Earnhardt says first win is close

Dale Earnhardt Jr believes his first victory of the season is close as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series gets to Talladega, scene of five of his seventeen career wins

Earnhardt says first win is close

Earnhardt won in February on his debut for Hendrick Motorsports in the non-point Bud Shootout, and then took victory in a Gatorade Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500. However his has yet to win a points' race this season driving for his new employer.

In fact, Earnhardt has not won a race since May of 2006, when he took victory at Richmond driving for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated.

But despite being nearly two years without a win, he says he doesn't feel the pressure to visit victory lane again.

"Well, coming up on two years without a win, you know, it's definitely something you recognize," Earnhardt says. "It's definitely a stat that you are aware of and reminded of. It's not a whole lot of pressure. I still drive for a good team, I still have a great opportunity to win every time I show up.

"But I feel like a win is around the corner. I feel like we've been in position to do that just about every week we've had a good enough car to contend. We've obviously failed to capitalize on some races where we led a lot and ended up finishing sixth or seventh.

"That's just, you know, you've just got to be able to make the right decisions at the end of the race, and we haven't been able to do that as far as on where we need the car to be and what not. Other guys have capitalized and made their cars win at the end of the race or whatever."

Earnhardt admits Talladega could be his best opportunity thus far to win a race this year, although he believes that this season he has been is a position to be a contender for victory every weekend.

"I guess, you know, you could say that," Earnhardt added. "I feel like there are a lot of other good opportunities in the season, a lot of the tracks that I run pretty good at.

"We obviously had a lot of success at Talladega, there is no denying that. And I feel like, you know, we're going to have a good chance this weekend, and I'm motivated by that.

"But I've felt that way all year, really. Before there were probably four or five years ago I definitely went into these races with a little more confidence than I would carry into the other events. But this season I've felt like we've had a shot every time we show up."

Earnhardt currently ranks third as the best from the Hendrick drivers in the points standing, 86 points behind leader Jeff Burton.

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