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NASCAR Sprint Cup: Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. Can’t Win This Year’s Chase

This was supposed to be the year. All the momentum, the consistent finishes, the end of a four-year winless drought and the strongest average finish of his career have all panned out for naught for Dale Earnhardt Jr. this year. Despite the resurgence after a few difficult years with Hendrick Motorsports, he has fallen from second in points before the Chase for the Sprint Cup to a frustrating 11th after Sunday's race at Talladega. For Junior Nation, this admission may come as a bitter pill to swallow on their driver's 38th birthday, but it seems pretty clear that Earnhardt Jr.'s championship hopes are through. The first three races of the Chase were solid but not spectacular for the No. 88 team, which posted finishes of eighth at Chicago, 13...

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