Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not make the chase this year...and it's really okay. Why? Because now Dale and his team have 10 weeks, nothing to lose, and everything to gain. It's the best possible remedy to a frustrating season. Think about it: if he had made the chase, media scrutiny would have quadrupled, particularly if he didn't emerge as a real contender for the title.
Now, without the additional spotlight, he and his team can get down to business, no chase-strings. I remember not too long ago when Tony Stewart missed the cut for the chase; he let it roll off his back and drove like a bat outta hell...and he won races.
As much as I would like to point the finger at his crew chief, Lance McGrew, I'm trying to reserve judgment. Why? Because I'd like to see what they can do as a team without the pressure of the chase weighing on their shoulders. Life's about chances.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Dale could very well close this season on one heck of a high note. Here's hoping.
"Always find the bright side, no matter how dark it is in the room...it's usually just a flick of the light-switch away."