top-5 Fantasy NASCAR Picks - MARTINSVILLE

photo credit:  usa today JIMMIE JOHNSON - WINNER #48 Lowe's Chevrolet ·        Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.2 2013 Rundown ·        Five wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; two poles ·        Average finish of 11.5 ·        Led 20 races for 1,606 laps Martinsville Speedway Outlook: ·        Eight wins, 16 top fives, 20 top 10s; three...
NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.