Jimmie Johnson does not see this weekend's third round of the Chase as a must-win in order to keep his championship hopes alive.
The reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion arrives at Dover 10th in the play-off standings, 29 points behind leader Tony Stewart following two of the 10 championship-deciding races.
Three wins out of his last five races at the one-mile oval suggest he could get his championship bid back on track at Dover, although Johnson does not believe it is time to panic yet.
While admitting he needs a strong result to move up in the Chase ranking, he says not winning on Sunday would not mean he is out of the title race by any means.
"I don't think we're in a position where it's win or nothing," said Johnson. "We need to get a top-three run here. There's still eight races left. When we look at how well we performed at Chicago - fuel got a hold of us there and we should have been top three and we ended up 10th.
"Last weekend [at Loudon], even with some of the creative radio chatter that took place, I was in position to finish probably top 10 if I didn't have that contact with the #18 car [Kyle Busch] and that was just racing stuff. So, if could we take back and didn't have an 18th and had a 10th at Loudon, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.
"I don't think we're looking for the walk-off home run by any means right now. It's just finishing where we should... That is really the way I see it right now."
Although Stewart has got his Chase off to an impeccable start, taking two wins in a row, Johnson says it is too soon to jump to conclusions about the title. He recalled how two-time champion Stewart struggled in the weeks leading up to the play-off and says the season has not seen anyone able to carry momentum for long.
Johnson reckons he has not yet seen any of his rivals having what it takes to be dominant for the reminder of the season, like he has been for the past few years.
"It has been really tough to have a driver and team stay on top for a long period of time [this season]," said Johnson. "I think a lot of drivers spoke to that in the pre-Chase media before the Chase started.
"If you go back to Richmond, there was a stretch there where the #14 [Stewart] wasn't running well. And some of Tony's comments, you could tell the place where they were mentally. It wasn't in a true championship mindset. Well, two weeks of winning can certainly turn that around.
"So, my point [is] we just don't know. It is easy, we all want to predict now. But we can't. We have to run all 10 races. Whoever does catch fire and can stay consistent, they can have a runaway year. But I haven't seen anything to show me that it is going to be a runaway year for anyone."
Johnson leads all current Cup drivers with six victories at Dover, four of them being Chase races. He last won at the track known as 'The Monster Mile' a year ago in what turned out to be his only win during the 2010 play-off.