Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Success at Talladega requires a positive attitude

TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew / XBox One Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 45th Annual Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 18:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew / XBox One Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 45th Annual Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew / XBox One Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 45th Annual Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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.”

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.