Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he’s ready to race at Talladega

 

TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

It’s somewhat of a desperate weekend for Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR’s most popular driver needs nothing short of win Sunday if he hopes to remain in championship contention. After being strong all season, winning the season opening Daytona 500 and adding two more wins, Earnhardt was having one of his better seasons.  Besides the wins, Earnhardt and his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team racked up solid finishes and soon were favorites to win it all.

But as the Chase started it all started to come apart. Since the Chase began at Chicagoland, Earnhardt has had only one finish inside the top 10 that after 11 top-5 finishes during the season.  At Kansas he crashed while leading and finished 39th. A week ago, he broke a shifter handle and struggled to a 20th place.

Earnhardt comes to Talladega 12th in points.  Without a win Sunday Earnhardt’s title hopes are all but finished for 2014. Never has there been more on the line for Earnhardt at Talladega, and he knows it. MORE>>>

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