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Dale Earnhardt Jr.: NASCAR Chase or No Chase

At the beginning of the year, I said I’d give Dale Earnhardt Jr. til Atlanta to show me if he was going to be a contender this year.   After Atlanta, I am seeing signs toward a positive.   At the season-opening Daytona 500, he qualified well—second—and made a late charge through the field to finish second. That late charge and qualifying position equaled a lot to his fanbase, as it showed that the potential was still there—and he could make the right moves as a driver.   At Auto Club Speedway, he didn’t have a good showing, as he finished in the 20s after struggling all race long. This caused a step back in the process, as all that hope that had built up at Daytona was shot down.   At Las Ve...

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