Dale Jrs Chase Chances

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. still has a shot to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. A longshot, granted. And so he rolls into Richmond International Raceway this week on a wing, a prayer – and a vow.

“I want [our fans and sponsors] to know that no matter what, me and the team are giving everything we got,” Earnhardt said. “We're not going to lose focus or give up or pack it in.”

Earnhardt is 13th in series points coming into Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400, 128 behind 12th-place Kevin Harvick.

The top eight drivers in the current points have clinched Chase spots. Drivers in ninth and 10th place must only start on Saturday night to clinch.

The lowest Earnhardt can finish at Richmond is fifth to still have a chance at making the Chase. The two caveats to that scenario: He must also lead the most laps and Harvick has to finish 43rd.

He can also finish fourth and lead one lap, or finish third and lead no laps and still qualify – as long as Harvick finishes last.

On the other end of the spectrum, if Earnhardt wins Saturday night and leads the most laps, he’ll clinch a spot if Harvick finishes 33rd or worse OR if Kurt Busch finishes 37th or worse. If Earnhardt wins but doesn’t lead the most laps, he’ll need a Harvick finish of 34th or lower OR a Busch finish of 39th or lower.

“Even though we have a mathematical chance to get into the Chase, we're going to worry about things within our own control,” Earnhardt said. “Let's lead all the laps and win the thing.”

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