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Earnhardt Jr. "Excited" for NASCAR Chase Expansion

By: WCTV Sports Email
By: WCTV Sports Email

Tallahassee, FL - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is excited for NASCAR's Chase for the Cup expansion. He called it "good for the sport."

Earnhardt, Jr. was in Tallahassee on Thursday to check in with his car dealerships at Chevrolet and Buick, GMC, Cadillac.

NASCAR had just announced earlier in the day that they were changing the Chase format. They will expand from 12 to 16 drivers and the postseason is now based on elimination.

Drivers who win during the 26-race regular season will be granted automatic admission to the Chase. The number of drivers will decrease with every three races during the 10-race postseason format.

A win by any contender during the Chase for the Cup will save them from elimination and advance them into the next round.

Four drivers will have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup during the Championship race.

"That really puts some pressure down on a lot of guys," said Earnhardt, Jr. who drives the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. "And I think the fans will plug into that kind of excitement and that kind of thing happening every single week knowing that every three or four races, things get reset and then we go at it again and we eliminate some guys and reset again."

The season begins at the Daytona 500 on February 23rd. Earnhardt, Jr. last won there in 2004 and he's come in 2nd in three of the last four seasons.

In the past two seasons, Earnhardt, Jr. has had a combined 42 top-10 finishes and 20 top-5 finishes. He credits his crew for always keeping him in the hunt.

"It's uncommon to have that over a long period of time," he said. "Normally when things are going great someone wants to come in and pick it apart and take something for themselves and put it on their team. We've been able to stay together as a group and it's really paying off."


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