TALLADEGA, Ala.—Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows only too well that racing at Talladega Superspeedway can engender a feeling of total helplessness.
Nonetheless, he believes a positive attitude in the face of everything that can possibly go wrong in high-speed, white-knuckle restrictor-plate racing is essential to success.
“I think you can psych yourself out, and you can definitely anticipate negative results and negative things happening so much that you almost guarantee that as your fate,” Earnhardt said Friday before opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at the 2.66-mile track.
“I think if you think positively—’Man, this is going to work; I’m going to make the right choices when things aren’t quite working right; I’m going to keep striving and keep pushing, and I’m going to make this a good result; I’m going to get something out of this today’–typically it works out.”
Accordingly, Earnhardt makes a point of accentuating the positive and trying to eliminate the negative.
“Typically that attitude is going to prevail over ‘Man, this isn’t going to work; every time I come here I’m going to wreck; every time I come here I’m going to have trouble; I can’t figure it out; why even try,'” Earnhardt said.
“That attitude never works.”