Earnhardt Jr. Eyes More Wins

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“We need more bonus points so we can lead the points going into Chicago." (Photo: Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has his sights set on another Michigan win to help his cause in securing a better Chase seed.

Earnhardt comes into Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, but is hoping to sweep MIS this year after ending a four year winless drought back in June.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver feels confident heading back to Michigan, but doesn’t have a set battle plan on how to approach Sunday’s race.

"I don’t really have a strategy,” Earnhardt said. “You just go out there and try to lead. Get to the front. If you aren’t in the front, get to the front and pass the guy in front of you. Pretty simple. You run as hard as you can every lap. The tires held up really well last time. The track is really smooth. You just run as hard as you can every lap. There’s really not much to it.”

Not only did Earnhardt’s win in Michigan finally snap the more than four year dry spell, it also helped build confidence with the entire No. 88 team.

"Yes, absolutely,” said Earnhardt. “Getting over that hurdle; getting that first win does a lot to relieve you. It reassures you that your team can win. I think if we were still winless, we would still feel a bit snake-bitten, or somewhat cursed I guess in away. That might mess your psyche a little bit. Mess with you mentally. But, once you do break through that barrier, it definitely gives you a reason to believe that you can do it again."

With only four races remaining in the regular season, time is running out for Earnhardt to add to his victory total and improve his Chase seeding once the playoff schedule kicks off in mid-September.

A win Sunday to become the first driver in 17 years to sweep both Michigan races in a single season would go a long way in helping that effort.

"We want to win more races, that’s missing,” Earnhardt said of his team’s overall performance this year. “We need more bonus points so we can lead the points going into Chicago. That gives the team a lot of confidence. We feel like we’ve been so strong this year, we are just a little shy in the win column for how we have performed throughout the year.

“If the wins want to wait, and come in during the Chase, that’s fine with me too. We want to win every opportunity we get out on the race track. We don’t show up to lose. That’s one of the things I think we’d like to have happen at least once before we get to the Chase. It might give our team a good boost; good momentum going in."

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