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)
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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.