Chance to relax

Seth Livingstone - NASCAR Wire Service Monday, Jun 09 1498

Earnhardt says that being virtually locked into the Chase by virtue of his two wins prior to road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen is a huge relief.

“I can run OK at the Glen every once in a while, but Sonoma – it’s embarrassing, man,” Earnhardt said. “We’ve decided to just go there without a test and wing it. Now, we don’t have to dig and gouge for every single position and we don’t have to worry if it’s a total disaster or if it doesn’t work out or if we get spun out on the last lap. We can just go have fun."

Perhaps more importantly, Earnhardt believes that having two victories in the first 14 races of the season should help his team effectively prepare for Chase contention.

“It definitely made a difference [winning] at Daytona. Now, having two wins is going to make it even easier – a lot less stress,” he said. “That could mean good things going into the Chase. That’s got to be a positive for our composure and psyche going into the Chase – not having to stress all the way through (the 26th race) at Richmond.”