Confidence Shows For Earnhardt Jr

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A third place qualifying run has Dale Earnhardt Jr. believing a good finish is ahead in Sunday's Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver has struggled in recent weeks and fallen down the Sprint Cup Series point standings and out of Chase territory as the regular season begins the second half Sunday in Pocono.

But Earnhardt's qualifying effort on Friday, which puts him on the inside of row two for the 14th race of the season, has brought along with it some confidence.

“All the little things add up to our motivation and our confidence as a team,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We just need a bunch more of that stuff, additions to boost our morale. We know we can run good. We’ve struggled in the last month pretty bad, but hopefully we’ll get it turned around.”

Earnhardt thinks that even just proving to his team there is speed in the No. 88 car is a positive.

“It feels good to be able to go out there and practice good and qualify good,” Earnhardt Jr.. “We probably didn’t prove anything to anybody outside of our team, but whenever we can do anything good, it helps our confidence.”

Crew chief Lance McGrew, who joined Earnhardt's team just over a year ago, is hoping things get turned around quickly and that a good run Sunday can jump start things.

“I think a positive is exactly that, it’s a positive,” McGrew said. “If it’s qualifying or if it’s practice or a good lap time during practice, you have to take the positives, as few and far between as they are, and build on them."

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