For the entire 2012 season Dale Earnhardt Jr. has raced like a man with a plan, which was obviously to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. But, a concussion sustained at Talladega sidelined my favorite driver for two weeks. After being cleared to race and starting and finishing his first race last week it is clear that Dale Jr. will be taking some more risks in the closing races of the 2012 season, after all, he has nothing to lose.
Martinsville a Sign of Things to Come?
In Dale Jr.'s first race back from his concussion at Martinsville Speedway, he made what I feel is a sign of what's to come in the last three races of the season. With only a handful of laps left in the race he opted to stay out on the track, and was only one of two drivers on the lead lap to do so, instead of pitting for fresh tires. This is not a move that a more conservative Earnhardt Jr. typically makes. I know because I am constantly saying he always pits even when he may not need to. But, this move was more than likely one that was designed as a way to roll the dice and go for a win using a more unconventional approach. Though it didn't work out as he wrecked just a few laps later, the gutsy call was still made.
Expecting the Unexpected
As a huge fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. I am going to go into the last three races of the season expecting the unexpected. Since Dale Jr. and his team have no way of capturing the championship this season I feel that they will pull out all the stops in order to give Dale Jr. his best shot at winning at least one more race before the 2012 season comes to a close. Another win by Dale Jr. would not only be welcomed by all of Junior Nation, but it would also be a strong statement heading into the 2013 season and this is a point that I'm sure is not lost on Dale Jr. or his team.
Wreckers or Checkers
In my view, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has already had one heck of a season. After winning for the first time in what seemed like an eternity and putting up some impressive stats it is once again exciting to watch Dale Jr. race. With that, I honestly don't care if he does take some risks and fails as he did in Martinsville. As far as I am concerned, I want to see him in victory lane once more so hopefully he'll continue to go for the wreckers or checkers, preferably getting the checkers.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of NASCAR since he was a child attending races watching Dale Earnhardt run the famous number 3. He still attends numerous races each season and enjoys writing about NASCAR, particularly in regards to Dale Earnhardt as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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