Dale Earnhardt Jr. is entering the Sprint Cup chase for the second straight year. This year, he is closing in on the back of points leader Matt Kenseth as he tries to capture his first Sprint Cup championship.
Earnhardt Jr. should consider himself lucky; he’s only 15 points back because Kenseth won five races while Earnhardt Jr. won zero. At the end of the day, this is one of the reasons people should make him a legitimate threat to win it all. The other reason is the fact that Earnhardt Jr. has really run well in critical spots this year when there were times where people wondered if he would falter late in the season to miss the chase after finishing 30th at Pocono in August, and 36th at Michigan in August as well.
“We’ve had real fast cars. Great runs,” Earnhardt Jr. noted via CBSnews. “We’ve had some trouble with engine failures and been involved in wrecks. I’m excited about our chances when I push real hard — 10 races we got to put together the best 10 races we can and all 12 teams really have a shot at it. There’s no clear favorite — no one guy that stands above the rest.”
15 points can be made up in one race realistically with a bad wreck or engine issues by Kenseth if all goes well for Earnhardt Jr. on his end. The other point leaders like Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, who both have at least four wins, have had countless of opportunities to put guys away and haven’t done that.
If you let guys like Earnhardt Jr. hang around long enough, they will capitalize sooner rather than later.