Earnhardt sure his efforts will pay off

Dale Earnhardt Jr is confident that him and his Hendrick Motorsports team will be able to turn their NASCAR Sprint Cup season around

Earnhardt sure his efforts will pay off

This week Earnhardt's boss Rick Hendrick came out in support of the hugely popular driver and his crew chief Tony Eury Jr, despite the tough start they have had to their season, which has seen them ranked in 19th place in the standings after five rounds.

Hendrick pointed out he has seen Earnhardt work harder than ever before, citing as an example a lengthy meeting he had this week at the team's headquarters in preparation for this weekend's race at Martinsville.

Earnhardt says the meeting is just part of the squad's collective efforts to get new ideas and reach the level of performance that his team-mates Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin have shown during the season thus far.

"When you need to do better you get down and you sit down and get all the collective experience you can around you and try to feed off of it," said Earnhardt. "We're just trying to hear out everybody's opinions on some things we can try or do differently, and if it will help.

"We're just working hard to get better and we don't sit on our tails hoping it'll turn around on its own because it probably wouldn't happen that way."

Hendrick also said this week that Earnhardt was working out more than ever before and that he is also being more careful with his diet, something the Kannapolis-native confirmed.

"Well, Rick wouldn't lie about it," said Earnhardt, "but I'm just trying not to leave any stone unturned and obviously as you get older, you need to take better care of yourself.

"So I'm just trying to do my part and make sure that I'm as good as I can be when these guys need me. So I definitely needed to change my diet a little bit because I was not very proactive in what I ordered or what I bought and wasn't very picky about where I eat my meals. I'm just trying to be a little smarter and a little more responsible there."

Earnhardt starts Sunday's race at Martinsville from 19th on the grid.

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